How to Qualify for Military Bonuses

Depending on your chosen branch of service and career field, you may qualify for an enlistment bonus.

To qualify you must first meet the minimum qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Battery (ASVAB) exam, meet the physical requirements, and elect enlist for at least 3 years in a high-demand Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) or Rating.

The term MOS refers to an Army or Marine enlisted servicemembers job specialty. In the Navy and Coast Guard this is called a “Rating,” while the Air Force calls this an Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). The following is a list of sample specialties for each service:

  • Army MOS 31B - Military Police
  • Marine Corps MOS 5811 – Military Police
  • Air Force AFSC 3POX1 – Security Forces
  • Navy Rating – Master At Arms (MA) – Force Protection
  • Coast Guard – Port Security Specialist (PS) – Force Protection

Each specialty requires specific mental and physical skills and abilities to be successful.  The Armed Forces use your ASVAB score to determine if you have the mental ability to complete the training and be successful in a given specialty. While they use the results of your physical, or in some cases you’re a fitness test, to determine your physical abilities.

The qualifying ASVAB score varies depending on the occupational specialty.  You can learn more about the importance of this exam by visiting our ASVAB Preparation Center.

In addition to this standard enlistment bonus, each of the services may offer other signing bonuses that vary in eligibility and prior experience requirements.  These additional bonuses can be added to the value of the standard enlisted bonus, but they cannot exceed the $40,000 cap set by congress.

You can learn more about the specific qualifications for enlistment bonuses by contacting a recruiter.

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