In yet another attempt to ensure operational readiness, the Army is offering significant bonuses to qualified personnel in order to reenlist.
Under its selective retention bonus program, which is set to commence on the second week of September, the Army is offering monetary bonuses that can reach up to $81,000.
But the new bonuses are specifically designed to ensure longer enlistments, and thus safeguard the longterm health of the selected Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). The career fields that are going to be most benefited by the new initiative are Special Forces, Military Intelligence, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), and Cyberwarfare.
Sergeant Major Mark Thompson, the Army’s senior career counsellor, said in a statement to Army Times that “if a soldier wants to re-enlist only for three years, they’re actually going to get less money under this new bonus message than they would under the old bonus message. We’re still giving them an incentive, but they’ll get more if they give more.”
This is the sixth reenlistment initiative in this year that offers significant bonuses to retain Soldiers in critical career fields. The Army assigns bonuses in 10 categories. The higher the category that a MOS falls into, the higher the bonus.
With respect to the success of the overall retention program, Sgt. Major Thompson stated that “the Army is experiencing an unprecedented success in the retention program due in large part from engaged leaders and professionally-developed career counsellors. The Army continuously evaluates the current enlisted strengths with future projections to establish precision incentives. Investing in Soldiers with critical skills — such as cyber, intelligence, Special Forces, etc. — helps meet the retention needed to strengthen the Army’s ability to size, shape, and stabilize its force.”
According to the Army, during the 2019 Fiscal Year, approximately 82 percent of those eligible for reenlistment decided to remain in uniform.
In its quest for personnel retention, the Army is faced against a healthy economy and a gradual operational famine. With the war in Afghanistan slowly coming to an end, operational deployments – a major lure to enlist or reenlist for many warfighters – become rarer by the day.
A few months ago, the 75th Ranger Regiment was also offering significant reenlistment bonuses to selected personnel and MOS. The bonuses were reaching the $50,000 mark.
“The Army consistently reviews structure and projected strength requirements, and releases bonus messages as necessary,” added Sgt. Major Thompson.