February 11th, 2009

Advertising copy? Sure, why not?

Are you spending this Valentine's Day alone and hating it? Well, forget the bar scene, and screw that Q105 party. Come on down to the Navy Exchange package store and treat yourself. For just $24.99, you can walk out with one and three-quarter liters of Absolut Vodka...it's Sweden's finest! You get the alcohol content of over forty bottles of Boston Lager - and in a single, easy-to-handle container. In this tough economy, it's important to save any way you can - and that includes saving on your alcoholism. Stop by the commissary and pick up some orange juice, and you'll be set to punch yourself a one-way ticket to Liquorland on Saturday.

So come on down to the package store, and get ready to forget that you're snuggling with your pillow this weekend. We're open seven days a week...that's right, even Sunday. Nobody else in Connecticut can say that - 'cause it's against the law! Absolut, the package store, and you...an unstoppable combination!

Boston Lager comparison based on its 4.9% abv value. Absolut = 80 proof = 40%. This is intended for humor only; the author encourages you to drink in moderation, even if he doesn't always do so.

Limited time offer! ACT NOW, before it's too late!

The subject line is the very message the Nuclear Navy transmitted to the fleet at 7:46 p.m. Eastern time on Monday night. In NAVADMIN 050/09, Code Zero-Eight, by way of the CNO, is signaling something that made even my cynical eyes pop - "we're so desperate, we'll even let the electricians partake of a good deal." Behind the cut below, I give a crash course in the calculation of Selective Re-enlistment Bonuses (SRBs).

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We focus tonight on the category pertaining to myself and my closest comrades - submarine nukes in Zone A (less than six years in service), without supervisory qualification. The award levels - first prior to the new message, and those in effect for the next three months:
Specialty / (NEC)Multiple
RC / (3353)10.5 / 12.0
E / (3354)5.0 / 8.0
M / (3355)9.0 / 12.0
RL / (3356)9.5 / 12.0
In addition to these multiple changes, the cap for first-term electricians rises to $90K (from $60K), matching the cap of the other nuclear rates.

The new message out calls this "a unique opportunity for our most critical nuclear skills" (no pun intended by the brass, I hope). I call it "a Hail Mary, from a field that is hemorrhaging personnel even in the face of a terrible economic climate." These incentives are only in effect for three months; the multiples drop back to their previous multiples no later than 11 May. But that's beside the point. The relevant factor is that the monetary value is rising - or if you reach the cap, the required time extension is falling - in such a dramatic fashion. On first glance, this does seem to comport with the general Federal mentality these days (and by "these days," I mean "of the Obama administration") - spend, spend, spend. Despite that, there must be something more fundamental at work. And, you know what? I think there is. In fact, I'm fairly certain I've mentioned it here. More than once, to be sure. If you require more evidence, I can provide.

I've made my point clear, I hope. My personal circumstances are completely unaffected by this new message, as my time is so short. Not only that, this increase in the multiple doesn't effect the time I'd need to obligate to get decent shore orders. Irrespective of my personal circumstance, the mere fact that the Navy has taken this action is evidence enough that by separating, I am on the right track...