MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
They’ve been offered as much as $80,000 and given the choice of where they want to be stationed. Now, Marines have the chance to get as much as three weeks off of work for choosing to stay in the Corps, and the best part is -- it’s free.
Marine Corps Installations West Bul¬letin 1040, which was approved Oct. 9, states that unit commanders can allocate as much as 21 “days off” to first-term Marines who reenlist during this period and as much as 14 days for Marines who are reenlisting for a second time or beyond, including Marine Corps officers who choose to remain in the Marine Corps.
Wing Bulletin 1040, the 3rd Marine Air Wing message, differs slightly in that every Marine, regardless of number of terms served, will receive 21 days.
The wing bulletin also allocates the PTAD incentive to sailors attached to III MAW and allows Marines and sailors who are deployed during the 2008 fiscal year to carry over the time to 2009.
The 2008 fiscal year incentive also marks an increase of seven days for each Marine from the previous year for MCI WEST and III MAW.
According to the two documents, unit commanders have the authority to give their Marines the “bonus” to take care of professional, family and personal readi¬ness matters.
Sgt. Justin Hager, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron career retention specialist, said Marines also need to co¬ordinate with their individual section’s to see when they can use the days.
Gunnery Sgt. William Ransier, Ma¬rine Aircraft Group 13 career retention specialist, pointed out that although these specific bulletins apply to III MAW and MCI West Marines, each major command around the Corps is offering Marines PTAD.
The amount of time given to Marines is established at the command levels, said Ransier.
“It is the generals who make the deci¬sions,” added Ransier. “That is why you will find differences with the wing and division.”
The measures, which were approved by Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert, com¬manding general for MCI West, and Maj. General Terry Robling, commander of III MAW, were designed as ways for the Marine Corps’ to show its Marines how valuable they are, said Ransier.
And since the leave will be catego¬rized as PTAD, Marines will not have to worry about being charged leave days, said Hager, who is a native of Sulphur Springs, Texas.
“Essentially, Marines are getting free vacation time,” he said.
When a Marine chooses to walk away from the Corps, four or five years of experience is leaving with them, said Ransier, a native of Plano, Texas. That is why it is so important to keep these established leaders.
Ransier also pointed out that it costs the Marine Corps a lot of money to train Marines.
It is much easier to give these Marines incentives and keep them in the fight, than constantly training new batches of leathernecks, said Ransier.
While the Marine Corps seems to be pulling out all the stops to keep its experienced devil dogs within the ranks, Hager and Ransier caution Marines about staying in the Corps for the wrong reasons and waiting too long to make a choice.
Compared to serving for four more years, 21 days is nothing, said Hager. Marines need to be sure this is some¬thing they really want.
Marines also need to make sure they are giving themselves enough time to make that decision, said Ran¬sier. It’s never too early for a Marine to start planning for their future, but if Marines wait until the last minute, they are not going to get what they want.
“These are the best incentives that I have ever seen,” said Rancier, who has worked as a retention specialist since 1999. “My advice to Marines who are interested in reenlisting is to do it now because the incentives are there.”
For more information about the PTAD reenlistment incentives, Ma¬rines can contact their unit career retention specialist.