The Marine Corps just overhauled its special duty assignments, which means now might be the time to consider becoming a recruiter or drill instructor.
The Corps just pushed out new incentive pay that gives more money to Marines who volunteer for a special duty assignment versus being selected for a billet by the Marine Corps’ screening teams.
The Corps is also reducing the number of available special duty assignments from five to 2.5 duties. The special assignment duties are now recruiter, drill instructor or Marine security guard detachment commander, according to details provided by officials with Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
The other fields ― Marine combat instructor, Marine security guard watchstander and Marine Corps security forces guard duty ― are now considered type 1 screenable billets, according to Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
There are monetary incentives for these fields as well, but not as lucrative as volunteering for a special duty assignment.
The new incentive pay and monthly allotments are for Marines who volunteer or are selected for a screenable billet or special duty assignment after March 1 and are assigned to a fiscal year 2021 class, according to a new Marine administrative message.
Here’s the new special pay breakdown, according to Manpower and Reserve Affairs:
- Incentive pays can be taken as a lump sum bonus or broken down into a monthly allotment.
- Recruiter: A Marine who volunteers to be a recruiter could rate up to $17,000 in incentive pay plus $150 per month in special duty assignment pay. A Marine assigned by the selection screening team would only be eligible to receive up to $7,000 in incentive pay and the $150/month in special duty assignment pay. If a Marine chooses the monthly allotment for the incentive pay versus lump sum they would net $653 total a month for volunteering or $375 a month if selected by a screening team.
- Drill instructor: If a Marine volunteers to become a drill instructor they can pocket $150 per month in special duty assignment pay, plus a $14,700 lump sum incentive pay, or take the $578 monthly allotment. Non-volunteers get a $4,700 lump sum and $150 monthly special duty assignment pay, or $300 total monthly allotment.
- Marine embassy security guard detachment commander: These Marines get a $10,000 lump sum volunteer incentive pay and $150 monthly special duty assignment pay, or $428 total monthly allotment. Non-volunteers will only get the $150 monthly special duty assignment pay and no other incentive bonus.
Marines who take on a screenable billet instead of a special duty assignment are not eligible for the $150 monthly special duty assignment pay. But they can pocket incentive pay as either a lump sum or monthly allotment.
For example, combat instructors can choose $150 monthly or $4,700 lump sum, and Marine security guard watchstanders can pick $75 monthly or $2,300 lump sum bonus.
The new pay for special duty assignments and screenable billets is intended to incentivize Marines to volunteer, according to Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
For more information regarding the changes to the special duty fields, check out the latest Marine administrative message signed on Aug. 13.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.