Navy Bonus and Incentives Overview

The Navy offers many incentives for joining; these include several types of cash signing bonuses, education bonuses, and additional incentives. If you qualify for more than one bonus the Navy may combine them to pay a combined bonus, which is not to exceed $30,000, except in the case of Nuclear and SEAL enlistment programs which are capped at $40,000.


Many cash enlistment incentives may also be combined with either the Navy's Student Loan Repayment Program or the Navy College Fund, but not both.

How the Navy Pays Bonuses

If you enlist for cash bonuses, the Navy will normally pay the entire bonus amount (lump sum), when you arrive at your first permanent duty station after you have successfully completed your training. In some cases, the Navy may pay the bonuses incrementally as you reach certain career milestones or complete special training.

Navy Cash Bonuses

The Navy's cash bonuses include bonuses for joining the Navy SEALS, choosing a high demand job specialty (called a Navy Rating), for selecting a specific date to begin basic training (called shipping dates), for having a college education, signing up for "Delayed Entry," and more.

The following is a quick summary of the current Navy Cash Bonus:

  • Enlisted Source Rate (Specialty) Bonuses (ESRBP ) -- Up to $15,000
  • Enlistment Bonus Source Rate with Navy College Fund (EBSR-NCF) -- Up to 8,000 plus up to $72,900 for the Navy College Fund.
  • Extended Enlistment Bonus -- Up to $5,000
  • College Education Bonus -- Up to $8,000
  • National Call to Service Bonus -- Combined incentives equal to more than $23,000.
  • Navy SEAL or Special Warfare Bonuses -- Up to $40,000
  • Extended Delayed Entry Program -- $500
  • High ASVAB score -- $100 for Each Month on DEP

Enlisted Bonus Source Rate Program (EBSRP)

The Navy EBSRP offers a cash enlistment bonus if you choose to enlist in critical ratings (jobs) and are willing to ship out to basic training during specific months. To qualify for these bonuses, you may be required to extend your normal four-year enlistment contract by one year to a total five. If you enlist under a program which requires a five or six year enlistment period, such as Nuclear or Advanced Technical Programs, you do not have to extend your enlistment.

If you enlist on one of the four-year GENDET or GTEP programs, programs that do not offer a guaranteed rating and get the job assigned later, are not required to extend their enlistments.

Enlistment Bonus with the Navy College Fund

Depending on your chosen Navy rating, you may have the option of receiving an enlistment bonus, the Navy College Fund, or both. There are a limited number of ratings that can be combined with the Navy College Fund, and we've included those that are in a table below. If you are eligible and choose both, you will get a reduced signing bonus. As with the EBSR program, to qualify for these bonuses, you may be required to extend your normal four-year enlistment contract by one year to a total of five.

The amount of the College Fund ranges from $350 to $950 per month, added to the monthly amount that the Montgomery G.I. Bill pays for college education. In most cases, the combined EBSR-NCF is limited to the $350 a month GI Bill Kicker. Learn more about how these GI Bill Kickers work.

Extended Enlistment Bonus

If you are eligible for one of the following Navy ratings you may receive a bonus, in addition to any listed above, in exchange for a six-year enlistment:

A $5,000 signing bonus for Hull Technicians (HT), Electrician's Mates (EM), Enginemen (EN), Damage Controlmen (DC), Machinist Mates (MM), or Machinery Repairmen (MR).

A $3,000 signing bonus for Information Systems Technicians (IT).

Bonuses for College Credits

Recruits with college degrees, college credits, or vocational training may also qualify for a bonus. College bonuses may be combined with other enlistment bonuses. You must provide official college transcripts prior to shipping to basic training.

A $5,000 signing bonus for earning an Associate Degree.
A $7,000 signing bonus for Earning Bachelor's Degree.
A $3,000 signing bonus for 1 Year (900 classroom hours) of vocational technical education.
A $5,000 signing bonus for 2 Years (1,800 classroom hours) of vocational technical education.

And the following bonuses for earned college credits:

$2,000 for 12-23 semester hours (or equivalent) of college
$3,000 for 24-47 semester hours (or equivalent) of college
$4,000 for 48-71 semester hours (or equivalent) of college
$6,000 for 72-95 semester hours (or equivalent) of college
$7,000 for 96+ semester hours (or equivalent) of college

National Call to Service 15-month Plus Training Option

Individuals who enlist for the 15-month plus training option will be eligible to select one of the following enlistment incentives:

  • A cash enlistment bonus of $5,000 payable upon completion of the initial active duty obligation;
  • Student Loan Repayment of up to $18,000;
  • A monthly education allowance for up to 12 months ($816 per month*); or
  • A monthly education allowance for up to 36 months ($408 per month*).

Navy SEAL and Special Warfare Bonuses

If you qualify for the Navy SEAL Contract Program, you can be eligible for huge signing and performance bonuses. As a SEAL or Special Warfare candidate, you will begin receiving partial payments of your bonuses as you reach certain milestones in your training.

When you pass the Physical Standard Test, you will receive $1,000 of your bonus when you complete boot camp. If you pass the PST with a higher score, based on a pre-established level, you will be given an extra $2,000 at the completion of boot camp.

The maximum bonus is slightly different for each program:

  • SEAL - up to $40,000
  • Explosive Ordinance Disposal - up to $30,000
  • Diver - up to $25,000
  • Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) up to $18,000.

Extended Time in the Delayed Enlistment Program Bonus (DEP)

If you remain in the Delayed Enlistment Program for 10 months or more, you may be eligible to receive a $500 bonus. The bonus does not require a 12-month extension and can be combined with other enlistment bonus incentives.

Enlistment Bonus for High ASVAB Scores

If you are in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and your ASVAB (AFQT) score is 93 or greater, you can receive a $100 per month bonus for every month in the DEP over six months.

Prior Service Note: To be eligible for an enlistment bonus, a returning member who is a veteran must do so by re-entry at the pay-grade of E-3 or below, and not have previously received an enlistment bonus or re-enlistment bonus.

For more detailed information on how enlistment bonuses are paid, contact a recruiter.

Navy Education Bonuses and Incentives

The Navy offers several education related incentives including the following:

  • Student Loan Repayment -- up to $65,000 to repay student debt.
  • Navy College Fund -- up to $72,700 when combined with the Montgomery GI Bill.

Student Loan Repayment Program

The Student Loan Repayment Program offers eligible recruits who enlist for at least three years up to $65,000 toward qualifying student loans. LRP is available with Navy Ratings that offer enlistment incentives.

Note: The Montgomery GI Bill is not available with the Loan repayment Program.

Navy College Fund

The Navy offers qualified applicants the Navy College Fund, which combines with and increases the maximum Montgomery GI Bill benefit to $72,700 for individuals who qualify for this program. The Navy College Fund is available to active Navy applicants who qualify for any rating.

The Navy College Fund amount is based upon your shipping date, which is the date you elect to report to boot camp. The current Navy College Fund amounts are as follows:

  • October to December -- Up to $54,900
  • January to May -- Up to $58,500
  • June to September -- Up to $51,300
  • Those who enlist for a Nuclear Rating may earn up to  $72,700 (the maximum)

Note: The Navy College Fund, otherwise known as a GI Bill Kicker, increases the value of the GI Bill payment rate by as much as $950 a month. The cash value of this benefit is determined by the number of months you actually attend school after your release from active duty. This means that a full-time student who uses the total GI Bill 36 month of benefits, valued at over $38,000, can get as much as $72,700 in total benefits.

Additional Navy Enlistment Incentive Programs

Advanced Enlistment (Pay grade)

You may be entitled to enlist at a paygrade higher than the customary E-1 level if you meet certain criteria. This advanced paygrade, E-2 or E-3, is effective the first day of active duty. Although you will be paid at a higher level, you will not wear the rank until you have graduated from basic training.

There are several criteria for being eligible for Advanced Enlistment which include having college credit, vocational training, High School Military Academies, or referred another recruit for the extended Delayed Enlistment Program. In addition, membership in the following programs will also qualify for advanced enlistment:

  • Sea Scouts
  • Navy Sea Cadet Corps
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • High School JROTC
  • Scouting
  • Young Marines

Depending on the number of credits or rank within the programs listed you will either qualify to enlist at the E-2 or E-3 paygrade. Contact a Navy Recruiter to learn more about your eligibility for Advanced Enlistment.

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