U.S. Army pays up to $50,000 signing bonus for enlistment

U.S. flags waving in the wind behind the cadets as they compete in a college football game.

Cadets take part in the NCAA college football game between the Army Black Knights and Massachusetts at Michie Stadium in West Point, NY on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The U.S. Army will pay up to $50,000 to recruits who qualify and sign for six years Active duty enlisted.Eduardo Muñoz Alvarez/AP Photo

Uncle Sam wants you, and he’s willing to pay you a lot of cash.

US Army announces It will pay out bonuses of up to $50,000 — the largest ever — to recruits who qualify and sign up for six years of active duty enlistment. Bonus packages are based on a variety of factors, including career field selected, personal qualifications, contract duration, and training delivery date.

“This is an opportunity to get people thinking about the military,” Brigg said. General John Cushing in a press release.

Like the private sector, the Army has struggled to attract talent since 2020, and officials hope these incentives, along with some other changes, will begin to attract qualified young people.

“We’re still living in 2020 and the effects of the COVID outbreak when the school system is largely closed,” said Major General Kevin Willing, head of Army Recruiting Command, told the Associated Press“We’ve lost a whole class of young men and women we haven’t had face-to-face contact with.”

Here’s how the new incentives work.

How to Get Up to $50,000 in Army Signing Bonuses

Career-based awards range from $1,000 to $40,000, depending on the field. Positions that are harder to hire will offer higher bonuses. Occupations range from well-known occupations, such as infantry and special forces, to lesser-known occupations, such as radar mechanic, signal support systems specialist and motor transport operator.

The Army also offers “fast boat” bonuses—ranging from $2,000 to $9,000—for recruits who can attend basic training within 90 days. The sooner a recruit leaves, the more cash he or she receives.

Participating in airborne training can bring in $10,000, while ranger training can bring in up to $20,000. Foreign language skills can lead to up to $40,000 in income in specific career paths.

The combination of all these incentives will result in the biggest bonus.

“For example, 6-year enlistment as an air and missile defense aircrew starts at $40,000. Currently, the occupation is also eligible for a key entry bonus of $9,000,” the Army said in its Press release. “Adding the expedited shipping bonus will allow recruits to reach the maximum number if the individual decides to ship to the training ground within the next 90 days.”

The Army is also pushing other new changes to attract talent: shorter two-year enlistments in 84 different career fields, and opportunities for recruits to choose where to work.

“We know this generation loves the opportunity to make their own decisions, so now they can choose where they want to be assigned after training,” Vereen said. “…Many people are now concerned about long-term commitments, so we thought having a shorter option would help give them some time to see if the Army fits their lives and goals.”

Robert Bruce is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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