Navy Enlistment and Commissioning
Before making a decision about joining the United States Navy, there are some basic things you should know. First, people from all walks of life enter the armed forces and do very well, and second, there is not a single "type" of individual who excels over another.
Like any other job, you get up and you go to work, and you're accountable for your actions; you are expected to follow the laws of our country and the laws of the countries you will visit. You will have numerous opportunities for travel, and will be expected to represent yourself, the Navy, and your country with pride and decorum.
Joining the Navy
With the nation's economy improving, combined with the current move to bolster our forces, now may be the best time in over a decade to join. The United States Navy's job (Active duty and Reserve) openings are more plentiful and ready to be filled.
To qualify, there are a few hurdles one must clear. First, the basic requirements for joining the Navy; does the applicant meet all of the minimum standards such as the age, education, height and weight, and the "right" score on the ASVAB test to join?
Does the applicant meet the physical requirements? An applicant's medical history will be reviewed prior to and during an extensive physical that will be completed at the local Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
Does the applicant meet the moral standard? The entire police, court, and illicit drug use history will be reviewed to ensure that any underlying issues with one's moral character are not likely to become disciplinary cases or security risks or who disrupt good order, morale, and discipline.
Navy Officer Program information; the designator specific pages display the current details of each officer program's requirements (age, education, experience, etc.) that are above and beyond that of minimum requirements for a commission.
In the Navy blog, many topics relating to the military and Navy Recruiting are covered. In-depth articles about Navy medical waivers, the education policies, and much more can be found among its pages. Each article is maintained and kept up-to-date when policies change; instead of creating a new post, the old articles are updated to ensure the data is current because it is not advantageous to have numerous pages full of outdated information available on the Web. The blog provides contact information for questions, or you may leave a comment on a post, and a thoroughly researched answer will be returned.
Once you have completed the process of enlistment, and have become a Future Sailor in the Navy Delayed Entry Program, you will learn how to prepare physically for recruit training, learn the General Orders, Navy Ethos, Sailor's Creed, and even learn what you're authorized to bring to Navy boot camp.
Navy Pay and Allowances
So, just how much does a Sailor get paid? Start with the Basic Pay, and then add the various other pays (Sea Pay, Flight Pay, Submarine Pay, etc.) and allowances (Housing, food, etc.) the member may be entitled. Military pay amounts are monthly, and they are distributed on the 1st and 15th day of the month.
Military Basic Pay
Basic pay is the absolute minimum a military member can draw, and it is based on one's pay grade and years in service. Each year since 1963, military basic pay has received statutorily mandated adjustment consideration as dictated in Title 37 of the United States Code (U.S.C.).
The process of establishing a military Basic Pay raise for 2024 began on October 28, 2022 with the release of the Employment Cost Index (ECI) period referred to in U.S.C. Title 37. The ECI percentage is a starting point for the President and Congress. Congress and the President have some latitude to justify an up or down adjustment based on current economic conditions, but normally the original ECI percentage wins the day. And, for 2024, Title 37 once again wins the day with an approved 2024 military pay raise of 5.2 percent to basic pay.
Next up is Fiscal Year 2025 (FY-2025). On October 31, 2023, the ECI figure dictated a 4.5 percent pay raise for 2025. President Biden should be releasing his budget proposal for FY-2025 sometime this Spring, and as with previous years, it would be no surprise if we see another proposal in-line with Title 37. If so, a 2025 military pay raise of 4.5 percent would be in the cards.
An aside, Navy Cyberspace is the most comprehensive resource on the Internet for U.S. military pay history. Covering the years from United States Navy's legislative beginning in 1794 (the Continental Navy was disbanded in 1785) to present day projections, follow how Servicemembers have been and will be compensated. Each pay chart includes references and breakdowns for each raise.
The Navy has cash bonuses available for enlisting into select programs/jobs (the specialties that carry bonuses are normally those that are otherwise difficult to fill), and even has reenlistment bonuses available for select programs and specialties. Those bonuses and other incentives frequently change, and Navy Cyberspace is updated when that occurs.
Wealth of Information
For members of the Active and Reserve forces, Navy CyberSpace offers a number of quick reference pages that include, but are in no way limited to, a directory of widely used Navy publications and instructions, and the addresses, Unit Identification Codes (UIC), and Web links to the 26 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups -- those will assist you in any communication you wish to have with a recruiting station's chain of command. Not to mention a useful conversion chart for military time which you can use to see the required offset in relation to where you are on the planet.
Navy Cyberspace Beginning
Founded on February 16, 2004, by Navy Counselor Master Chief Thomas Goering, USN-Retired, Navy Cyberspace began as a Navy Recruiting Command sponsored prototype that was to delve into methods for reaching Navy applicants who were spending time on the Internet -- specifically, those playing on-line games.
Although no longer officially a part of Navy Recruiting Command, the site continues to be kept up-to-date and relevant by its founder.