When you join the military, you are often eligible for a variety of enlistment and incentive bonuses. An incentive is different than a regular benefit, in that with an incentive, it is not available to everyone. One of the main issues or qualifying conditions for enlistment incentives is the job or rating that you choose to pursue. Certain jobs are in such high demand that the military is willing to offer various cash and financial rewards for enlisting and choosing a high demand job.
Not all who join qualify for enlistment incentives or bonuses. It depends on the circumstances, your qualifications and the job involved. For it to be a valid incentive it has to be listed on your enlistment contract. Examples of military benefits or entitlements include such things as military base bay, tuition assistance, military medical benefits, or the Montgomery G.I. Bill.
Enlistment incentives are designed specifically for certain circumstances. So rest assured, if you qualify for a bonus or incentive, you will be offered it. It is a great idea to become aware of the types and different incentives available, so that should you meet a specific incentive you can check with your recruiter. Each service has their own specific needs, and regulates their enlistment incentive programs individually.
During the last year Congress increased the amount allowed by law per person to $40,000, but up to now the only active duty service that increased their bonuses to that amount is the Army. The Army chose to increase their maximum to that forty thousand amount.
The Marine Corps and Air Force are the services that currently offer the fewest job and enlistment related bonuses. The Air Force offer bonuses to only six specific job titles, and their top bonus are currently Twelve thousand dollars. The top Marine enlistment bonus is currently limited to Six thousand dollars. The top enlistment bonus for the US Coast Guard is set at fifteen thousand dollars. The Navy still limits their top enlistment incentives and bonuses at twenty thousand per person.
For most situations the three most common reasons a service will pay extra in a bonus are:
-The job is not very interesting, and or unpopular and recruiters and military job counselors cant seem to meet their quota of people for the job.
-The job is very taxing or has high qualifications for entry; a clean record, a high ASVAB score, medical or legal qualifications, and enough qualified applicants can’t be found.