Are you thinking about joining the Marine Forces Reserve (MFR), or considering transitioning from active duty to the reserve? If so, you are probably wondering how much marine reservists earn and whether they receive any reimbursements for travel or living expenses.
Fortunately for you, our experts have all the answers. Since we have worked closely with MFR personnel for years, we have close insight into the Marine Reserve pay structure. To find out how much Marine reservists are paid annually, according to rank and seniority, read on.
Reservist Pay 101
If a marine reservist is not called to serve full duty, then they receive drill pay. Drill pay is a monthly direct deposit that consists of one’s base pay, adjusted by rank and seniority, for every 4-hour training period completed.
Most reservists are scheduled for no more than 48 drill periods annually unless specialized training is required. Drills are training sessions that take place on weekends or during full-time training events. Those enlisted in the National Guard or MRF undergo at least one-weekend drill per month.
Aside from drill pay, reservists can also receive active duty training and two weeks of additional active duty for training benefits that are paid at the rate of one day’s pay plus allowances. In the MFR, authorized travel expenses are also reimbursed as an allowance issued per mile traveled.
Pay Range: Enlisted Personnel (<6 Years’ Service)
The minimum rate for Marine reservists is $218, which is the “E-1” pay grade for those with less than two years of service. For those with less than two years of service at the E-7 pay grade, enlisted military personnel earns $391 for their monthly drills.
Regardless of experience level, all personnel at the E-2 pay grade will earn $244 monthly in drill pay. For those with less than two years of experience at the E-3 pay grade will earn $257 monthly. However, E-3 personnel with over two years of experience will earn $273 and those with more than three years of service will take home $289 monthly.
The maximum amount that an enlisted reservist can earn with six years of experience or less is $482 for drill pay at the E-7 pay grade. At E-6, reservists with over six years of experience earn $422, a difference of $60.
Any enlisted personnel with less than four months of experience will earn $201 per month for their drill pay. After graduating from this phase, all personnel at the E-1 pay grade will earn $218 monthly.
Pay Range: Enlisted Personnel (8-16 Years’ Service)
All personnel at the E-1 pay grade between eight and 16 years of service earn the standard $218 drill pay per month, $244 at the E-2 level, $289 at the E-3 level, and $351 at E-4.
At the E-5 level and above, enlisted personnel start to earn varying amounts based on their experience level. For instance, those with over 16 years of experience at the E-6 level earn $517 monthly while those with only eight or nine years earn $459. At the highest pay grade, E-9, enlisted personnel with over 16 years of service earn $746 in drill pay.
Pay Range: Enlisted Personnel (18-30 Years’ Service)
With more seniority comes higher pay. Although the bottom-ranking pay grades (i.e., E-1 to E-6) are standard across all experience levels in this category, there is a sliding pay scale near the top of the pay grades. Reservists who have reached the rank of E-7 earn $703 monthly with over 26 years of experience with those with only 18 earn $615 per month.
At the absolute highest tier, those at the E-9 pay grade with over 38 years of experience can earn a total of $1,068 in monthly drill pay. At E-8, those with the same experience level earn $803 monthly.
Pay Range: Reserve Officer (<6 Years’ Service)
With greater responsibilities and credentials, Reserve-Guard Officers earn more than their enlisted personnel counterparts. The lowest drill pay amount is issued at the O-1 pay grade, which is $413 for those with less than two years of experience. At the same pay grade, those with over six years of experience earn $520 monthly.
At the upper end of the spectrum, those at the O-7 pay grade net $1,164 monthly with less than two years of experience. For those with an additional four years of seniority, drill payments of $1,299 are issued monthly.
Pay Range: Reserve Officer (8-16 Years’ Service)
Higher-ranking Reserve Officers earn significantly more for their weekend drills than lower-level officers. At the O-7 pay grade, those with over 16 years of experience earn $1,587 monthly while those with the same level of experience at the 0-4 level earn $1,035. With only eight years of experience, middling O-4 ranked officers earn $878.
The lower pay brackets for Reserve Officers sit at $520 and $659 for O-1 and O-2 Officers, respectively. At the O-3 level, Officers earn between $809 and $896 depending on seniority.
Pay Range: Warrant Officers
Warrant Officers are officers in the MRF who are designated as such by warrant and not commission. Warrant Officers are compensated for drill pay according to a sliding pay scale at the W-1, W-2, W3, and W-4 levels.
The starting pay for a Warrant Officer at the W-1 level is $404. However, their compensation quickly climbs to $630 after they reach three years of experience and reach the W-4 level. Senior Warrant Officers with over 10 years of experience at the W-2 level earn $625,and those at the W-4 level earn $736.
Those occupying the highest end of the pay scale for Warrant Officers are W-5 officers with over 26 years of service, who earn $1,144 monthly or $1,040 at the W-4 level.
Notes on Pay Information
The above information about Marine Forces Reserve drill pay is denoted in US dollars and is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The figures quoted above include the adjusted rates after the 2018 budget increase (2.1%).