The US Navy — a lot of eager young people are keen on being part of this distinguished group of men and women despite the hardship that everyone will undoubtedly undergo in order to stay. But just like any other organization, the Navy would like to keep only the best, and only those that they need – but it is so attractive as an organization, that once people get in, most of them would not want to leave.
New sailors who enlist in the Navy are usually accepted for his or her first term with a contract that runs up to four years. Once those four years are up, the Navy only expects half to enlist for a second term – but fat chance, recently, about 62% of first-time enlistments sign up for another term. The Navy is just too good to pass on or give up.
It is just as well, though, because those who are re-enlisting for the first time are skilled enough to move on to other things within the Navy, and yet still young and trainable to occupy new positions and handle new responsibilities. Those who have been in service for a long time are normally in jobs that are obsolete, and they are generally more expensive to keep. The number of people who are choosing to stay has allowed the Navy to cut down on re-enlistment bonuses while at the same time raising the performance standard.
However, the Navy has to face the fact that at 332,000 strong, they simply have too many people. They would like to reduce that by 6,000 people over the next couple of years. There also seems to be an allocation problem, as despite the seeming population explosion, there is still a gaping shortage among special operations teams – basically, there is always a need for more Navy SEALs and people to support them.
With a recession going on, people are definitely not willing to let go of jobs they do have, especially a job in a stable organization such as the Navy. And due to its extraordinary needs and standards, a booming Navy population still cannot supply much needed SEALs. So which way will the wind blow? Only time will tell.