Navy Decreases Personnel Shortage

It looks like the Navy's chronic under-manning problem is nearing it's conclusion.

In an interview with Rear Adm. David Steindl, head of Navy Personnel Command, the Navy's personnel shortage is down from almost 13,000 two years ago to about 2,500 currently. According to Steindl, this means 98.2% of the billets at sea are filled, and the "fit" - the number billets that have sailors with the right seniority and Navy Enlisted Classifications - is at 91.7%.

Years of drawdowns caused the Navy to reduce its personnel number too low, as Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, the chief of naval personnel admitted in a 2012 interview. In that year the Navy had cut down the number of sailors 317,600. Currently the Navy has 325,000 sailors.

Two financial benefits given to sailors at sea have helped increase the billet percentage. Sea incentive pay, which gives an extra $500-$1,000 per month that sailors increase their sea duty (or end their shore duty early), and hardship duty pay-tempo (HDP-T) which gives extra pay for every day at sea over 220 days.