There are many benefits of enlisting in the US Military. In addition to growing as a person and serving your country, there are financial rewards that should never be overlooked. Are you familiar with the enlistment incentive program? As the name implies, this puts you in position to receive financial compensation for doing nothing more than enlisting.
Before we go any further, it is important to note than an enlistment incentive and military benefit are two entirely different things. In short, a military benefit is something that everybody who enlists has access to. This can include: medical insurance, base pay, tuition assistance, and the Montgomery G.I. Bill among others.
Can I receive an Enlistment Incentive?
This is something that you must discuss with your recruiter. While he or she is able to provide you with basic information on your qualifications and the amount of money you can receive, there is no room for negotiation.
Incentives are determined by the Recruiting Command Headquarters. This has nothing to do with your local recruiter.
In short, an incentive has either been authorized for your particular job or it has not.
This is the most well known enlistment incentive. This is used by the Military as a means of convincing applicants to join a particular career field (one that is in need of additional personnel).
Thanks to the passing of the Fiscal Year 2006 Military Authorization Act, the Military is now able to offer an enlistment bonus of up to $40,000. That being said, this is not a guarantee of how much money you will be offered.
In many cases, an additional bonus is offered to recruits who have earned college credits and/or agree to ship out during a particular period of time.
Typically, the more the enlistment bonus the more challenging it has become for the service to find qualified candidates.
Why don?t people want to work in particular fields?
-?????? The career is not as interesting as others
-?????? There are high entry requirements that most people do not meet
-?????? The training is too intense, meaning that many people don?t make it through to the end
To combat these concerns, the Military offers enlistment bonuses in hopes that new recruits will be tempted by the money.
When do I get the Money?
This depends largely on the branch of the Military that you join. For example, the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force pay the bonus amount in one lump sum after arriving at the first permanent duty station. The Army, on the other hand, usually pays $10,000 upfront upon arrival at the first duty station. From there, they pay the rest in annual installments throughout the term of enlistment.
If you are offered to join a career that allows for an enlistment incentive, you should think long and hard about taking advantage.