37 U.S. Code § 309 - Special pay: enlistment bonus

§ 309.
Special pay: enlistment bonus
(a)Bonus Authorized; Bonus Amount.—
A person who enlists in an armed force for a period of at least 2 years may be paid a bonus in an amount not to exceed $40,000. The bonus may be paid in a single lump sum or in periodic installments.
A member who does not complete the term of enlistment for which a bonus was paid to the member under this section, or a member who is not technically qualified in the skill for which a bonus was paid to the member under this section, shall be subject to the repayment provisions of section 303a(e) of this title.
(c)Relation to Prohibition on Bounties.—
The enlistment bonus authorized by this section is not a bounty for purposes of section 514(a) of title 10.
This section shall be administered under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense for the armed forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense and by the Secretary of Homeland Security for the Coast Guard when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy.
(e)Duration of Authority.—
No bonus shall be paid under this section with respect to any enlistment in the armed forces made after December 31, 2016.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 309, Pub. L. 87–649, Sept. 7, 1962, 76 Stat. 468, related to authority of Secretary concerned to provide for additional pay for performance of administrative functions by officers of the National Guard and reserve components, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 96–107, title IV, § 404(a)(1), (b), Nov. 9, 1979, 93 Stat. 808, 809, applicable only with respect to administrative functions performed after Sept. 30, 1980.


2015—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 114–92 substituted “December 31, 2016” for “December 31, 2015”.

2014—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–291 substituted “December 31, 2015” for “December 31, 2014”.

2013—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–66 substituted “December 31, 2014” for “December 31, 2013”.

Pub. L. 112–239 substituted “December 31, 2013” for “December 31, 2012”.

2011—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 112–81 substituted “December 31, 2012” for “December 31, 2011”.

Pub. L. 111–383 substituted “December 31, 2011” for “December 31, 2010”.

2009—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 111–84 substituted “December 31, 2010” for “December 31, 2009”.

2008—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 110–417 substituted “December 31, 2009” for “December 31, 2008”.

Pub. L. 110–181 substituted “December 31, 2008” for “December 31, 2007”.

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–163, § 635, substituted “$40,000” for “$20,000”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–163, § 687(b)(20), amended heading and text of subsec. (b) generally, substituting provisions referring to repayment provisions of section 303a(e) for specific provisions relating to refunds required when member is not technically qualified in skill for which bonus was paid or fails to complete term of enlistment for which bonus was paid.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–364 substituted “December 31, 2007” for “December 31, 2006”.

Pub. L. 109–163, § 624(d), substituted “December 31, 2006” for “December 31, 2005”.

2004—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–375 substituted “December 31, 2005” for “December 31, 2004”.

2003—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–136 substituted “December 31, 2004” for “December 31, 2003”.

2002—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–296 substituted “of Homeland Security” for “of Transportation”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–314 substituted “December 31, 2003” for “December 31, 2002”.

2001—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–107 substituted “December 31, 2002” for “December 31, 2001”.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–181 effective as of Dec. 31, 2007, and subject to various special provisions, see section 610 of Pub. L. 110–181, set out as a Correction of Lapsed Authorities for Payment of Bonuses, Special Pays, and Similar Benefits for Members of the Uniformed Services note under section 2130a of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–296 effective on the date of transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security, see section 1704(g) of Pub. L. 107–296, set out as a note under section 101 of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Effective Date

Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VI, § 624(c)(1)], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–153, provided that:

“The amendments made by subsection (a) [enacting this section] shall take effect on October 1, 2000, and apply with respect to enlistments in the Armed Forces made on or after that date.”

Savings Provision

For savings provision relating to payment or repayment of any bonus, incentive pay, special pay, or similar pay obligated to be paid before Apr. 1, 2006, under a provision of this section amended by section 687(b) of Pub. L. 109–163, see section 687(f) of Pub. L. 109–163, set out as a note under section 510 of Title 10, Armed Forces.


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