Marines exceed re-enlistment goals

July 02, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

SAN DIEGO - Although finding enough new recruits continues to be difficult, the Marine Corps has exceeded its goals for convincing Marines to re-enlist, officials announced yesterday.

Lt. Col. Mark Menotti said that re-enlistment bonuses and appeals to patriotism and the Marines' sense of camaraderie helped the corps exceed its goals for re-enlisting first-term Marines, and also those serving a second or third tour.

In certain job categories, particularly those needed for combat in Iraq, bonuses exceeded $30,000. The largest of the bonuses are for infantry skills. Others are for linguists and intelligence analysts.

The corps earmarked $52 million in bonuses, up by $1 million from the previous year. If troops re-enlist while in Iraq, the bonuses are exempt from taxes.

As of yesterday, the beginning of a new fiscal year, the corps had re-enlisted 5,949 Marines for a second hitch (100.2 percent of the goal) and 5,079 for a third or subsequent tour (109.4 percent).

With many Marines serving multiple tours in Iraq, and Marine fatalities exceeding more than 500, some officials had worried that the Marine Corps would not be able to meet its re-enlistment goals.

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