Some Marines are offered an extra $10,000 incentive to re-enlist
ARLINGTON, Va. — Enlisted Marines who re-enlist by Sept. 30 or who have re-enlisted since Oct. 1 will receive an extra $10,000 on top of any other bonuses they qualify for, Corps officials announced Thursday.
The cash is one of three new assignment incentive pays offered by the service, and is designed to help grow the Corps from about 180,000 now to 202,000 by fiscal 2011. This year alone, the Corps has a retention goal of about 16,000 servicemembers, 3,000 more than last year.
Pentagon spokesman Maj. Stewart Upton said Defense Department officials are reviewing similar retention bonuses for all active and reserve troops, in all services, but a final compensation program won’t be released until March at the earliest.
All but the youngest enlisted Marines are eligible for the $10,000 bonus. Any E-3 through E-9 with less than 20 years of service must re-enlist for four years to be eligible, while those with between 20 and 27 years of service must sign on for at least three more years.
The bonus will only be available until Sept. 30, since it is designed to help meet this year’s retention goals, said Capt. Phillip Bonincontri, compensation policy chief for the Corps.
He added that troops that have already re-enlisted this fiscal year — since Oct. 1, 2006 — are eligible to retroactively receive the money.
“We’re trying to encourage these Marines to stay, so we didn’t want to break the faith with those who have already re-enlisted,” he said.
But the retroactive payments are not automatic, he said: Troops must meet with career-retention specialists and fill out paperwork requesting the cash.
Bonincontri said the lump-sum $10,000 will be paid in conjunction with other specialty pays or re-enlistment bonuses. Combined with certain bonuses for hard-to-fill and high-demand posts, that could mean one-time payouts up to $70,000 for some Marines.
And troops who are serving in combat zones when they are approved for the new $10,000 payout will receive that money tax-free, under Department of Defense rules.
In another initiative, the Corps will offer recruiters an extra $500 per month for up to a year to continue as recruiters beyond their mandatory 36-month tours.
“We need to retain our most experienced recruiters, and hopefully this will also encourage them to become career recruiters for the Corps,” Bonincontri said.
In a third initiative, the Corps will also offer an extra $500 per month for Marines who agree to stay past their expiration of active service dates when their unit’s deployment is extended.
In January, the Defense Department announced that two Marine infantry battalions in Iraq would be extended for about 60 days and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit would stay in Iraq for an extra 45 days as part of an increase in U.S. forces in Iraq.
Bonincontri said only about 20 Marines would currently be eligible for the $500 extension pay, which would last for two months. Under current regulations, the Corps must bring troops from those units home if their active service time is up — even if the unit has been extended — unless those Marines agree to stay longer.
The three bonuses are outlined in MARADMINs 106/07, 107/07, and 108/07 at www.usmc.mil/maradmins/maradmin2000.nsf/maradmins.