Some US Navy sailors say they’re being forced to take out loans after months-long delays in receiving their pay as they struggle to keep up with living expenses.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which lends money to Navy members and their families, said it’s seen an increase in loan applications in recent months.
One source told told Military.com that the troubles began when officials began consolidating personnel and customer support detachments four years ago, leading to staff shortages.
The Navy launched MyNavy Career Center in September in an attempt to streamline services.
‘Shutting down dozens of processing centers took that transaction load and dropped it in one building’s worth of people,’ a petty officer, who asked not to be identified, told Military.com.
‘Our only means of communication with them is through [MyNavy Career Center, or MNCC], which isn’t always great because it’s [mostly] civilians with a knowledge database … all they can do is look up tickets and give a status.’
Society vice president Gillian Gonzalez told an industry publication that she recently helped one solider who’d gone without pay for three months because of an enlistment extension and pay error.
Despite his command post working around the clock to resolve the issue, the sailor ran out of money while waiting to be paid, Gonzalez told Military.com.
She said the relief society cut him a $2,500 check to help.
‘This is happening a little bit everywhere,’ she told the outlet. ‘It doesn’t seem to hit one geographic area more than another.’
Some US Navy sailors say they’re being forced to take out loans after months-long delays in pay, according to a new report
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society recently helped one solider who’d gone payless for three months because of an enlistment extension and pay error
It’s not known how many sailors are taking out loans, or how that compares to previous years.
Another sailor claimed on Reddit in July that she had not received any basic housing allowance for 16 months and resorted to sleeping on friends’ couches.
‘My command admin admitted ‘several mistakes were made’ when submitting my paperwork and that’s why it’s taking so long,’ the woman wrote.
One woman said in a Reddit post that she went without a housing subsidy for 16 months, and was forced to sleep on friends’ couches will the request was processed
‘Every time I go to admin they tell me they’re too busy to check on my status or call [personal support detachment] for me and that they’ll get around to it eventually’
She said she tried to resolve the issue with her chain of command but was told only to ‘be patient’ as her financial struggles mounted.
‘My lease ended in May and I don’t have enough nor make enough to get my own apartment,’ she said on the social media forum.
‘I’m several months behind on bills, thousands of dollars in debt and would be sleeping in my car if my friends weren’t letting me sleep on their couch.’
A soldier’s pay depends on their rank and their time in service. A full-time enlisted seaman recruit makes $1,785 per month, while long-serving rear admirals banking as much as $10,794 a month. (The bottom figure represents a rear admiral with less experience)
A sailor’s salary depends on their rank and time in service.
A full-time enlisted seaman recruit makes $1,785 per month, while a chief petty officer with eight years of experience nets $4,189.50 monthly, according to Navy figures.
Navy officers have a higher pay grade, with full-time ensigns starting at $3,395.80 monthly and long-serving rear admirals banking as much as $10,794 a month.
The Navy also provides basic housing allowances, clothing stipends, and other benefits.
Navy Personnel Command spokesman Cmdr. Matt Knight said that although the Navy is required to process basic housing allowance change requests within 30 days, delays sometimes happen.
‘Navy Personnel Command and our subordinate commands take every measure to ensure the volume of transactions does not exceed our capacity, but occasionally backlogs do occur due to a variety of reasons,’ Knight told Military.com.
‘These backlogs are resolved as quickly as possible to limit the impacts to sailors.’
Military.com’s report on pay delays sparked outrage online, with one Twitter user calling it ‘a shame on our nation.’
A Navy spokesman said that although the military branch is required to process basic housing allowance change requests within 30 days, delays sometimes happen
Some Twitter users were not happy to learn sailors were experiencing pay delays, with one calling the situation ‘pathetic’ and another categorizing it as ‘outrageous’
‘This is pathetic,’ another tweeted. ‘Nobody in our Military should be forced to take out a loan because there are delays in pay.’
The pay delay report emerged as a November 28 deadline approaches for a military vaccine mandate.
The Navy has a 99.7 percent vaccination rate.
Twitter user @CarlHigbie tweeted at the Navy Sunday, saying: ‘you force the most healthy people in the world to get a vaccine so they can continue to volunteer to potentially die for our country… Then you DON’T even give them their paycheck? This is outrageous!!!’
The Navy did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.