Peace Time: July 3, 2003

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The U.S. Navy has a lot of unpleasant duty assignments. Although sailors can be ordered to these undesirable sea or land based assignment, the sailors get their revenge by not re-enlisting, and the navy takes a major financial hit when they have to recruit and train replacements. Currently, the navy, inspired by the success of Internet auction site eBay, has set up a bidding system to get sailors to volunteer for three unpopular shore bases (Misawas Naval Air Facility in northern Japan, Naples, Italy, and Sigonella, Sicily.) These are all three year assignments and it's always been hard to get sailors to go there voluntarily. The new system gets sailors to volunteer by "bidding" the amount of extra pay ($150 to $450) they would want per month to go to the hardship posts. Those with the lowest bids and best qualifications get the job. So far, the system seems to be working and may be expanded.

 


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