Years in Navy after graduating from the Naval Academy

Seeking Knowledge

10-Year Member
Oct 25, 2008
Just curious...After graduating from the Naval Academy approx what percent of graduates stay in the Navy/Marines for the minimum time requirement? vs. stay for 20 years? vs. stay for 30 years? Are there statistics out there for this? I was asked this question from a relative and realized I'd never come across this info... Thanks in advance.
Okay, I would say huge majority stays for the minimum requirement (5 years) since it is an obligation. They are only excused if NPQ (not physically qualified due to a medical condition that appears after graduation or close to it). I am pretty sure the 5 years is mandatory (to pay the Navy back for the free education!). The other answers varies with political climate and who is in the White House. The percentage that stays in the Navy/Marines as a career changes from class to class.
I'm sure there are statistics but don't know where they might be found. However, it's important to realize that, while some generalizations can be made, a variety of factors can influence retention. Some of those that have come into play in the 25 yrs :)eek:) since I was a mid . . .

Length of deployments
Planned drawdowns (and incentives to leave early)
Incentive pay to stay in
Civilian job market
Opportunities for command and/or flag rank
More working spouses (and issues with co-location)
View of military service

So, the numbers for today in terms of who stays for 20 and 30 years may have absolutely nothing with the situation for current USNA classes come 2-3 decades from now.

Also, it's important to understand that the ability to stay for 20 or 30 years is only partly yours. You must successfully promote to certain ranks to stay 20and 30 years, respectively. Also the rules for being able to "retire early" (i.e., with fewer than 20 yrs but with limited benefits) also change over time.