How to Calculate a Reenlistment Bonus

How to Calculate a Reenlistment Bonus

There are many reasons military service personnel reenlist. They may feel a call to assist those in need, defend the country in different places and continue their service education to further their career opportunities once they leave the rigid military. Often service members get a monetary bonus if they decide to reenlist. There are a few important factors that go into how much bonus a service person will receive if they decide to reenlist.

1 How to Calculate the Bonus

Several factors go into determining the amount of the bonus from Tier 1 to Tier 10. The exact amount varies by service. Periodically the amounts are modified, sometimes as often as every quarter. The length of the member’s active military duty, Skill Qualification Identifier (SQI), Primary Military Occupational Specialty or MOS, language code, Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) or specialty and rank factor into the bonus. Personnel who are in needed specialties may get additional bonuses. The length of the enlistment extension can further determine the bonus available. The terms break down into 12 to 23 months, 24 to 35 months, 35 to 47 months and so on. Tier 1 PFC and SPC that are intending to enlist at the least amount of 12 to 23 months can expect about $500. Further up the chain, a Tier 10 SSG/SFC that is reenlisting over 60 months can expect over $70,000 in bonus pay. Put out quarterly, MILPER messages announce changes in the selective reenlistment bonus program.

2 Limits to Bonuses

A cap can be placed on the bonus amount for personnel in any given service. During a military career there may be more than one reenlistment bonus, but a cap can be placed on the overall total number of payments that an individual serviceman can get over the expanse of their time in duty. Considerations for caps can depend on the service branch as well as the tier.

3 Branch Rules

Each branch has its own area to research in order to be up on the latest changes in bonus pay. The Selective Reenlistment Bonus for Marines can be found at, which includes rating and zone information that can factor into the size of the personnel’s bonus. The Navy Selective Reenlistment Bonus policy updates can be found at Air Force Selective Reenlistment Bonus information can be found at myPers. Specialty codes, zone and skill level information that can affect a bonus structure can be found there as well.

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at