The Marine Corps Is Now Offering A Hefty New Enlistment Bonus

Joining the Military
Staff Sgt. Todd Ball, a native of Sinking Spring, Penn., reaffirms his oath of enlistment at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza, May 26, 2017.
Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Troy Saunders

Are you a Marine who wants to make $10,000 quick? All you have to do is reenlist.


OK, so that's kind of a big commitment, but not an unusual one for a Department of Defense. In MARADMIN 350/17, the Marine Corps announced that as part of its fiscal year 2018 budget, the service will pay out $10,000 to Marines who sign their re-enlistment packages early,  joining the Army and the Air Force in offering heightened selective retention bonuses.

“Retaining our experienced and qualified Marines remains one of the Commandant’s highest priorities,” the Corps announced in the budget document released on July 6. “Achieving retention goals is vital for shaping and sustaining the Marine Corps’ enlisted force.”

Capt. Scott Steele, career force planner at Manpower & Reserve Affairs, told told Marine Corps Times that the bonus system will vary depending on the skill level of the MOS.

Bonuses start at $10,000 for any “regular component first term or career Marine with an End of Current Contract” from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, according to the release. Marines who volunteer to serve as drill instructors, recruiters, or security guards will get a bonus of $20,000. The highest bonuses will go to Zone B Marines in the 2612 cyber MOS, who are eligible for a rate of $98,500 over a six-year reenlistment period.

The other service branches have all announced similar plans with the exception of the Navy, which decreased 14 selective reenlistment bonus levels and eliminated six skills from the list of bonus-eligible careers. The Army plans to offer massive reenlistment bonuses and retirement incentives in order to retain and rebuild its force structure. And while the Air Force cut careers eligible for bonuses, the branch increased its budget for bonuses from $226 million in 2017 to $250 million in 2018, raising the possibility of better bonuses spread across a smaller pool of service members.

If these proposals are approved, soldiers, airmen, and devil dogs will find themselves sitting pretty on a pile of cash, while sailors get squat. But that seems about right.

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The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

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"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

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"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

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