Mideast edition, Thursday, May 24, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — Marines can now earn up to $6,000 to stay in the Corps to deploy downrange.

Eligible Marines must have less than 12 months of service remaining, their extension must continue into fiscal 2008 and they must agree to remain with their current unit or be reassigned to another unit based on the Corps’ needs, according to a MARADMIN (Marine Administrative Message) posted Monday.

Under the Combat Extension Program, Marines can earn $3,000 to extend their time in the Corps for seven months and $6,000 to extend for 12 months, the MARADMIN says.

The 12-month extension applies to regimental groups and higher, such as headquarters units, said Capt. Phillip Bonincontri, compensation policy chief at Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

The program is available to both Marines approaching their first re-enlistment and Marines who have already re-enlisted at least once, Bonincontri said Wednesday.

Of the roughly 7,200 Marines who are eligible for the money, the Corps expects between 500 and 600 to avail themselves of the program, he said.

The money will be paid in a lump sum, and those Marines who extend while in a combat zone would get the money tax-free, he said.

Marines who extend and later re-enlist can keep the money and collect any re-enlistment bonuses for which they are eligible, Bonincontri said.

The move is separate from another program that would pay Marines already deployed to stay in the Corps if their units are extended, he said.

Marine regulations call for deployed Marines to be sent home once their active service is up, even if their units have been extended, unless those Marines agree to stay.

The Combat Extension Program is meant to help get all Marines in the fight and keep experienced Marines with their units, he said.

“Marines rely on Marines, but even more so when you’ve been working with the same Marine for years on end,” Bonincontri said.

Eligible Marines have until Sept. 30 to apply for the program, he said. Interested Marines should contact their career retention specialists.

For more information, go to MARADMIN 323/07, available at:

Army adjusts its enlistment bonus list

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army has made some adjustments to its enlistment bonuses, adding six jobs to the list of eligible specialties and increasing the signing bonuses for another dozen.

Enlistment bonuses for five other jobs were decreased on the new enlistment bonus list, which officially took effect May 11, although the Army message announcing the changes wasn’t released until Monday.

The new message also described several other enlistment bonuses that apply to very specific circumstances, such as a “seasonal bonus” worth between $3,000 and $15,000 for certain applicants depending on education, enlistment time, when they agree to ship to boot camp and other conditions.

The Army tinkers with its enlistment bonus list at least once a year, and often more frequently.

The months surrounding high school graduation, when hundreds of thousands of seniors are looking for a full-time job, are particularly fruitful for recruiters.

The new bonus list is available through Army recruiters. Soldiers with Army Knowledge Online (AKO) accounts can also see the list at MilPer Message 07-121 at

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