In addition to pay, there are two types of bonuses that encourage soldiers to start and/or stay in the service. The following is a summary of the bonuses servicemembers are eligible to receive:
There are many benefits to joining the Armed Forces, but few directly affect your pay as much as enlistment bonuses. In fact, if you enlist in military you may be eligible for up to $40,000 in cash bonuses.
Your actual bonus will depend on the service branch, specific job specialty -- also known as a rating (Navy), AFCS (Air Force), or MOS (Army and Marine Corps) - and length of enlistment contract. Only the U.S. Military offers high school graduates these types of signing bonuses.
If you are an armed forces servicemember you may be eligible for a reenlistment (or retention) bonus, provided:
The bonus to be paid may not exceed the lesser of the following amounts:
Be aware that if you voluntarily, or because of misconduct, don't complete the term of enlistment (or reenlistment) for which a bonus was paid, or are not technically qualified in the skill for which the bonus was paid, (other than a member who is not qualified because of injury, illness, or other impairment not the result of the member's misconduct), you must refund a prorated portion of the bonus according to the time of service left on your contract.
Each service's policy and guidelines for re-enlistment bonuses are different and change periodically based on the current needs of the service. For more information on the latest Reenlistment Bonus changes check out Military Report.