Marines can get both extra pay, bonus
By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Thursday, October 4, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — Normally, Marines can get money to either re-enlist or extend their time in the Corps to deploy.

Now they can get both.

The Corps has announced that Marines can receive extra pay to extend for an upcoming deployment, go to the Central Command area of responsibility, and then re-enlist, collecting a re-enlistment bonus on top.

The move is one of the changes in the fiscal 2008 Combat Extension Program, which pays enlisted Marines to extend their time in the Corps in order to deploy downrange.

Enlisted Marines can receive $3,000 to extend for six months or $6,000 to extend for 12 months under the program.

Since the program’s inception in May, more than 1,300 Marines have taken the incentive, said Capt. Phillip Bonincontri, Marine Corps compensation chief.

One issue that arose is Marines were taking the incentive and then deciding to re-enlist, Bonincontri explained Tuesday.

Normally, a Selective Re-enlistment Bonus would cancel out the extra pay they got to extend, but the Corps decided to grandfather those Marines who took the incentive and later re-enlisted, Bonincontri said.

For this fiscal year, the Corps has modified the Combat Extension Program so Marines can get the incentive and an SRB if they agree to add the months still remaining on their extension to their re-enlistment contract, a recent Corps-wide message says.

Marines who do not add the time left on their extension to their re-enlistment contracts will lose their combat extension pay, according to the Marine Corps Administrative Message.

The change is meant to help Marines who extend to deploy and then realize they want to take an SRB, Bonincontri said.

About 17,000 enlisted Marines are expected to reach the end of their time in active service this fiscal year, of which the Corps hopes 750 take the combat extension pay, he said.

Marines can get their re-enlistment bonus tax-free by re-enlisting in a combat zone or in the same month they receive a combat-zone tax exclusion.

For more information, go to MARADMIN 577/07 at: