Officers in the Marine Corps receive a salary depending on the number of years of service and rank. Officers with more years in service earn more than those with fewer years of service and subordinate in rank. In comparison to enlisted Marines and warrant officers, commissioned officers earn more in salaries and have higher allowances.
New officers in the Marine Corps start as 2nd Lieutenants after successfully completing a pre-commissioning program. New officers obtain commissions through Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), the U.S. Naval Academy or Officer Candidate School. Upon commissioning and reporting for active duty, 2nd Lieutenants without any previous military experience start earning $2,745.60 per month. According to the 2010 military pay chart, the salary of a 2nd Lieutenant is capped at $3,454.20 per month. However, on average, Marine 2nd Lieutenants earn an average salary of $3,019 a month.
A company commander in the Marine Corps typically holds the rank of captain. A company is a unit of military organization consisting of a small group of platoons (usually a minimum of three). The salary range for a Marine captain starts at $3,660.60 per month for those with less than 2 years of service. After that, captain pay is capped at $5,955.60 monthly after 14 years of service. Based on the salary points available for captains, the average salary is about $4,997.03 per month, which equates to about $59,964.36 annually.
Battalion commanders typically hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and oversee the operation and leadership of a group of companies. Necessarily, the pay range for battalion commanders is higher than that of company commanders. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service pay chart shows that the salary range for a lieutenant colonel is between $4,825.50 and $8,198.40 per month. Accounting for all the salary points, the average pay for a battalion commander holding the rank of lieutenant colonel is $6,632.54 per month or about $79,590.46 per year.
A Marine colonel is the officer normally in command of a Marine regiment. As of 2010, the military pay scale for a regiment commander ranges from $5,788.50 to $10,247.70. On average, the monthly salary of a colonel who is the commander of a Marine regiment is $8,040.02. This is the equivalent of a salary of $96,480.21 per year.
General officers in the Marine Corps hold the most senior leadership positions including Commandant of the Marine Corps. The 2010 military pay chart shows that a Marine general holding the position of Commandant receives $19,983.60 per month or about $239,796 per year. Generals in the Marines also command divisions, which are the largest units in the Marine Corps. Pay for generals starts at $7,809.90 for a Brigadier General and up to $18,675 per month. Based on these two salary points, generals in the Marine Corps make an average of about $13,242 per month or about $158,904 per year.
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