Air Force Reserve: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Share on Facebook Share on X Share on LinkedIn

In addition to basic pay there are several opportunities in the Department of the Air Force to earn additional money. Bonuses may be available for new recruits, enlisted and officers, who select specific Department of the Air Force jobs, complete special training, or assume extra responsibilities.


stack of money

Air Force Reserve Service members on Active Duty with no prior service or those with prior service who meet the critical skill, term of service, and other specific eligibility requirements may be eligible for certain bonus opportunities. Refer to your contract for ramifications as to status of your bonus if accepted into the Air Force Reserve program.

Benefit Highlights

 For more information about current qualifying critical skills and location eligibility contact your local personnel office, Air Force recruiter or Space Force recruiter. Enlisted Incentive Programs: Enlistment and reenlistment bonuses are dependent on the length of contract and range from $7,500 to $15,000 based on the term of enlistment and paid out over a total of 3-6 years. For the AFR, enlisted bonuses under this program are limited to traditional and individual reservist and eligibility for annual payment requires satisfactory participation.

  • Non-Prior Service Enlistment Bonus: Granted to an individual who is enlisting in an incentive DAFSC for a term of six years and meets the criteria in DAFI 36-3012.
  • Affiliation Enlistment Bonus: Granted to a member who transfers directly from Regular Air Force or Individual Ready Reserve without a break in service, for a period of three to six years, and is assigned to a bonus DAFSC for which they hold at least a three skill-level Control Air Force Specialty Code or secondary AFSC on the date of enlistment.
  • Prior Service Enlistment Bonus: Granted to former members of the Armed forces who enlist in the Selected Reserve for a period of three or six years and meet criteria in DAFI 36-3012.
  • Reenlistment (Retention) Bonus: Granted to an Airman reenlisting for a three or six year period in an incentive DAFSC. Airmen must reenlist within six months of current expiration term of service when they are not currently receiving an incentive. Current incentive recipients must reenlist within 30 days of their ETS to maintain future incentive eligibility.
  • Retraining Bonus: Granted to a member already assigned to a unit in a non-incentive AFSC to retrain and later reenlist into one of the seven specific DAFSCs approved in FY23, for a period of three to six years on the date retraining is approved, and Airmen is entered into Training Status Code M or E.

Officer Incentive Programs: There are two types of officer’s incentives, accession and affiliation. Both bonuses require officers to sign an agreement to serve in the Selected Reserve.

  • Accession Bonus: Available to nearly appointed Air Force Reserve personnel assigned to an incentive Duty Air Force Specialty Code (DAFSC). Airmen must have less than 20 years total federal service at the time of appointment.
  • Affiliation Bonus: To qualify Airmen must have less than 15 years of qualifying military service and transfer from the Regular Air Force or Individual Ready Reserve.

Student Loan Repayment Program: The Student Loan Repayment Program is an Air Force Reserve program that makes one annual payment, per Federal guaranteed qualifying student loan account number, directly to the lending institution toward the balance of an individual’s student loans. Annual payments are 15% of the outstanding balance or $500 per each qualifying loan, whichever is greater, up to $3,500 per year of satisfactory service with a lifetime cap of $20,000.

Additional Information

For more information about Bonuses, please visit the following websites:

Selective Retention Bonus (SRB) Program:

Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2606: Reenlistment and Extension of Enlistment:

DoD Instruction 1304.31: Enlisted Bonus Program:

DoD Instruction 1304.34: General Bonus Authority for Officers:

DoD Financial Management Regulation:

Title 37, Chapter 5, Subchapter I- S&I Pays Currently for Active Duty Members:

DoD Instruction 1340.27, Military Foreign Language Skill Proficiency Bonuses:

Document Review Date: 31 May 2024