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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps has again imposed limitations on how many Marines approaching their first re-enlistment opportunity can stay in their current Military Occupational Specialty.

Traditionally, each MOS has had a set number of "boatspaces" for first-term Marines. Once those fill up, first-term Marines have to change their MOS or leave the Corps.

The Corps suspended the restrictions for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 as part of the Corps’ effort to grow to 202,000 Marines by fiscal 2011.

But the Corps could reach the 202,000 target by the end of fiscal 2009 if current recruiting trends continue.

The boatspace limitations for first-term Marines have been re-established for fiscal 2009, a recent Corpswide message said.

The limits can be exceeded in exceptional cases, by approval of the commandant, or when the requirement for Marines in a certain MOS is bigger than the number of Marines in the specialty, according to the Marine Corps Administrative Message, or MARADMIN.

The message spelled out which Marines will see an increase in award levels Selective Re-enlistment Bonuses, which are based on a Marine’s rank and time in the Corps.

One change is Marines cannot get a re-enlistment bonus of more than $90,000, even if they qualify for the $25,000 "kicker" stay with deployable units for at least two years, the message said.

So, if a Marine gets a $74,500 re-enlistment bonus and also qualifies for a $25,000 kicker, that Marine would only get $90,000 instead of $99,500, the message said.

The kicker was announced in February as the "Operating Force Extension Initiative," an effort to increase the number of deployable noncommissioned officers, especially squad leaders. At the time, a Corps official said about 200 Marines qualified for the initiative.

The message also said that Marines who have been out of the Corps for up to four years can earn a Broken Service Selective Re-enlistment Bonus of between $20,100 and $33,500 to come back to active duty.

For more information, go to MARADMIN 370/08 at:

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