Mideast edition, Saturday, June 9, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps announced sweeping changes to its bonus programs Friday.

The moves are meant to help keep combat-experienced Marines and help the Corps increase to 202,000 Marines by fiscal 2011, according to the Corps.

In one major change, the Corps is giving Selective Reenlistment Bonuses on a flat rate. Until now, the bonuses have been paid based on a formula that involves an award multiple to come up with the dollar amount each Marine is eligible for.

The new system pays Marines bonuses based on their rank and their time in the Corps.

The complete list of bonuses for Marines based on their rank and Military Occupational Specialty is available in MARADMIN (Marine Administrative Message) 349/07 at:

The bonuses use 48 months as a baseline, the MARADMIN says.

Marines who re-enlist for less than that will be paid bonuses on a pro-rated basis.

“We wanted to make it a simpler, more simplistic plan for Marines, commanders, our senior leadership and families to understand at first glance,” said Maj. Trevor Hall, of Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

In another change, the $10,000 incentive the Corps is offering for Marines to re-enlist by Sept. 30 has been folded into the Selective Reenlistment Bonus award levels, said Hall, head of enlisted retention.

That means Marines who re-enlist before Sept. 30 cannot collect both a Selective Reenlistment Bonus and the $10,000 incentive, Hall said.

But Marines who do not qualify for a Selective Reenlistment Bonus can still collect the $10,000 incentive if they re-enlist before Sept. 30, he said.

The move affects Marines who re-enlist after June 24 and is effective for the rest of fiscal 2007 and fiscal 2008, Hall said.

The Corps decided to allow Marines who will approach the end of their active service next fiscal year to re-enlist sooner than Oct. 1 for several reasons, he said.

First, the move will allow Marines deployed now to get their re-enlistment bonuses tax-free, Hall said.

Also, the restrictions on how many Marines approaching their first re-enlistment that the Corps can accept have been temporarily lifted for this fiscal year.

In other changes, the Corps has expanded its program of giving re-enlistment bonuses to Marines who change their MOS, Hall said.

And the Corps is also now offering bonuses to Marines with between 14 and 20 years of experience, he said.

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