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Submarine Duty Incentive Pay

Submarine Duty Incentive Pay — also called Sub Pay — is an Incentive Pay paid to both active duty enlisted and officers who hold or are in training for a submarine designation in a career capacity. 

Sailors are eligible to receive Submarine Duty Incentive Pay:

  • While attached under orders to a submarine
  • While serving as an operator or crewmember of an operational submersible, including an undersea exploration or research vehicle
  • While undergoing training prior to assignment to a nuclear powered submarine
  • While undergoing rehab after assignment to a nuclear-powered submarine
  • In the case of a member qualified in submarines, while attached as a member of a submarine operational command staff, whose duties require serving on a submarine during underway operations as follows:
    1. During 1 calendar month — 48 hours. Hours served underway in excess of 48 hours as a member of a submarine operational command staff during any of the immediately preceding 5 calendar months, and not already used to qualify for incentive pay, may be applied to satisfy the 48-hour underway time requirements for the current month.
    2. During any 2 consecutive calendar months, when requirements have not been met for the first month — 96 hours.
    3. During any 3 consecutive calendar months, when requirements have not been met for the first 2 months — 144 hours.
  • While receiving instruction to prepare for assignment to a submarine of advanced design
  • While receiving instruction to prepare for a position of increased responsibility on a submarine

The service member must perform Submarine Operational Duties to be eligible for Submarine Duty Incentive Pay for:

  • At least 6 out of 12 years
  • At least 10 of the first 18 years
  • If performing Submarine Operational Duties for only 8-10 years during the last 18, a member is entitled to Pay for the first 22 years of service.
  • If a member fails to meet these requirements at 12 or 18 years, the entitlement to continuous monthly Submarine Duty Incentive Pay ceases. If meeting the requirement again at 18 years, the Pay may resume.

These time frames do not include periods of time for an officer before he is commissioned. 

The Secretary of the Navy determines the monthly rates for Submarine Duty Incentive Pay. However, the maximum monthly amount cannot exceed $1,000.00.

Exceptions that can result in the loss of Submarine Duty Incentive Pay include: not meeting standard operational hours and duties on the submarine, an officer declining Submarine Duty or an enlisted member who is serving on shore who no longer has enough time in his current enlistment to make the Submarine Duty Incentive Pay requirements.

Reserve members who are activated and assigned to a submarine and who meet the eligibility requirements mentioned above are eligible to receive 1/30th the regular incentive pay amount. For each day served, this amount is allowed to increase by 1/30th until the Reserve member is meeting the same pay as regular members.

Sub Pay rates are published by the DoD. Rates are based on pay grade and years served. Currently officers are paid between $230-$835 a month. Warrant Officers can earn between $285-$425 a month. Enlisted members are paid between $75 and $425 a month.

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