Corps explains new re-enlistment incentive
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps has clarified which Marines are eligible for $10,000 in incentive pay to re-enlist, said compensation policy chief Capt. Phillip Bonincontri.
The Corps announced last month that it was offering Marines $10,000 to re-enlist, on top of any other re-enlistment bonuses they might qualify for, as part of the Corps’ efforts to grow from about 180,000 now to 202,000 by fiscal 2011.
In a Marine administrative announcement released Thursday, the Corps answered some frequently asked questions about the incentive, which has a different legal definition than a bonus but is similar, Bonincontri said Thursday.
For example, the Corps is allowing Marines who re-enlisted before the incentive was announced the chance to extend their re-enlistment to be eligible for the extra money, Bonincontri said.
The Corps always intended that Marines with less than 20 years’ service would have to re-enlist for 48 months to get the money, and Marines with more than 20 years in the Corps would have to re-enlist for 36 months, he said.
However, some had re-enlisted for 36 and 24 months respectively before the Corps offered the incentive, Bonincontri said. Now they can apply to have their re-enlistments extended by a year to get the money, he said.
“We don’t want to break the faith with our Marines,” Bonincontri said.
Also, the Corps has clarified that Marines who have left active duty within 90 days can collect the money if they re-enlist because they are still considered active-duty Marines, he said.
Marines who have left active duty between 91 days and four years are not eligible for the incentive because they are considered part of the Individual Ready Reserve, but they may still qualify for a Broken Service Reenlistment Bonus, he said.
The Corps also clarified that Marines who re-enlist and then go to a commissioning program will not have to repay any of the incentive as long as they stay in the Corps, Bonincontri said.
But Marines who join another service’s commissioning program will have to repay the unearned portion of the incentive at a rate of about $208 per month, he said.
The announcement also talks about how Marines can get the incentive tax-free by either re-enlisting while they are in a combat zone or in the same month that they receive a combat zone tax exclusion, Bonincontri said.
For example, Marines slated to deploy on the fifth of the month can still receive the $10,000 incentive if they re-enlist on the first of the month, he explained.
Lastly, E-7 Marines with between 18 and 19 years’ experience can re-enlist for three years so they can receive the incentive pay, Bonincontri said.
E-7 Marines must retire after 22 years if they fail to advance, meaning some would be unable to re-enlist for four years to collect the incentive pay, he explained.
For more information, go to MARADMIN 167/07 at: www.usmc.mil.