The $250,000 Army Infantry bonus may be something blowing in the wind, but Marines taking home a $57,000, that’s scheduled to start in 2020. To be eligible you’ll have to be a re-enlisting Marine in one of a handful of career fields before Sep. 30, 2019, and you’ll have to submit your re-enlist package before Aug. 30, 2019 if you want to add on the Early Reenlistment Kicker.
Qualifying careers include those in high demand, such as Infantry, Aviation Maintainer, and Air Traffic Controller. If you’re an able and willing Marine, a lateral-move into Counterintel, Imagery Analysis, Recon, Critical Skills Operator, Psychological Operations, Cyber, Explosive Ordnance Technician, Cryptologic Cyberspace Analyst, Signals Intelligence/Electronic Warfare Analyst, Special Intelligence System Administrators, Marine Corps Community Services, Contract Specialists, and Criminal Investigative Division Agent will land you a $40,000 bonus if you’re a first-term Marine.
What makes these incentives even better, they can be combined. If the cards fall right, a first-term Marine could end up taking home a $90,000 bonus in a lateral move, if they re-up for 6-years and can combine an SRB with early reenlistment (must be after July 5 and before Aug 30, 2019).
According to the Marine Corps’ 7220 Bulletin, “Retaining our experienced and qualified Marines remains one of the Commandant’s highest priorities. Achieving retention goals is vital for shaping and sustaining the Marine Corps’ enlisted force.”
Retaining experience may be a priority, but here’s the kicker (not the early reenlistment kicker), prior service Marines do not qualify for the 2020 bonus because they can’t come in until after Nov. 1, 2019, a month after reenlistment packages have to be submitted.
However, there is an exception to every policy. If you’re looking to go from a prior service, regular component to an active component of the Marines and you’re both qualifying and willing to go into one of the critically short Primary Military Occupational Specialties (PMOS), then you are the exception.
And if you’re already in Aviation, Marines will get up to a $280,000 bonus to stay and keep flying, because too many Marines are leaving to fly in the civilian sector. This bonus, however, requires an 8-year commitment.