U.S. Army Offers Highest Enlistment Bonus Ever

U.S. Army Offers Highest Enlistment Bonus Ever

The highest enlistment bonus ever.

Here's What to Remember: The Army has also sought to make changes to its training pipeline to make service a more appealing option in this highly competitive market.

The U.S. Army has announced the highest enlistment bonuses ever offered by the branch as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively affect recruiting. 

According to a recent press release, the Army is now offering a maximum enlistment bonus of up to $50,000 for highly skilled recruits who enlist for six years of active duty service. The amount of the enlistment bonuses offered are based on a variety of variables that the Army says include, “selected career field, individual qualifications, length of the enlistment contract, and the ship date for training.”

“This is an opportunity to entice folks to consider the Army,” said Brig. Gen. John Cushing, who serves as the deputy commanding general for operations at U.S. Army Recruiting. 

“We’ve taken a look at the critical (military occupational specialties) we need to fill in order to maintain the training bases, and that is where we place a lot of our emphasis.”

Related: How Long is Army Basic Training?

military occupational specialty (commonly referred to as an MOS) is the technical term for career field or job within the military. According to the Army, the MOS a recruit chooses will have the greatest bearing on the size of the bonus they are eligible for. For occupational specialties that aren’t in high demand, incentive bonuses come in as low as $1,000, while higher-demand specialties can net a new Soldier as much as $40,000. 

According to the Army, the highest recruitment bonus levels aren’t specific to any one job, but rather a slew of them aimed at accomplishing essential tasks. Examples provided range from infantry and Special Forces, to occupations like radar repairers, signal support systems specialists and motor transport operators.

From there, new recruits can add a “quick ship” bonus to the top of their incentive bonus. To qualify, a new enlistee must ship off for training within 90 days of signing up, with bonuses ranging from $2,000 to $9,000 depending on how quickly you leave. The sooner a new recruit departs for training, the higher the bonus. 

And there are still more incentive bonuses available for new troops who aim for highly specialized combat roles. Airborne troops in the Army are eligible for a $10,000 enlistment bonus, while new Rangers can tack on $20,000 to their starting pay. For those who speak in-demand foreign languages, there’s up to $40,000 worth of bonuses available for certain career fields that leverage them, the list goes on and on. 

Related: How to become an Army Ranger

However, despite how quickly these figures could rack up, the Army has topped out the enlistment bonus free-for-all at $50,000 for each new Soldier, making this the most lucrative time in Army history to join. 

To help alleviate any confusion, the Army has offered a few examples of how this bonus structure might work for a new enlistee. 

“For example, a six-year enlistment as an air and missile defense crewmember starts with $40,000. Right now, that occupation also qualifies for a $9,000 critical accession bonus. If the individual decides to ship to training within the next 90 days, the addition of a quick-ship bonus would get the recruit to the maximum amount.”

“Here’s another example: An infantry recruit signing a six-year contract could receive a critical skill bonus of $21,000 and an accession bonus of $3,000. That same recruit could also opt for Ranger school and enter the Army with a total of $34,000.”

Related: ‘Ten Weeks’ shows Army Basic Training like you’ve never seen it before

The Army has also sought to make changes to its training pipeline to make service a more appealing option in this highly competitive market. While it takes a 6-year commitment for the Army to give you its highest enlistment bonus, the service also offers much shorter 2-year active duty contracts for those leery of long commitments. In fact, the Army has even gone so far as to allow troops to have a great deal of say over where they train and serve—a far cry from the old days when the “needs of the service” were always prioritized over the whims of the service member. 

“We know this generation likes to have the opportunity to make their own decisions, so now they can choose where they want to be assigned after training. We didn’t have that last year,” Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, who leads U.S. Army Recruiting Command, said.

“We also have opened two-year enlistments for 84 different career fields. Many people are apprehensive about long-term commitments right now, so we think having a shorter option will help give them some time to see if the Army fits their life and goals.” 

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran who specializes in foreign policy and defense technology analysis. He holds a master’s degree in Communications from Southern New Hampshire University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications from Framingham State University.

This article first appeared at Sandboxx News.

Image: Wikipedia