Armed Forces News

Army recruits wait in line for their initial haircut while still partially dressed in their civilian clothes during basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C., Jan. 16, 2008 (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Micky M. Bazaldua)

Army recruits are for the first time eligible to collect a $25,000 bonus for agreeing to “quick ship” to basic training within 45 days. The bonus offer requires them to sign a contract committing them to four years of service.

The bonus also is being offered to those who enter all career fields. Previous offers were limited to fields where the need for personnel was greatest.

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“Recruiting in the current environment is a challenge, and we have positions we need to fill right now,” said Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, leader of U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. “Our Army is counting on us to fill these training vacancies quickly, so we are able to offer incentives to gain interest in critical career fields.”

The Army also is allowing future recruits who signed up under the delayed-entry program to renegotiate their contracts and collect the $25,000 bonus as well.

“For instance, a future soldier who selected infantry as a career field and enlisted in the delayed entry program in May, with a ship date of 6 September, can now renegotiate their contract,” said Patricia Crowe, tother he recruiting command’s chief of enlistment eligibility processing. “They will select a military occupational specialty (MOS) that is open with the availability to ship in the next 45 days. That would authorize them the $25,000 bonus.”

Those who accept the quick-ship bonus may also qualify for as much as $50,000 in other incentives, in addition to housing allowances, health care, education benefits and family support services.
The incentive is being offered as the service comes to grips with a shortage of new recruits. Military.com reported that the Army is involuntarily extending some recruiters’ assignments, often by several months. The service wants to recruit 60,000 new active-duty soldiers by October and is having difficulty doing so, according to the report.

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