Military branches often offer bonus payments or performance bonuses to those
who meet various personnel qualification requirements. Such bonus programs
can be short term, such as an initial cash payout, or long-term bonus performance
programs, which spread payments out over the course of enlistment term. Some
performance bonuses are offered upon enlistment, for reenlistment, or for overseas
extension as well as bonuses, or special pay, for hardship duty, hazardous
duty, imminent danger pay, as well as combat aviation or diver pay.
Enlistment performance bonuses are paid out after minimum-qualifying scores
on qualifications test within the armed forces for which there is a demand
for personnel are met. In most cases, enlistment terms are for three years
in duration and may earn recruits between $1,000 and $12,000, depending on
education levels, as well as rating or MOS (military occupational specialty – aka "job").
The U.S. Army has been known to increase enlistment bonuses to as high as $25,000,
dependent on MOS needs.
Reenlistments as well as overseas extension bonuses are also available for
military members who opt to extend overseas tours by one year or more. Such
performance bonuses can be paid out in several different ways, including incorporation
into monthly pay, or in a 15-day R&R prepaid round-trip transportation
to the United States, or as 30 days of R&R in addition to already accumulated
or existing leave time.
Regardless of the method through which such performance bonuses are paid out,
recruits and veteran soldiers alike benefit, as does the military branch through
which such performance bonuses are awarded.