Listen up Devil Dogs: If you indicate between now and Sept. 30 that you want to re-enlist, you can get $10,000 on top of any Selective Retention Bonus.
The Marine Corps announced retention bonus levels for fiscal 2018 in MARADMIN 350/17. The bonus program includes five new initiatives, including the extra $10,000 for Marines who submit their re-enlistment packages early.
Marines are eligible for retention bonuses based on their rank, military occupational specialty and how much active-duty service they have in the military: "Zone A" Marines have between 17 months and 6 years of service; "Zone B" Marines have between 6 and 10 years; and "Zone C" Marines have between 10 and 14 years.
The fiscal 2018 program offers retention bonuses to Zone A Marines in 47 MOSs; Zone B Marines in 71 MOSs and Zone C Marines in 30 MOSs.
Under the latest award levels, a Zone A lance corporal in the 0311 rifleman MOS can receive $8,500 to re-enlist for four years — a $5,000 increase from this fiscal year — plus the extra $10,000 for indicating before Sept. 30 that he or she wants to re-enlist, officials told Marine Corps Times on Wednesday.
Zone B Marines in the 2612 cyber MOS can earn the most money — $98,500 to re-enlist for six years — but only eight Marines are eligible for that payout, said Capt. Scott Steele, career force planner at Manpower & Reserve Affairs.
That MOS is "not easily obtainable," given how much training and how many security clearances are required, Steele told Marine Corps Times. First-term Marines not already in the MOS can receive $40,000 to re-enlist with the intent of becoming 2612 cyber operators, he said.
First-term Marines who intend to make lateral moves into other MOSs such as explosive ordnance disposal technicians, critical skills operators and reconnaissance Marines can receive $40,000 on top of a bonus to re-enlist for six years, officials said. These MOSs require extensive training and Marines may have to wait up to a year to get into the schoolhouses.
"To get the most out of not only the Marine but the skills that they acquire through the schooling, we feel it necessary to establish a longer career trajectory for them," Steele said.
The fiscal 2018 program also offers an extra $20,000 for any Marines who volunteer to spend three years as a recruiter, drill instructor or Marine security guard, Steele said.
Responding to the Marine Corps' need to retain qualified maintainers, the Corps is offering an extra $20,000 on top of retention bonuses to aviation Marines if they currently hold the following up-to-date qualifications: collateral duty inspector, quality assurance collateral duty inspector, quality assurance representative and safe for flight, Steele said.
Those maintainers must spend the first two years of their four-year commitment in their current units, he said.
The aviation Marines with these qualifications are "homegrown," so it takes a while to develop those maintainers within each unit, said Col. Gaines Ward, manpower plans officer for Manpower & Reserve Affairs.
"The intent is to keep them — to the maximum extent possible — within the unit that they're already in," Ward said. "It's a greater return on the investment for the time that the commander puts into training these individuals to have these qualifications."