Many young people join the United States military for the many different benefits that are available to a member of the United States Armed Services. They join for a variety of reasons, but with the pay and benefits, there can also be other financial incentives in the form of financial bonuses. With the added incentive of bonuses, at times it can be even more financially rewarding. The military offers bonuses to help attract quality personnel, and to attract Servicemembers that are not as likely to enlist in certain vital job specialities without some sort of financial incentive. As a rule there are two types of Bonuses available:
Enlistment Bonuses- These are bonuses that are paid by one of the five different military services for enlistment. The largest type bonuses are currently paid by the United States Army, they pay up to $40 thousand dollars for members to enlist, they currently the only US Military Service to pay the full amount. Congress in the last five years raised the total amount available to $40 thousand dollars, but so far the only service that makes full advantage of this amount is the US Army. The actual amount of any bonus depends on several factors, your specific job in the military (called your job specialty or Rating). Other factors include the length of enlistment, and the current service needs for the job you choose. The US Navy offers a top bonus of up to $20 Thousand dollars, and the other three services the US Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine Corps all offer a lesser bonus amount. World wide only the U.S. Military offers these type financial bonuses to high school grads that choose to enlist. Re-Enlistment Bonuses- This is the second type of bonus that is available for those personnel that are already in the military, and as a member of the US Military you can often be eligible for a re-enlistment bonus of some type. These types of financial bonuses are made to help retention and to help members of the Armed Forces choose to stay in the service after the end of their enlistment period.
If you qualify for them, then bonuses can be lucrative, but there are penalties if certain conditions are not met. If you have to leave the service by your own choice after you accept a bonus, or if you have to leave because of misconduct, then you may be responsible to have to refund all or a portion of your accepted bonus.