January 16, 2006
Flight officers can get $125K in bonuses
By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer
The Navy still needs naval flight officers, especially those eligible for department head tours — and they’re prepared to pay $125,000 to prove it.
Effective immediately, all qualified NFOs will get a $10,000 raise in their annual Aviation Officer Continuation Pay, bringing their annual entitlement to $25,000 and their maximum five-year payout up to $125,000.
The increase for NFOs is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2005, and brings flight officer bonuses on par with those of naval aviators, whose annual payout remains $25,000.
“This pay is for those O-4s to O-6s who take the tough sea-duty jobs,” said Capt. Mark Guadagnini, head aviation officer detailer and community manager at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.
Those jobs, he said, are the non-flying department head billets onboard aircraft carriers and large-deck amphibious ships such as operations officer or air boss.
Each year, he said, the service needs to entice 340 lieutenant commanders to commit to stay in uniform in order to fill these department head tours.
“Annually, we usually fill about 75 percent of what we need in these control grades,” he said.
But personnel forecasters are concerned that increased requirements for joint duty tours among the officer corps may be bleeding too many officers from the pool of eligible applicants.
Having enough department-head-eligible aviation officers to serve now and in the future will be a challenge, they say. “The pool for the department head jobs included both [pilots] and flight officers, and we want to have a good mix from both communities filling these jobs,” Guadagnini said. “So the reason for the increase is the same for paying any bonus — targeted retention of quality officers to fill these sea duty jobs.”
No other changes were made in the basic continuation pay program, he said.
Officers can apply for the bonus up to a year before they complete their current active-duty obligation; that means anyone whose obligation ends in fiscal 2006 or 2007 is eligible.
As with any continuation pay, officers normally collect half the amount, $62,500, up front and receive the rest in annual chunks, spread over the remainder of their obligation.
In addition, short-term bonuses for senior officers have been simplified this fiscal year, going from five separate programs down to two.
“Though we’ve simplified the program, the payout hasn’t changed and is still $15,000 a year for these jobs,” he said.
“In short, there’s now one bonus for squadron COs and XOs and another for major command COs as well.”
More information is available on the aviation officer community manager’s Web site at www.npc.navy.mil/Officer/Aviation/OCM/ACCP.
Supply and Demand.
Good for them. You have skills, you get paid. Or you find a place that will pay for the skills.
Those bonuses are fine by me.
I thought I was doing good with the $75k over the next 5 years.
They deserve more.