Navy Will Allow Some Officers to Delay Retirement Due to Coronavirus

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Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic, Capt. Jonathan Haynes, Capt. Doug Noble, and Captain Nick Rapley salute the National Ensign during the change of command ceremony.
From right to left: Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic, Capt. Jonathan Haynes, Capt. Doug Noble, and Captain Nick Rapley salute the National Ensign during the change of command ceremony held at the Wheeler Center August 24th, 2018. (U.S. Navy)

The Navy is offering lower-ranking officers being forced into retirement a chance to remain on active duty a little longer as part of the service's all-out response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The sea service released a naval administrative message April 9 explaining that officers in the rank of captain or below, who must retire between now and Dec. 1, may be eligible to remain on active duty but in a retired status until Dec. 31.

"Those who are required by law to retire because of statutory age limits, years of commissioned or active service or for failures of selection to the next rank may be eligible, if already retirement eligible," an accompanying release states.

"The offer is part of the Navy's plans to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, while helping the service maintain operational, sailor and family readiness."

Related: The Army Asked Retirees in Medical Fields to Come Back. The Response Was Overwhelming

Officers in this category can submit a request to serve longer under a provision known as "retire/retain," the release states.

Officers approved for retention under the program would still retire on their scheduled dat,e but would then continue to serve with active-duty pay and entitlements until the end of the year, unless they request an earlier date, according to the release. It also states that they will remain in their current rank and stay at their current command.

"Due to the need to ensure health of the force, there are no limits on the number of retired officers authorized to be retained in an active status," the release states.

To allow for the necessary processing and review, requests must be submitted to Navy Personnel Command prior to the officer's retirement date, and in all cases no later than July 1, according to the release.

Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Read More: Navy Is Hardest-Hit Military Service in Coronavirus Outbreak

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