Regular Air Force: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet


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


Active Duty Service members - Bonus opportunities to active duty Airmen  and Guardians as incentives to develop or maintain certain skills and/or at various stages of their career.

New Recruits - The Department of the Air Force offers bonuses for some enlisted jobs. Bonus amounts vary based on the job, your service commitment and the needs of the Department 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, recruits being sworn inyour contract will specify any authorized bonus amount. The bonus is paid in a lump sum after you successfully complete training and 30 days after you sign it at your permanent duty station.   

Benefit Highlights

Initial Enlistment Bonus (IEB): The Initial Enlistment Bonus (IEB) Program only applies to certain Department of the 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 Air Force recruiter or Space Force 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 ~$32,000 which includes:

    • A monthly stipend of $2,466.00/month for 10 ½ months duty tour (ADT).

  • A $20,000 signing bonus is offered to students who receive a four year AF HPSP scholarship. Three year scholarship participants can receive the bonus if they agree to a four year commitment.

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 and Guardians 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 and Guardians 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 2021 the Department of the Air Force has 40 qualifying professions click here for the complete listing.

Aviation Bonus: The Department of the Air Force offers active duty aviators incentive bonuses from $15,000 to $35,000.  In addition, some categories are eligible to receive a lump sum of $100,000 or $200,000 with the remaining balance of their contract paid annually over the term of their contract. The lump sum options start in the 5- and 8-year contract tiers. Eligible aviators must be:

  • The rank of lieutenant colonel and below 

  • Qualified for operational flying duty

  • Receiving monthly aviation incentive pay

The application window is open from April 11 to August 31, 2022. Complete eligibility requirements and application instructions are available on the MyPers website.

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:

Department of the Air Force Selective Retention Bonus Listing

Document Review Date: 27 April 2022