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The first sea pay raise in over a decade will kick in for sailors and Marines with three years or more sea time starting May 1, the chief of naval personnel said in a Monday news release.

Every fleet sailor with three cumulative years sea duty will now get a 25 percent sea pay raise starting in May as part of the Navy's effort to make sure sailors are rewarded for sea duty.

Some sailors those whose current tours take them over 36 consecutive months at sea will also get a raise in career sea pay premium. This so-called kicker will double from the extra of $100 per month to $200.

The Monday announcement kicks in the increases at least a month earlier than originally estimated as officials, at the time, said they'd hoped the increases would kick in in June or July. The service estimates that 100,000 Sailors receive career sea pay and approximately 13,000 also get the premium payment. The raise is expected to cost the Navy about $66 million per year.

The pay will be a substantial boost for many. An E-4 with three years at sea, for example, will see their month sea pay jump from $280 to $350, according to the latest charts.

The only exception: those in pay grades E-5 through E-9, who have eight years minimum of cumulative sea duty, already have the sea pay premium built into their is higher rate of sea pay while on board ship.

'This change to Career Sea Pay will both improve critical sea-duty manning and reward those who take these challenging sea-going assignments,' Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in his March announcement. 'This increase is long overdue and is meant to reward our Sailors and Marines for their continued sacrifices.'

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