Enlistment bonus not being paid?

Discussion in 'Service Academy Preparatory Schools' started by ET3toMid, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. ET3toMid

    ET3toMid Member

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    I am currently about to graduate NAPS.

    A fight I've been having with admin all year is the payment of an enlistment bonus the Nuclear power program pays you upon graduation from power school. This is about $3,000, and in my enlistment contract says it is to be paid "upon completion of nuclear power school". That is a lot of money to a 21 year old.

    I have tried everything from PSD to YN3, but recently just got back word that "Per PSD Charleston you are not entitled to the Enlistment bonus because you were given an appointment prior to the completion of your initial training. " My argument with that is that I am on record as graduating Nuke School Dec 2015, and didn't accept my appointment to naps until the following February.

    Priors, Nukes, Officers, am I making a bigger deal than need be? Have I hit a dead end? I'm torn between feeling guilty about "throwing in the towel" and feeling greedy for begging for a bonus.
     
  2. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    @ET3toMid When you brought your paperwork with you and met with the legal officer on your installation, what did he or she tell you? You aren't being greedy--you are trying to hold the government to its commitment to your completed effort.
     
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  3. ET3toMid

    ET3toMid Member

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    It was one of those situations that they hadn't seen before because the bonus is normally paid out as the nukes transfer to the next command, but I was put on hold after graduating training until I got orders to Naps. The only "legal officer" we have is an E-4 (same ranks as me), but apparently this went all the way up the chain, and that was their ruling. It just seems like if I could talk to someone higher up myself I could explain things to them the way forms can't.
     
  4. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Do you have access to a legal officer at your current post? (You are at NAPS, right? So you should.)
    You will want to walk down to the office, paperwork in hand, sign up for a meeting with one of the JAGs and see what they can do to assist you.
    It is worth one last look before you embark on USNA--no doubt you already know that life as a plebe will be busy enough that you don't want this nipping at your mind.
     
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  5. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Agree with @DrMom.

    Have you kept copies of all your enlistment paperwork? The fact that you have heard a response from PSD Charleston means they (PSD Newport) tried to consult with the PSD that served Power School for guidance. You might not get the final answer that you hope to hear before you leave NAPS, which based on what you posted above seems to me you are entitled to. Hold on to all your paperwork (your original contract and all addendums) and see the Midshipmen Disbursing Officer in Rotunda 2nd Deck, Office C209 AFTER Plebe Summer. Ask to see him directly and not the clerks.
     
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  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    @ET3toMid

    Have you contacted Base Legal Services at NAVSTA Newport and asked for an appointment with a JAG?

    https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/c...nant_commands/naval_legal_service_office.html

    I'm of two minds on this. Your contract is written one way, and on the face of it, you may appear to meet the criteria. But - there could be policy you are not aware of that covers the payment of bonuses, which are usually vehicles to reward those at a certain point in order to retain them and gain the payback of time served in that specialty. The nuclear Navy will get nothing in the way of enlisted nuclear service from you if they pay you the bonus, no return on their investment. And, they are losing all investment in you up to this point, and have lost talent from their junior enlisted pipeline. Big Navy, of course, is allowing you to head off to USNA and the higher-paying career track. It could be seen as having cake and eating it too.

    I think it is worth worth a try, though, to ask a JAG to make some calls to clarify the decision. If it's no, look at the big picture - you will make up that money and more with a USNA degree and commissioned officer pay. It's an opportunity cost. And - have you looked at the pay tables - do you have enough enlisted time that you will have O-1 over two pay vs. O-1 under two?
     
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  7. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Agree with CAPT. Ask specifically to see the verbiage in the argument against the payment.

    It might have not crossed your mind, but by executing this inquiry with research, you are already heads and shoulders above your fellow JOs in handling your Sailors' issues.
     
  8. ET3toMid

    ET3toMid Member

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    Thank you for the advice and support so far.
    -Yes, I've kept hard and digital copies of everything so there's always a chance.
    -Yes sir. I understand the merit of "having the cake and eating it too", but my reply is that it was an ENLISTMENT bonus, and I did in fact enlist. Also, if I hypothetically were to DQ etc from USNA, they wouldn't wait a minute to remind me that I am still in fact enlisted.
    -Thank you again, I wish I were that noble. It's not in me to let something like this go. It was the same way in my application to USNA, I had to make people care about my paperwork and plead my case to countless khakis.

    It might come down the fact that the admissions board offered me an appointment to NAPS 1 week before power school graduation, but I didn't accept until after the New Year.

    Thank you for the support, this is a great community.
     
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  9. ET3toMid

    ET3toMid Member

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    Wouldn't I already be discharged (DD214) in order to be a midshipman and this would then be moot? Sorry if I am ignorant of the process.
     
  10. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    It could be that technical. Let your inquiry run its course.
    This is exactly why we say the path to USNA after enlisting first is definitely not straight nor smooth. At the same time, I don't want someone asking for handholding and do what he/she is told if they think they have what it takes to become a commissioned officer and lead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  11. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Aren't you supposed to receive orders from NAPS to USNA, to report NLT I Day minus one? I don't believe you will be discharged and getting a DD214. Others please correct me if I am wrong. (I have no direct experience with NAPS.)

    On a separate note, what you are entitled has nothing to do with receiving a DD214 or not. You don't think the Navy/Govt will stop coming after you if you owe money, do you? ;)
     
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  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    I received a DD-214 discharging me from OCS dated the day before my commissioning. OCS status was OCUI-2, paygrade E-5. I was always under the impression the prior enlisted coming via NAPS or direct received a DD-214 dated the day before their I-Day. May or may not be a factor.

    Keep pressing until you get the definitive answer.
     
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  13. ETN3 RO

    ETN3 RO New Member

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    This may be late and you may have already received and answer, but if they were to treat things the way they do now, the enlistment bonus will not be given to you as you did not become an enlisted nuclear sailor. Any enlisted sailor in prototype actually ends up having to give back that bonus if they fail to pass the program. So I believe you more than likely fall into the category or not completing the entire pipeline and therefore would have had it revoked anyway, so it was just never issued.
     
  14. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    I'm a day late , dollar short to this one ... as OP is probably in the midst of Plebe summer, but if he gets online at the end of the Plebe Summer or someone else has the issue, here is my $.02 : First, OP may have been presenting this wrong -- he did not receive an "Appointment" to NAPS, he received "Orders" to NAPS. By using the term "Appointment", PSD could be confusing his status and misinterpreting regs . Fleet to NAPS to USNA is not an everyday , common occurence, and and the PN/YN don't necessarily understand the distinction, but it could be significant. By taking taking orders to NAPS rather than an appointment to USNA, he is really in the same boat as someone who is getting orders to another school enroute to his first command. Prior enlisted (including those who went to NAPS from high school) are not discharged from enlisted status until I-day. It is not until OP successfully completes NAPS that he gets an "appointment" to USNA. Of course, the distinction may be moot if the regs implementing the bonus refer to " entering an officer accession program" rather than "appointment to USNA." The devil is in the details and fine print, both in the enlistment contract and the regulations implementing the program. (If the Enlistment contract is drafted well, it will implement the appropriate regulations by reference). I also agree with the suggestion that you talk with Base Legal Services , but with the caveat that in situations like this, you have to go in prepared to explain and present your case. Like dealing with PSD, this is not something that young JAG officers deal with frequently, and many young JAG officers wouldn't understand some fo the fine nuances of terms like appointment. (As legal officer in my squadron , I once had to teach a young JAG LT how a leave chit worked; JAG's go through a very short Navy indoc program and get sent out to bases to work their wonder - they are typically fresh out of law school, with little practical or military experience).

    > I have mixed feelings on the whole question. As CAPT MJ points out, the purpose of the program is to produce nuclear power trained troops to the fleet, and that purpose wasn't fulfilled. One could argue that forfeiting the bonus was the quid pro quo for allowing OP to terminate his enlistment contract to pursue NAPS/USNA. That being said, this scenario has to come up from time to time (my NAPS roommate was a Nuke trained ET 30+ years ago), so I would expect that Big Navy would have been able to address this in the enlistment contract by now. It's easy enough enough to make the bonus payment conditioned upon completing Nuke school, qualifying on the platform, and serving a fixed period to ensure that the Navy get's its return on the investment.