In NAVADMIN 293/10, the Navy changed the focus of the Submarine Service Incentive Pay (SSIP) Program. The previous requirements can be downloaded from here; here's an explanation of the changes. Excerpt:
After a careful review of the SSIP program, retention trends, and Submarine Force manpower requirements, the Navy determined that an adjustment to the program was required to target a different officer demographic. The goal now is to improve retention of Commanding Officer Submarine Support (COSS) personnel between 20 years of service and 25 years of commissioned service, which ultimately improves the overall health of the submarine force.It used to be that SSIP was for O-4 through O-6, so it basically looks like they're taking it from being available for XOSS types and limiting it to be available only to COSS-screened officers.
"These officers are in extremely high demand in the private sector and we must be able to compete to retain them -- not just for their knowledge, but the leadership they bring to the submarine community," said Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, chief of naval personnel.
Although COSS personnel are no longer qualified for nuclear duty, they possess extensive experience in submarine operations and can continue to provide valuable submarine support functions both at sea and ashore.
New SSIP contract rates have been targeted with contract awards at $15,000 for one year, $20,000 annually for two years and $25,000 annually for three years.
To be eligible for the SSIP, applicants must possess the 1120 designator, must currently serve in pay grades O-5/6, be worldwide assignable, and must be previously nuclear trained and screened for COSS, among other qualifications. Those officers currently under an SSIP contract, who do not meet the new eligibility requirements, will have their contracts honored but will be ineligible for new contracts.
When I got medically disqualified from submarines as an XO-screened officer, I was kind of surprised to find that I wasn't eligible for SSIP; it seemed to me that having asthma wouldn't remove all the knowledge I had that the submarine force seemed to need only a few short weeks before. I kind of understood the rationale that they didn't want to reward people who shopped for a medical disqual because they didn't want to go out on submarines anymore. Still, I was a little pissed off to see some of the idiots (my opinion, not based by actual facts) who were collecting SSIP while I wasn't. Since I was retiring soon anyway, I didn't think much about it otherwise.
What do you think? Is it a good change? Or should they get rid of the program entirely?