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.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."