Leadership: January 6, 2004

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Two U.S. navy carriers won a recruiting award last year, by keeping over 86 percent of their sailors in the navy.  This meant reenlisting at least 56 percent of sailors with less than six years of service, 73 percent of those with six to 10 years of service, and 86 percent of those with more than 10 years of service. This despite unusually long cruises to war zones in the Persian Gulf. One of the two carriers, the USS Enterprise, did this by aggressively using new navy programs that offer new training or shore assignments for sailors that will re-enlist. Another incentive is cash bonuses. These are as high as $60,000, and many Enterprise sailors shared in $5.5 million in such bonuses last year. Each carrier carrier holds nearly 6,000 sailors. Years ago, the navy did the math and calculated that it was often cheaper to offer high bonuses to sailors with key technical and managerial skills, than it was to recruit and train a replacement. 

 


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