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Boosting sea pay: First raise in 13 years to start this summer

Mar. 16, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Sailors and Marines guide an EA-18G Growler
Marines and sailors guide an EA-18G Growler with Electronic Attack Squadron 130 onto a catapault on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman. Marines who go to sea will soon get a bump in pay. (MC3 Karl Anderson/Navy)
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It’s official: Many Marines who go to sea will soon get a pay raise.

The Navy is hiking most career sea pay rates by 25 percent this summer, the first such boost in more than a decade — and only the second in nearly 30 years.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered the pay increase for sailors and Marines on March 4

“This increase is long overdue and is meant to reward our sailors and Marines for their continued sacrifices as part of ‘America’s Away Team.’ ” Mabus said in a March 4 news release. “This change to career sea pay will both improve critical sea-duty manning and reward those who take these challenging seagoing assignments.”

Marines eligible for the pay include, but are not limited to, those on a Marine expeditionary unit pump or Marine pilots and maintainers assigned to an aircraft carrier.

As of March 6, a total of 4,685 Marines were receiving career sea pay, according to Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs officials. That included 4,272 enlisted Marines and 413 officers. All but four were active-duty Marines.

The 25 percent rate hike is aimed to catch up sea pay with inflation, which officials say has eroded the buying power of the current sea pay, unchanged since Oct. 1, 2001. The hike is expected to cost the Navy $66 million per year.

The service also boosted the career sea pay premium, a kicker payment some sailors and Marines begin receiving after 36 consecutive months in a sea duty billet. This monthly premium will double from an extra $100 each month to $200. Only three Marines were receiving the premium as of March 6, manpower officials said.

When it starts

The exact schedule for when the new rates will be paid out hasn’t been locked in, as officials work on the details. But it could be just a few months away.

The raise was announced in tandem with the unveiling of the fiscal 2015 budget request — which includes funding for the pay for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Officials think they can start paying it before then — as early as June and no later than July, if all goes according to plan, sources told Marine Corps Times.

“Pending final coordination with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, it is expected that the new CSP and CSP-P rates will take effect early this summer,” the Navy release said. “An announcement on the exact date is forthcoming.”

Both types of career sea pay are given in addition to Marines or sailors’ normal base pay and any other specialty pays for which they’re eligible.

By law, career sea pay and the sea pay premium can’t exceed $750 and $350, respectively. Under the 2001 tables now in effect, no one gets the maximum levels of sea pay — though that will change for some sailors.

New sea pay rates

Career sea pay rates are based on your paygrade and your cumulative sea time, which starts when you report to a sea duty billet. The existing rates are shown beneath the new rates for each paygrade, set to take effect later this year.

Years of sea duty
Paygrade <1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 20
COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
O-6 100 135 135 394 400 400 419 450 463 494 506 525 544 544 569 594 625 669
100 100 100 315 320 320 335 360 370 395 405 420 435 435 455 475 500 535
O-5 100 135 135 394 394 394 394 400 431 438 456 463 463 463 500 525 550 594
100 100 100 315 315 315 315 320 345 350 365 370 370 370 400 420 440 475
O-4 100 135 135 325 331 350 356 375 388 388 394 394 419 419 475 494 506 525
100 100 100 260 265 280 285 300 310 310 315 315 335 335 380 395 405 420
O-3 100 135 135 263 281 325 331 344 356 375 394 394 419 419 456 475 494 506
100 100 100 210 225 260 265 275 285 300 315 315 335 335 365 380 395 405
O-2 100 135 135 263 281 325 331 344 356 375 394 394 419 419 438 456 475 494
100 100 100 210 225 260 265 275 285 300 315 315 335 335 350 365 380 395
O-1 100 135 135 263 281 325 331 344 356 375 394 394 419 419 438 456 475 494
100 100 100 210 225 260 265 275 285 300 315 315 335 335 350 365 380 395
WARRANT OFFICERS
W-5 210 210 210 263 300 506 544 544 544 544 613 656 700 700 750 750 750 750
210 210 210 210 240 405 435 435 435 435 490 525 560 560 630 630 700 700
W-4 210 210 210 263 300 506 544 544 544 544 613 656 700 700 750 750 750 750
210 210 210 210 240 405 435 435 435 435 490 525 560 560 630 630 700 700
W-3 210 210 210 263 300 475 494 500 506 544 613 656 700 700 744 744 750 750
210 210 210 210 240 380 395 400 405 435 490 525 560 560 595 595 630 630
W-2 210 210 210 263 300 456 463 463 475 544 594 594 656 656 700 700 700 700
210 210 210 210 240 365 370 370 380 435 475 475 525 525 560 560 560 560
W-1 180 190 195 263 300 306 350 438 475 525 569 569 594 594 631 656 656 656
180 190 195 210 240 245 280 350 380 420 455 455 475 475 505 525 525 525
ENLISTED MEMBERS
E-9 135 135 160 381 400 438 438 469 688 700 700 713 725 750 750 750 750 750
135 135 160 305 320 350 350 375 490 500 500 510 520 550 575 620 620 620
E-8 135 135 160 381 400 438 438 469 688 700 700 713 725 750 750 750 750 750
135 135 160 305 320 350 350 375 490 500 500 510 520 550 575 600 620 620
E-7 135 135 160 381 400 438 438 469 688 700 700 713 725 750 750 750 750 750
135 135 160 305 320 350 350 375 490 500 500 510 520 550 575 600 600 600
E-6 135 135 160 350 375 394 406 438 638 656 656 656 675 694 713 731 750 750
135 135 160 280 300 315 325 350 450 465 465 465 480 495 510 525 550 550
E-5 70 80 160 350 375 394 406 438 638 638 638 638 638 638 638 638 638 638
70 80 160 280 300 315 325 350 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450
E-4 70 80 160 350 363 363 363 363 488 488 488 488 488 488 488 488 488 488
70 80 160 280 290 290 290 290 390 390 390 390 390 390 390 390 390 390
E-3 50 60 100 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125 125
50 60 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
E-2 50 60 75 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94 94
50 60 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75
E-1 50 50 50 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 63
50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50

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