Attention Marines! The reward for becoming a Marine is the title itself

Attention Marines! The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Eric Smith, has a message for you regarding recruiting efforts. Unlike the other branches of the military, the Marine Corps will not be offering financial incentives to new recruits. According to General Smith, “new devil dogs should not to expect a hefty cash payment if they enlist.” General Smith emphasized that the reward for becoming a Marine is the title itself, and there is no dollar amount that can match that.

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith looks out from the stage at the Defense News Conference (Colin Demarest/C4ISRNET)

Your bonus is that you get to call yourself a Marine,” Smith said. “That’s your bonus … there’s no dollar amount that goes with that.”

The Marine Corps is focusing on retaining the Marines it already has and plans to implement policies that would allow some Marines to stay at a duty station for six years instead of the standard three before transferring. The Corps is facing a gap in the 5-9 year mark and plans to retain, not recruit, their way out of the problem.

General Smith also mentioned the importance of talent management and training for the Marines. He questioned the wisdom of spending time and money to train a Marine, only to have them leave after four years.

USMC Public Affairs

On the bright side, recruiters who stay in their job for six months or more are now eligible to receive hundreds of dollars in monthly bonuses. Canvassing recruiters and staff noncommissioned officers in charge of recruiting substations will receive additional bonus pay if they extend their tours by 6, 9, or 12 months.

Despite the lack of financial incentives for new recruits, the Marine Corps hit their enlisted recruiting mark for fiscal year 2022 by signing up 28,608 active-duty enlisted Marines, just barely exceeding their goal by 8 bodies. The Corps also hit its exact goal of 4,602 Reserve enlisted personnel.

So, Marines, remember, according to No. 2 Marine Corps general the reward for becoming a Marine is the title itself, and the Corps is committed to retaining its current members and providing them with opportunities for growth and development.

*Article adopted from

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