The Army is offering promotions and cash bonuses for soldiers who volunteer for recruiting duty. The service hopes the incentives will attract 800 new students to its recruiting and retention college at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The package includes immediate promotion to staff sergeant (E-6) to soldiers when they report to their first recruiting assignment, as well as graduates of the program who enroll in the Army Recruiter Course by next February. These soldiers also will get a one-time lump sum payment of $5,000. The promotions to staff sergeant will be conditional. Soldiers still will have to meet all professional military education requirements.
Staff sergeants who step forward for recruiting duty would be eligible for promotion to sergeant first class (E-7) if they are able to come forward with 24 signed enlistment contracts – providing that all 24 new recruits attend basic combat training over a maximum 12-month period. Soldiers currently serving as recruiters who agree to extend their three-year assignments would receive $1,200 per month for up to 12 months.
The Army also may decide soon to assign soldiers to the recruiting and retention college who otherwise would be slated for stints at the drill sergeant school at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
The aim is to increase the recruiter ranks that now stands at slightly more than 10,000 soldiers, said Lt. Gen. Doug Stitt, deputy chief of staff for personnel, expressing concerns that the number of soldiers scheduled to attend the Fort Knox college has dropped.
“The losses exceeded the gains and in order to maintain that momentum that we were seeing within the recruiting force, we [started] to set the conditions for transformation,” Stitt told a group of reporters recently. “We made the decision … to bump up the numbers.”
The screening and selection process is underway.
Stitt also stated that even though the goal is to increase the recruiter ranks, fitness and physical training standards will not be compromised in the process. The recruitment branch will continue to search out soldiers in the ranks of sergeant, staff sergeant and sergeant first class with a minimum of four years’ service.
“This is not about a number,” Stitt said. “This is about identifying the right soldiers to go in there and support this effort.”