Military Enlistment Incentives: Bonuses and Benefits

Marine veteran uses GI Bill at University of Massachusetts Amherst
Irfan Siddiqui, a 28-year-old Marine veteran, poses for a photo on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus Sept. 5, 2014. Siddiqui is a former staff sergeant in the Marines who is using his Post 9/11 GI Bill to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. (Sgt. Richard Blumenstein/U.S. Marine Corps)

Did you know that you possibly could earn a signing bonus? Or that you could get GI Bill education benefits? Find out about some of the exciting incentives below.

Tip: Always ask about bonuses. Not all jobs have them, but you may not know which ones do unless you ask.

What Enlistment Bonuses and Benefits are Available?

Enlistment bonuses: Some bonuses require enlisting longer than the normal four-year enlistment. Most bonuses are paid for enlisting in a specific job. Enlistment bonuses are changing continually, depending on recruiting needs. Make sure to ask your recruiter for details.

Student loan repayment: If you have gone to college or are going to college and have loans to repay, the military may be able to help.

Voluntary education programs: Many military members continue their education while on active duty. Each service has programs dedicated to helping their members reach their education goals. These programs offer tuition assistance, counseling, classroom facilities and other systems to support voluntary education.

GI Bill: In a nutshell, the GI Bill gives educational benefits. Although you may begin using this benefit while you are on active duty, you must earn an honorable discharge if you use your benefits after service.

Accelerated promotion: Accelerated promotion is offered under several methods. You may be eligible if you:

  • Were/are a Girl or Boy Scout.
  • Have college credit or already have earned a college degree.
  • Refer friends to join.
  • Were a member of the Civil Air Patrol
  • Participated in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) in high school

Each service's rules vary, and usually the highest advancement is to E-3.

Special Forces recruitment: The Army, Navy and Air Force offer special incentives for recruits who sign up for special forces programs. These programs are extremely competitive, and you should consider only the Special Forces if you are in great physical and mental shape. Visit the Special Operations Center to see whether you have what it takes.

Interested in Joining the Military?

We can put you in touch with recruiters from the different military branches. Learn about the benefits of serving your country, paying for school, military career paths, and more: sign up now and hear from a recruiter near you.

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