A CH-53E from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 conducts slingload operations at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., on May 10. The Reserve unit is offering aviation retention pay to Super Stallion pilots who want to affiliate. (Tech. Sgt. Edward Gyokeres / Air Force)
Marine aviators planning to doff their wings may want to think twice. Those leaving active duty can earn tens of thousands of dollars if they join the Reserve.
Aviators who qualify for available Reserve job openings in a handful of military occupational specialties can qualify to take home $45,000 for an additional three years of service.
To qualify, pilots must be a captain or major, according to Marine administrative message 027/13, signed Jan. 14. Captains cannot have been passed over for promotion in the active component, and neither captains nor majors can have more than 15 years of service at the time they apply.
For the duration of the three-year affiliation with the Selected Marine Corps Reserve, pilots must remain in the unit and MOS for which they received the bonus, or they will have to repay it at a prorated amount.
The following is a list of units and eligible MOSs:
• Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773: 7563 UH-1 Huey pilot; 7565 AH-1 Cobra pilot.
• Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772: 7566 CH-53E Super Stallion pilot.
• Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234: 7557 KC-130 Super Hercules aircraft commander; 7556 KC-130 Super Hercules co-pilot.
• VMGR-452: 7557 KC-130 Super Hercules aircraft commander; 7556 KC-130 Super Hercules co-pilot.
• Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764: 7532 V-22 Osprey pilot.
Additionally, officers must be qualified and approved for operational flying duty with 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and be entitled to Aviation Career Incentive Pay. Those already serving in the Reserve must have served no more than 16 cumulative months in one of the eligible SMCR squadrons listed above or Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 when they apply.
Those currently on active duty must have an end of active service date no later than Feb. 28, 2013, and must fill an approved billet no later than March 11. Active Reserve officers are ineligible.
Pilots will receive the incentive in annual $15,000 installments, paid each year on March 1.
All applications must be received by Feb. 1.
Recoupment at a prorated amount will occur if the Marine transfers to another unit, retrains for a new MOS and makes a lateral move, is a captain and fails selection to major twice, fails to complete 48 drills and 14 days of annual training in a year, or is incapacitated as the result of misconduct, gross negligence or during unauthorized absence.
For a full list of requirements, refer to the message, available online.