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Navy Sets FY22 Retention Benchmarks, Announces Expanded Retention Excellence Awards


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The Navy announced its fiscal year 2022 retention goals and a more competitive annual Retention Excellence Award (REA) on January 26 in NAVADMIN 012/22.

“As we move into FY-22, Navy is shifting from a growth trajectory to sustainment, while still aggressively leaning into filling our existing sea duty gaps and focusing on balanced communities to ensure we have the right mix of ratings, pay grades and navy enlisted classifications to meet the mission,” Vice Adm. John. B. Nowell, Jr. said in the message. 

New in fiscal year 2022 will be the addition of a “Best in Class” (BIC) award, given to the top command in each of 18 different sea duty platform types.  Each platform type will see a winner named from U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Future years will see the other operational and shore duty units added to this new class-oriented retention competition.  Those not currently eligible under the new BIC competition will still compete to meet the FY22 REA Legacy benchmarks.

Separate benchmarks for each platform class have been set based on the last three years of retention data.  A complete list of these goals by platform is in the NAVADMIN.

To be eligible to compete for BIC, commands must meet their platform-specific reenlistment rate benchmarks in Zone A -- up to six years of service, Zone B -- between six and ten years of service, and Zone C -- between 11 and 14 years of service and be at or below the Zone A attrition benchmark of 4 percent.  The benchmarks must be met for at least two quarters, or for the fiscal year overall. At the end of the fiscal year, each type commander will evaluate units with the highest overall retention and lowest attrition to determine who will receive the BIC distinction.

“A more competitive REA will encourage leadership engagement at every level to sustain retention, based on the historical averages for similar commands,” Nowell said.  “Adding a ‘Best in Class’ winner for each fleet will set a clear expectation that no matter what benchmarks we achieve, there is no limit to retention excellence and that every Sailor counts!”

Moving forward, the new BIC winners will paint their anchors gold and fly a new reverse color REA pennant that is under development (blue, with gold anchor), while commands who meet the REA benchmarks will return their anchors to haze grey and fly the current REA pennant.

In the REA Legacy competition for FY22, the Navy has set the following reenlistment benchmarks:  Zone A --62 percent; Zone B -- 68 percent; and Zone C -- 85 percent and be at or below the Zone A attrition benchmark of 4 percent.

Staying Navy doesn’t only mean keeping Sailors in the active force.  Active component Sailors who affiliate with the reserve in the same fiscal year will factor into their unit’s retention percentages.

“Simply stated, we cannot build a Navy that can fight and win without our Reserve” Nowell said.  “Our Navy’s Reserve team continues to answer all bells and supports every line of effort, from transformation of MyNavy HR to operating forward in remote locations.”

The message also recapped the final retention statistics for fiscal year 2021.  “The Navy met FY-21 benchmarks in a challenging environment due to the Fleet’s strong influence in retaining Sailors within both the active and reserve components,” Nowell said.

The Navy exceeded their fiscal year goal in each Zone:  Zone A-- 67 percent  (57 percent benchmark); Zone B -- 68 percent (67 percent benchmark); and Zone C -- 85 percent (82 percent benchmark).  Additionally, Zone A Attrition was 3.6% and 3.8% for US Fleet Forces Command and US Pacific Fleet, respectively.  Both are well below the FY-21 Attrition target of 4.5 percent.

“The Navy remains dedicated to attracting, developing, and retaining the right talent,” Nowell said. “Your leadership and engagement are necessary at every level to help sustain and improve upon our retention.”

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