Monday, April 6, 2009

Several Army enlistment bonuses slashed

Several Army enlistment bonuses slashed

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Apr 6, 2009 9:50:12 EDT

The Army has reduced or eliminated a number of enlistment bonuses offered to new soldiers, following similar cuts to re-up bonuses.

The changes were effective March 1. Here is a look at some of the key changes, as provided by Recruiting Command.

• The Army Advantage Fund pilot program, implemented in February 2008, has ended. The program set aside up to $45,000 as a tax-free payment that soldiers could spend on items such as a down payment on the purchase of a home or seed money for a business.

• A $20,000 bonus is no longer being offered for eligible non-prior service applicants who enlist in the active Army for two years plus training, followed by four years in the National Guard or Army Reserve in certain military occupational specialties.

• A seasonal bonus of up to $20,000 for non-prior service recruits in select MOSs who enlist for two years and agree to report for basic training within 30 days has been reduced to a maximum of $15,000.

Depending on the MOS, the bonus can range from $3,000 to $15,000.

Qualified recruits who report to training within 31 to 60 days can earn a $3,000 bonus.

• Qualified non-prior service recruits with an associate, bachelor’s or higher degree who enlist for three or more years in select MOSs now can earn $5,000 instead of the previous high of $8,000.

• The Army is no longer offering bonuses to prior-service recruits.

The exceptions are those who enlist in the Army Reserve and former 09L interpreter/translator soldiers who enlist in the active Army for at least four years. Those 09Ls may be eligible for a $15,000 bonus.

Prior-service soldiers who enlist in a critical skill position in the Reserve can earn up to $15,000 for six years or $7,500 for three years.

Apart from these changes, other enlistment incentives remain in place: Active Army recruits who enlist for four or more years still can earn up to $40,000 through a combination of bonuses, and Reserve recruits still can earn a maximum of $20,000 in enlistment bonuses.

Recruits who earn more than $10,000 in cash bonuses will receive their initial payment of $10,000 when they complete basic training. The remaining bonus amount will be paid in annual increments of up to $10,000 a year until they are paid in full.

Bonuses totaling less than $10,000 will be paid in one lump sum when the recruit completes basic.

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