January 27, 2022
Army increases enlistment bonus to $50K to battle recruiting issues
The newest battlefield is a competitive job market.

The U.S. Army is offering a $50,000 maximum enlistment bonus to new recruits who sign up for six years. It’s the first time the bonus has reached $50,000 and a 25% increase on the previous max bonus of $40,000.

Army recruiters have been struggling to meet quotas during the pandemic due to a lack of face time in front of high school and college students.

“We are still living the implications of 2020 and the onset of COVID, when the school systems basically shut down,” Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, head of Army Recruiting Command, told the Associated Press. “We lost a full class of young men and women that we didn’t have contact with face-to-face.”

The maximum bonus is a legitimate challenge to achieve. Some careers, including missile defense crew, special forces, signals intelligence and fire control specialists, provide a better chance than others, but the bonuses are based on a number of different factors.

Last year, new recruits’ average bonus was $14,000.

“We’re in a competitive market,” Vereen said. “How we incentivize is absolutely essential.”

Army recruiting typically dips between February and May, when few people are graduating from school. Brig. Gen. John Cushing, who serves under Vereen, implied that the increased bonuses would only be eligible to people who enrolled during the fallow period.

“It is certainly a weapon that we have in our arsenal,” Cushing said. “And I think we’ve used it effectively.”

The Army is taking other measures to lure recruits. Last year it increased the option to enlist for two years, expanding it to 84 different career fields. In addition, some of the new troops will have the option of choosing where they’ll be assigned.

But the extra cash will help too, officials acknowledged.

“We want to promote the value of serving your country first,” Vereen said. “But we also know that, this generation and I guess human nature, you know, it’s all about compensation, too.” (Source: The New York Daily News)
Story Date: January 14, 2022
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