Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Luis Gomez, a Wheeling, Illinois native and field artillery fire direction control Marine with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, 3d Marine Division, speaks to Staff Sgt. Ramon Santiago, a Yorktown, Virginia native and joint terminal attack controller with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, 3d Marine Division, about the Direct Affiliation Program on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, May 12, 2023. The DAP affords qualified active component Marines the opportunity to affiliate with a Selected Marine Corps Reserve unit or the Individual Mobilization Augmentee program following their expiration of active service with no break in service.

Photo by Cpl. Eric Huynh

Incentivized, seamless transition to the Marine Corps Reserve through the Direct Affiliation Program

23 Aug 2023 | 1st Lt. Sarah Eason Headquarters Marine Corps

Marines who transition to the Marine Corps Reserve through the Direct Affiliation Program are eligible for a 25,000-dollar signing bonus, choice of duty station, and lateral move opportunities.

MARADMIN 395/23, released Aug. 10, 2023, announced updates to DAP for Fiscal Year 24. These updates allow for an expansion and optimization of the program. The heightened emphasis on DAP derives from Force Design 2030, which requires the service to retain mature and highly skilled Marines to keep the total force lethal.

“The strength of the Marine Corps has always been and will continue to be the individual Marine,” Col. Robert McCarthy, Branch Head for Manpower Management Enlisted Assignments, MRA, HQMC.

“Should Marines make the decision to transition from the active component, we want to create more opportunities for them to continue to serve in the Reserve.” said Col. Robert McCarthy.

DAP allows Marines to seamlessly transition from the active component to the reserve component with no break in service. Marines who want to continue serving their country can stay in uniform but with greater flexibility and the ability to pursue other personal and professional goals. Simultaneously, the Marine Corps keeps an indispensable Marine who is prepared to fight when the Nation needs them. DAP is a win for the individual Marine and the Marine Corps.

The program provides Marines with a stable and financially secure transition from active-duty service to civilian life. Marines and their dependents receive a six-month extension of their Tricare Prime healthcare benefits. After six months, they become eligible to enroll in TRICARE Reserve Select, which provides healthcare at a fraction of the cost of civilian health insurance. They are eligible to pay into Service Member’s Group Life Insurance and maintain the ability to transfer educational benefits to dependents. Additionally, Marines in the reserve component can build retirement savings through the Blended Retirement System.

Beyond providing stability for Marines and their families, DAP incentivizes Marines with a guaranteed choice of duty station location and billet. There are several opportunities for Marines to continue to grow within their military occupational specialty and military career, including deployments and realistic training. Through DAP, Marines also have an opportunity to lateral move into other MOSs and experience a different job than they did in the active component.

Marines transitioning through DAP are eligible to receive a 25,000-dollar incentive for a three-year obligation, 10,000 dollars for a two-year obligation, and 5,000 dollars for a one-year obligation.

"There is place for you to continue to serve as a United States Marine,” said McCarthy. “Stay Marine…and continue to build our legacy.”

For more information about FY24 DAP, go to MARADMIN 395/23. If you are interested in seamlessly transitioning to the Selected Marine Corps Reserve or the Individual Mobilization Augmentee program, reach out to your unit’s career planner today.