Millington, Tennessee - An increase in enlisted critical at-sea billets has Navy community managers reminding Sailors of the various incentive programs available to them.

"The Navy has several incentive programs that the enlisted community managers and detailers use to fill vacancies at sea," said Ron Dodge, deputy director of enlisted distribution at Navy Personnel Command. "We want to give Sailors good reasons to choose sea duty because that is where we need them."

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in March an upcoming increase in Career Sea Pay (CSP) and Career Sea Pay Premium incentives for eligible Sailors and Marines serving aboard ships whose primary mission is conducted at sea. This increase, the first since 2001, is intended to compensate Sailors for extended deployments, and is expected to take place early this summer. Additionally, Sailors may qualify for Sea Duty Incentive Pay (SDIP), if they serve in specific ratings, pay grades and/or NEC's and agree to remain on sea duty past their Prescribed Sea Tour (PST), volunteer for a back-to-back sea tour, or curtail their current shore duty and return early to sea duty.

Sailors who wish to extend at sea or return to sea duty early may be entitled to receive an incentive pay along with a choice of duty station via the Voluntary Sea Duty Program (VSDP). Updated instructions outlining the VSDP guidelines are forthcoming, but Sailors can continue to refer to NAVADMINs 043/12 and 205/12 until the updates are released.

The Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Early Return to Sea, announced in NAVADMIN 230/12, authorized detailers to fill opening high priority E7-E9 sea duty billets using their authorized transfer window in conjunction with the candidate's current length of time on shore, recent advancement, fleet experience, and Navy Enlisted Classifications.

"When the CPO Early Return to Sea initiative was implemented, we were focused very hard on improving the "Supervisor" (E7-E9) manning at sea. However, we know that 'journeymen' requirements are also important, particularly within the technical (NEC) skills. With this initiative we are trying to create a more holistic improvement in sea duty manning by expanding this initiative to E4-E9 Sailors," said Dodge.

Navy detailers now will have increased flexibility in filling anticipated fleet vacancies on time with a fully trained and qualified relief, according to NAVADMIN 058/14. This is one more tool to ensure proper manning of the fleet for all Sailors.

For more information about the programs available, talk to a command career counselor or visit www.npc.navy.mil.