Attrition: December 25, 2004

The military has long paid large cash bonuses to get doctors, pilots and scarce technicians to stay in uniform. But now the U.S. Marine Corps has recognized the value of combat experienced NCOs. With attractive offers from security companies providing competition, the marines are now re-enlistment bonuses of up to $30,000 for infantry NCOs with combat experience. Both tradition, and statistics, recognize the key importance of these men in making combat units work effectively. It takes years to create a good infantry NCO. And once these men have proven themselves in combat (most do), their value is a known quality. Marine infantry NCOs are being offered other inducements to stay in, like transfer to other jobs, like recruiting, the embassy guard system or training (especially drill instructor duty in boot camp). Previously, the maximum cash bonus for infantry NCOs was $7,000.

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