CSRB Media Statement by HC120306164915


									      The Naval Special Warfare Enlisted and CWO Critical Skills Retention Bonus

        The use of a Critical Skills Retention Bonus (CSRB) was established under US law to
provide retention incentives for Critical Military Specialty areas. Due to a shortage in senior
NSW operators, in December 2004 the Secretary of Defense designated SEALs as a critical skill
and implemented a CSRB program for Special Warfare service members. At the time of its
design and original implementation, the CSRB could only be paid to members who had not
reached their 25th year of service (YOS). The SEAL community had a requirement to increase
retention of our most experienced retirement eligible operators (those over 25 YOS) so the Navy
authorized using assignment incentive pay (known as SOCOM AIP) for all SEALs who were
between their 25th and 30th YOS.

        These 2 incentive programs have been successful in increasing the total number of
retirement eligible NSW operators whom continue to serve on active duty. These programs have
helped to shift the average retirement point of a NSW operator three years to the right. While 3
years may not seem like it would
make a difference, the numbers
don’t lie. In 2004 there were a
total of 157 retirement eligible
enlisted operators in the NSW
(SEAL/SWCC) force. With the
CSRB, that number has increased
by 130%. The end result is that
there are an additional 220 NSW
Operators in the force today when
compared to 2004 numbers.
These men are teaching, leading
and mentoring the future of NSW.

       While these tools have been effective, they were not optimized to best benefit the
Operator, the NSW Community or the Navy.

                         Old NSW CWO and Enlisted CSRB rates
                                   $150,000 for a 6 year contract
                                   $75,000 for a 5 year contract
                                   $50,000 for a 4 year contract
                                   $30,000 for a 3 year contract
                                   $18,000 for a 2 year contract
                                   $8,000 for a 1 year contract

       The old CSRB had a pay structure which, in most cases, forced the operator into an all-
or-nothing decision at their 19 year mark. The severe drop from $150K to $75K from a 6 year to
a 5 year program could never be recovered from. “We had operators who would sign a 3 year
contract at 19 YOS, then an additional 3 year contract at 22 YOS and receive a total of $60K for
serving 6 years. In this case the operator would miss out on $70K of bonus.” Reports SOCM Jim
Sullivan the SEAL Enlisted Community Advisor.

        Additional constraints were also forthcoming from a Navy policy perspective. If an
Operator was an E7 at their 19th YOS, the old CSRB could only be maximized ($150K for 6
years) if he was awarded a high year tenure waiver (HYT) to allow for a 6 year contract. SBCS
Freddy Wienbeck the SWCC Enlisted Community ECM stated, “HYT extension requests for an
E7 who is still 5 years from his 25th YOS do not meet the current policy guidelines. We would
be forced to only allow 5 year contracts from NSW Chiefs. Under the old CSRB, the Operator
would lose $75K because he was not granted HYT.”

       “We needed to restructure the program.” CDR Bart Randall, NSW ECM, continues,
“Our Operators were losing money but still doing the time. The new CSRB gives authority for
early reenlistments, combining enlistments with extensions and most importantly it rewards
Operators who serve in their career milestone tours and advance.”

       The current use of AIP to incentivize SEAL operators staying past 25 YOS was also
exceeding its design. Assignment Incentive Pay was created to attract sailors to specific
commands which are traditionally tough to man. By using AIP for all SEALs over 25 YOS, the
community managers are not able to use that incentive for “hard fill” billets or UICs. CDR
Randall adds, “In 2004, the Enlisted Community Managers used the tools they had at that time to
try and improve retention. AIP was a suitable stop-gap until the laws could be changed to pay
CSRB past an Operators 25 year.”

                          New NSW CWO and Enlisted CSRB rates
                  Phase ONE max: $100K for serving 19 through 24 YOS (5 years)
                  Phase TWO max: $60K for serving 25 thorough 26 YOS (2 years)
                  Phase THREE max: $48K for serving 27 thorough 29 YOS (4 years)

                  Phase ONE                        Phase TWO                   Phase THREE
              SO/SB E7/8/9, CWO                 SO/SB E8/9, CWO             SO E9, SEAL CWO
19 YOS   20 YOS    21 YOS    22 YOS   23 YOS   24 YOS     25 YOS   26 YOS   27 YOS    28 YOS   29 YOS
$10K     $15K      $20K      $25K     $30K     $30K       $30K     $12K     $12K      $12K     $12K

       The new NSW CSRB system will pay NSW operators a fixed amount per year of service.
If he chooses to serve a partial year, then that year will be pro-rated as per that year’s bonus
amount. NAVADMIN XX/11 articulates the detailed rules of engagement for the new NSW
CSRB. SO/SB E7s have an opportunity for $100k, SO/SB E8s have an opportunity for $160k
and both SO E9s and CWOs can earn up to $200K in CSRB cash. SBCS Wienbeck, “This is
good news for the Operators and the NSW community. Now our men can get the bonus for the
time that they contract to up front. Additionally, if you are in a combat zone, it will be tax free.
The old AIP program did not allow for up-front tax free cash”.

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