Regular Air Force: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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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.


Active Duty Service members -recruits being sworn in Bonus opportunities available to active duty Airmen and Guardians are 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, your 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

Recruitment Bonuses

Advanced Rank Enlistment Program: An initial enlistment rank for E-1, E-2, 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.

Initial Enlistment Bonus (IEB): An Initial Enlistment Bonus (IEB) is an incentive used to entice individuals to enlist for a period of at least four years in specific, critical military skills. The amount of the bonus depends on the career field selected and the length of enlistment.

The Quick Ship Bonus is available when an applicant fills a short notice basic military training vacancy and ships within five days or less. Bonus amounts vary from $2,000 for a four year enlistment and $4000-$8000 for a six year service enlistment. Amounts also vary by career field.

Cyber Bonuses: Recruits who enlist into a certain cyber career fields and currently hold specific industry certifications are eligible to receive a bonus based on their career field. Contact a recruiter for details.

Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) for Medical School: The Air Force offers scholarships for healthcare professionals including: 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 covered
  • A monthly allowance for living expenses

While on scholarship, students spend 45 days on active duty in the Air Force, and upon graduation, serve one year of active duty for each year of scholarship, serving a minimum of three years.

The Air Force also offers the Financial Assistance Program (FAP) for medical and dental residents. Recipients can receive more than $45,000 for every year they participate in the program and receive a stipend of over $2,000 a month to cover living expenses. Upon completion of residency, recipients will have a one-year obligation for each year of participation, plus one extra year.

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

Retention Bonuses

Selective Retention Bonus: Service members who are serving in a designated critical area can receive a Selective Retention Bonus (SRB), if an agreement is signed to remain on active duty. Airmen and Guardians do not qualify for the SRB if they reenlist or extend their enlistments for any purpose other than continued active service in the SRB skill. Airmen and Guardians are not eligible for SRB if they reenlist or enter an extension in order to get required retainability for a commissioning program after the selection date. Further details regarding the fiscal year 2024 SRB program can be found in the Air Force Selective Retention Bonus Listing available on myFSS, using the keyword "Selective Retention Bonus Program."

In Fiscal Year 2024 the Department of the Air Force has 73 Air Force Specialty Codes.

Enlisted Aviation Incentive: Enlisted flyers are eligible for Critical Skill Incentive Pay. The incentive is paid monthly and varies between $225-$600 depending on years of Aviation Service.

Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB): Service members who are proficient in a foreign language may earn up to a $12,000 year. Eligibility requires passing the Defense Language Proficiency System test and maintaining a certification, which expires annually.

Aviation Bonus: Financial incentive to retain qualified, experienced officer aviators who have completed their Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) to remain on active duty for a specified period of additional service. Services may pay up to $25K for each year of service agreement, regardless of the length of contract; through 25 years of aviation service; and to aviators in grade 0-6.

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