Marine Corps Enlistment Bonuses

Types of Bonuses

Two men swearing in at a USMC reenlistment ceremony.

defenseimagery / Wikimedia Commons

The Marine Corps Enlistment Bonus Program provides monetary and education enlistment incentives to attract highly qualified applicants into designated programs containing critically short Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). These bonuses are offered to fill technical fields with high prerequisites and to entice applicants to ship to recruit training during certain times of the year.

Bonuses in the military typically are offered at two times in a military member’s career. Depending upon the needs of the military, just signing up can make you some extra money. Agreeing to go to boot camp at a specific time of the year can add to that bonus, and when your term of enlistment is expired, you can also receive a re-enlistment bonus depending upon the job you have in the military. Some bonus programs will offer active duty and reservist members of the military to actually change Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) at the time of their re-enlistment to fill critically needed personnel needs in some career fields.

Marine Corps MOS Bonus and the Shipping Bonus

Recruits seeking employment in the military and interested in a highly needed MOS may be eligible for signing bonuses when joining any branch of service. Specifically, the United States Marine Corps seeks recruits that are highly qualified to receive up to two enlistment incentives:

The USMC MOS Bonus is basically a signing bonus for joining the Marine Corps. To fully qualify for the MOS Bonus, a recruit must stay in the needed MOS throughout the duration of the enlistment time. Shipping bonuses ​are lump-sum bonuses at the completion of basic training for agreeing to leave for boot camp at a specific time of the year.

The needs of the Marine Corps change throughout the year and from year to year. Depending upon these needs for certain MOS’s, open ship to boot camp dates, and amounts may vary. Contact a local Marine Corps recruiter for the most current specific details on the most critical needs of the Marine Corps.

Typical requirements for shipping bonuses for a recruit agreeing to depart for boot camp are the following:

If you agree to ship during the months of December and May – you can receive up to $3,000 after graduation from boot camp. For the months of June through November, you can receive $2,000. The typical term of service to be eligible for shipping bonuses are five years in length, and you should score at least a 50 on the AFQT.

Other basic requirements must be met to receive MOS and Shipping Bonuses:
- No drug use during Delayed Entry Program
- No felony convictions
- No drug or moral waiver
- High School Diploma or at least 15 college credits
- Must meet all the requirements for selected MOS option.

Marine Corps Re-Enlistment Bonus

During more than 15 years of sustained combat missions for the country, with no end in sight, the need for the warfighter positions are just as important as the highly technical MOS’s for the Marine Corps. Increasing numbers within the Infantry, RECON, Artillery, as well as highly technical MOS’s like Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Cyber Warfare, Intelligence Specialist, is needed during times of high combat op tempo in the Marine Corps. Some of the first time re-enlistees in the Infantry can receive $10-15,000, and more senior members can get $25,000 or more as a bonus. Changing into some of these critical MOS can offer a bonus of up to $50,000.

Marine Corps Reserve Re-Enlistment Bonus

Keeping highly qualified Marines in the Reserves has been a priority of the Marine Corps for the past decade. The USMC Reserves offer monetary and education bonuses for re-enlisting for a specific term of service. Some bonuses are paid in a lump sum or spread through the term of re-enlistment in specific MOS. The option to change MOS and gain training in a critically needed job is also an option within the Reserves as well.

Reserve E-5 and E-6 with less than 14 years of service can receive up to $20,000 if they change MOS’s into the careers of human intelligence specialist, RECON, Cyber Security Specialist, EOD, Ground Electronics Systems Maintenance, and various Aviation Maintenance MOSs to name a few.

You must complete the MOS school to receive the bonuses if you agree to change MOS during your career. If you do not complete your required service obligation due to misconduct, you may have to pay back the loan unless there are early release programs that occur during your term of re-enlistment.