Regular Air Force: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet


There are over 70 opportunities to earn money in the Air Force in addition to basic pay. Bonuses may be available for new recruits, Airmen, and officers who select specific Air Force jobs, complete special training, assume extra responsibilities, or have served in the military before.


Active Duty Airmen - Bonus opportunities to active duty Airmen as incentives to develop or maintain certain skills and/or at various stages of their career.recruits being sworn in

New Recruits - The Air Force does offer bonuses for some enlisted jobs. Bonus amounts vary based on the job, your service commitment and the needs of the Air Force mission. During job counseling at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), you will learn whether you qualify for any jobs that offer bonuses. Once you enlist, your contract will specify any authorized bonus amount. You will be guaranteed this amount as long as you meet the requirements of the contract.

Benefit Highlights

Initial Enlistment Bonus (IEB): The Initial Enlistment Bonus (IEB) Program only applies to certain Air Force jobs, and the amount may vary. The amount of the bonus also may depend on length of enlistment. When qualified enlistment bonuses apply, they are one-time payments (lump sums) paid after you successfully complete the training specified in your contract and sign in at your first permanent duty station. Once you have been at your permanent duty station for 30 days, you take your request for payment to the customer service branch at the Military Personnel Flight (MPF) on your base. They will process the request for payment for you. Under normal circumstances, it will take 60 to 90 days from that point for you to receive your payment.

Advanced Rank Enlistment Program: An initial enlistment rank for E-1, E-3, or E-3 may be granted if you achieved one of the following:

  • 20 or more semester hours from a degree-granting college or university

  • Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient

  • Billy Mitchell, Amelia Earhart or Carl Spaatz Award

  • Civil Air Patrol

For more information contact your local recruiter.

Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) for Medical School:

The Air Force offers scholarships for healthcare professionals to include: one- and two-year scholarships for Allied Health specialties (pharmacists, optometrists, clinical psychologists and public health officers), two- and three-year scholarships for nurse corps specialties and three- and four-year scholarships for medical corps and dental corps.

  • Students receive full tuition and required fees at any accredited US medical school located within the continental US, Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico.

  • Books and most other educational fees are also covered under the HPSP scholarship.

  • An annual salary of ~$28,000 which includes:

    • A monthly stipend of $2,279.10/month for 10 ½ months duty tour (ADT).

While on scholarship, you will spend 45 days on active duty in the Air Force, and once you graduate, you will serve one year of active duty for each year of scholarship, serving a minimum of three years.

Health Professionals Accession Bonus: Health care professionals who agree to serve at least 3 or 4 years in the military in areas of need may qualify. The amount varies by medical specialty and length of service obligation.

Selective Retention Bonus : A service member who is serving in a designated critical area can receive a Selective Retention Bonus (SRB), up to a maximum of $100,000, if an agreement is signed to remain on active duty. Airmen are not eligible for a Selective Retention Bonus if they reenlist or enter an extension in order to get required retainability for a commissioning program after the selection date. Airmen may be eligible for an SRB if they reenlist or enter an extension before the selection date. In these cases, SRB payments do not occur pending official selection or non-selection. In Fiscal Year 2020 the Air Force has 72 qualifying professions click here for the complete listing.

Reenlistment Bonus: An Airmen currently serving may be eligible for a reenlistment bonus, provided they meet applicable time-in-service. First Term Airmen (FTA) must have approval of a Career Job Reservation (CJR) and one of the following:

  • Four-year enlistee must serve 36 consecutive months on current enlistment and be in the rank of A1C with 12 months’ time in grade.

  • Six-year enlistees must serve 60 consecutive months on their current enlistment and be in the rank of SrA.

Second term and career Airman are not in the Career Job Reservation program and must be within 90 days of their expiration term of service to reenlist.

All Airmen must meet other criteria according to AFI 36-2606, Reenlistment and Extension of Enlistment in the United States Air Force.

Additional Information

For more information about Bonuses, please visit the following Websites maintained by the Department of Defense:

Selective Retention Bonus (SRB) Program:

Air Force Instruction 36-2606: Reenlistment and Extension of Enlistment in the United States Air Force

DoD Financial Management Regulation:

Document Review Date: 03 March 2020