The U.S. Navy recently released additional guidance for the Voluntary Sea Duty Program (VSDP) which will provide incentives to Sailors who extend at sea or return to sea duty early.
Navy officials expressed confidence that the program will encourage highly trained and motivated Sailors to voluntarily extend their enlistment in their current sea duty billet beyond their prescribed sea tour. It will also offer Sailors the opportunity to terminate shore duty and accept new orders to a sea duty billet, or to accept back-to-back sea duty orders beyond their prescribed sea/shore flow.
Capt. Kent Miller, director, Enlisted Distribution Division, Navy Personnel Command (NPC), said “This program allows Sailors and their families to stay in their same duty location or relocate to a duty location of their choice. Applicants may also be eligible to defer Perform-to-Serve (PTS), providing an opportunity to enhance their record with operational duty.”
Among the updates are as follows:
* Sailors in the PTS eligibility window who wish to apply for VSDP must have their VSDP application submitted for consideration no later than the last day of the month, two months prior to their final PTS application.
* VSDP orders will not be cancelled for Sailors who subsequently receive a PTS quota after VSDP orders have been negotiated.
* Sailors on shore duty must submit their VSDP request no later than 12 months prior to their projected rotation date.
* VSDP requests for Sailors who have completed less than 24 months on their current shore tour will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on orders requested and current command manning.
* Sailors serving overseas, or in a DoD-area tour, can request to extend their current sea tour, curtail their current shore tour if they remain in the same geographical area, or request back-to-back sea duty in any area of their choice with a valid billet. Consecutive Overseas Tour requirements may apply.
The program, announced in January, will not affect eligibility or benefits for the Sea Duty Incentive Pay, which provides eligible Sailors an additional $500 to $1,000 a month for extending their sea tour or returning to sea duty early. Sailors may choose to take advantage of both programs concurrently.