Congresswoman Elaine Luria Passes Amendment to FY21 NDAA to Fix Seaman to Admiral Program

July 1, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Armed Services Committee unanimously passed Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that corrected a problem with the Seaman to Admiral Program.

“The Seaman to Admiral program is the most common path for an enlisted Sailor to become a commissioned officer, but a small group of participants in the program wasn’t provided the necessary information by the Navy to adequately credit their time in service and calculate retirement eligibility,” said Congresswoman Luria. “I am pleased that fellow members of the Committee agree it is time to correct this error.”

The Fiscal Year 2010 NDAA amended the Seaman to Admiral Program to exclude time spent in baccalaureate-level degree programs from being credited towards retirement. The Navy did not inform program participants in year groups FY10 through FY14 of the change.  The Navy also failed to update their communication to applicants and personnel selected for the program until the FY15 program announcement. Additionally, for officers who completed the program between FY10-FY14 who had been credited for their service, the Navy vacated this service time without informing the affected officers.  Many officers were only made aware after recognizing discrepancies in their Leave and Earnings statements, by experiencing unexplained reductions in pay, or through rejected retirement requests. 

This amendment would direct the Secretary of the Navy to review personnel records for all participants in the FY10 through FY14 Seaman to Admiral program to determine if each officer was properly notified that their service during their baccalaureate program would be excluded when computing retirement eligibility. For each officer for whom the Secretary cannot find evidence of a written acknowledgement of the policy change prior to entering the baccalaureate program, this time shall be re-credited for computing the servicemember’s years of service. 

Click here for the amendment text.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee