ABOARD USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- Reenlisting in the Navy is an important milestone in Sailors' careers. Making decisions to add years of patriotic service for their country, Sailors are reenlisting to continue their duty to keep America safe, and the Navy is rewarding them for their sacrifice.
During a standing-room only reenlistment ceremony July 18, 13 Sailors from USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Reactor Department chose to "Stay Navy" by extending their original contracts for two years and accepting the added responsibility of a higher rank.
The Navy rewarded their commitment by dividing generous selective reenlistment bonuses (SRB) totaling just over a half-million dollars.
Sailors received bonuses of about $34,000 each. Half of the SRB will be paid up front and the rest given in five yearly installments, said Chief Electricians Mate (SW) Stephen Heffler, Reactor Department's career counselor.
"We don't pay these guys enough for the job they do," said Reactor Officer, Capt. Craig Kleint, who reenlisted the Sailors. "The SRB checks are just a little bit."
In addition to the bonuses, the Sailors were advanced from E-4 to E-5, because they were in the Selective Training and Reenlistment (STAR) program.
Heffler said the nuclear personnel met the requirements for the STAR program by having at least 21 months of continuous active service and by demonstrating above-average performance.
The program allowed the Sailors to re-sign for six years and cancel their previous 24-month extensions, avoiding a combined 12-year term.
Wearing new 2nd class petty officer chevrons, the reenlisted Sailors stood proud and ready to serve.
"I did it because I love the Navy," said Electricians Mate 2nd Class Seneca Bischoff.
The benefit of these reenlistments doesn't stop with the Sailors. Through this deal, the Navy is receiving roughly 26 more years combined service from highly qualified Sailors who play a vital role aboard Carl Vinson.
Nuclear Sailors secure an essential position by ensuring mission necessities, such as ship's propulsion, fresh-water availability and steam for flight deck catapults, said newly reenlisted Machinist Mate 2nd Class David Jingst.
The evening's cake-cutting ceremony mirrored the type of atmosphere felt throughout Carl Vinson's deckplates.
"(The ceremony) validates the positive command climate and strong command structure on board Carl Vinson," said Heffler. "Showing that even with adversities and hard times, people are willing to continue to commit themselves to the Carl Vinson team and to the Navy."
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed in the western Pacific as part of America's standing commitment to maintain peace, stability, and theater security coordination in cooperation with allies and friends in the region.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.