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Volunteers for select Marine special duty assignments could get $10K bonus

Marines who volunteer for some of the Corps' toughest special duty assignments will be eligible for up to $10,000 in bonus pay, according to a new administrative message from the Corps.

Marines who volunteer to be a drill instructor, recruiter or Marine security guard detachment commander in fiscal year 2021 will be eligible for the volunteer supplemental incentive, or VSI.

Marines can receive the bonus pay in either two monthly installments or in a lump sum, according to the MARADMIN, published in late October.

“The fiscal year 2021 monetary incentives are designed to meet staffing demands by convincing qualified Marines to volunteer for special duty assignments, type-1 screenable billets, and other select duties,” Col. Raul Lianez, the branch head for Manpower Military Policy, said in an emailed statement.

“These jobs are challenging and are critical to the Marine Corps mission," Lianez said. “We recognize the talent and commitment those selected bring to the challenge of these duties.”

The only limit on how many Marines are eligible for VSI comes from how many seats are available at the schoolhouse for whichever special duty assignment the Marine applies for, said Yvonne Carlock a spokeswoman from Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

“There is no limit to the number of volunteers assigned to SDAs but some of the assignments fill up faster than others,” Carlock said.

“If a Marine volunteers to be a drill instructor but assignments for that fiscal year are full, the Marine can re-apply during another fiscal year volunteer period, request to be considered for another SDA, or withdraw their package,” she added.

So far 628 Marines volunteers have been assigned to basic recruiting school in 2021, while 499 Marine volunteers have been assigned to the drill instructor course and and 97 Marine volunteers have been assigned to Marine security guard detachment course, Carlock told Marine Corps Times.

The volunteer bonus, in addition to other special duty assignment bonuses, should be a good motivator for Marines to take on these challenging positions, Carlock said.

“The combination of these three incentives is a considerable motivator for Marines who are facing a range of career and assignment options,” she said.

“Marines choosing to volunteer for a special duty assignment are essentially choosing a pay raise of up to 21 percent to apply their talent and energy while serving in the assignment."

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