Bonus of $ 50,000 to those who enlist in the Army

The U.S. Army is offering for the first time a maximum $ 50,000 enlistment bonus to highly-skilled recruits who join for six years, The Associated Press has learned, at a time when officers are struggling to attract soldiers. to certain crucial jobs during the pandemic.

Major General Kevin Vereen, chief of the Army Recruitment Command, told the AP that school closings and the competitive job market last year have posed considerable challenges for recruiters. So at a time when the most difficult months of the year to recruit personnel are approaching, the Army is confident that some extra money and certain other changes will encourage qualified young people to join.

“We are still living through the implications of 2020 and the rise of COVID, when school systems practically closed,” Vereen said. “We lost an entire class of young men and women with whom we had no face-to-face contact.”

The two years of the pandemic have made recruiting in schools and public events more difficult, and the competition for quality workers has intensified as young people weigh their options.

Some, Vereen said, are taking what he calls a sabbatical, “and deciding they don’t necessarily need to work now.”

The annual recruitment goal fluctuates as serving soldiers decide whether to re-enlist or disenroll. In the past two years, amid the ravages of the pandemic, many decided to stay, taking pressure off recruiting to keep the Army’s full force at 485,000. Last year’s recruiting goal was 57,500, and Vereen noted that this year the number will be roughly the same.

To attract recruits, those who enroll for six years in one of the most in-demand careers can receive bonuses of up to $ 50,000. Due to the high level of demand, many will find it difficult to qualify for the highest bonus.

The final figure depends on when they agree to undertake the training, whether they already possess critical skills, and whether they choose positions in aerial sectors or on the ground. Certain careers — such as missile defense crews, special forces, and intelligence signals and fire control specialists coordinating weapons operations on the battlefield — typically receive the highest bonuses.

But other crucial jobs include infantry, intelligence analyst, combat medical specialist, military police, combat engineer, and several others. And the bonuses in those positions could change each month, based on available positions in training and other service needs.

Until now, the Army had offered a maximum bonus of $ 40,000.