EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) achieved a milestone by making the Navy's Retention Honor Roll fourth quarter fiscal year and received the Retention Excellence Award Nov. 19 for the first time in five years.
Commands must have 48 percent or more of their first-term Sailors reenlist to get the award for retention excellence. Last quarter, 61.9 percent of Lincoln's reenlistments were by first-term Sailors. In the quarter before that, 65.6 percent were first term, said Senior Chief Navy Counselor (AW/SW) Dena Scott, of Littleton, Colo.
"We have a very proactive career development team," Scott said. "They ensure Sailors receive career development boards along with the proper tools and information to make an informed decision about staying Navy."
Commands that receive the retention honor roll for the quarter are allowed to fly the honor roll pennant for the next quarter; those that receive retention excellence may fly the pennant for a year and can paint their anchors gold.
Incentives for Sailors, such as educational benefits and selective reenlistment bonuses (SRB), were major contributions to Lincoln receiving the award.
Depending on the award level for a given rating and Navy enlisted classification (NEC) code, Sailors can receive an SRB from $5,000 to as much as $100,000 for reenlisting.
Lincoln Sailors received nearly $2.5 million this past quarter in combined SRBs. Sailors who reenlisted the quarter before that raked in more than $1.7 million, bringing the grand total to roughly $4.2 million.
Although incentives often make the decision to stay Navy that much easier, some continue to serve simply because they like what they do and the people with whom they work. Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Eric Schmidt, Lincoln's command master chief, said a command's ability to retain its talented personnel is a direct reflection of morale.
"If morale is high, retention is high. If morale is low, retention is low," Schmidt said. "The fact that this command hadn't earned the recognition several years is an indicator of just how far we have come. Bravo Zulu to the command career counselors for their great work."
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.