The salary range for members of the U.S. Marine Corps is set by Congress, and is based on a marine’s rank and time in service. In addition to base pay, members of the Marine Corps also get benefits, such as health care and a housing allowance.
Salary information consists solely of base pay. Salaries don’t include living, housing allowances, re-enlistment bonuses or special-duty pay. It should also be noted that few marines actually stay at E-1 recruit status for a full year.
Active Duty Enlisted
In 2009, marine recruits are paid $16,974 a year. A master gunnery sergeant or sergeant-major (the highest-ranking enlisted grade) with 40 years in the marines makes $82,357.20 annually.
Active Duty Officer
A new second lieutenant makes $31,863.60. A full (four-star) general with 40 years of experience makes $216,738.
An E-3 (the lowest enlisted rank possible in the reserves) with under two years makes $2,639.52 annually in the reserves. A reserve master gunnery sergeant/sergeant major with 40 years of experience makes $10,980.96 annually.
An inexperienced reserve second lieutenant makes $4,248.48 annually, while a brigadier-general with 40 years of experience (brigadier-general is the highest rank possible in the reserves) makes $18,055.20 annually.
Marines are paid on the first and the 15th of each month, unless pay day falls on a weekend. If it does, pay day is moved to the closest Friday.