New changes announced to Army retention bonuses, kickers

| May 15, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Army's Selective Retention Bonus Program includes now, for the first tie, bonuses of up to $52,000 for those who reenlist for critical Security Forces Assistance Brigade positions. Here, Spc. John Ellis, an explosive ordnance specialist from 5th Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, helps an Afghan National Army role player learn to deactivate an improvised explosive device during a simulated scenario at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo by Pfc. Zoe Garbarino)

The Army’s Selective Retention Bonus Program includes now, for the first tie, bonuses of up to $52,000 for those who re-enlist for critical Security Forces Assistance Brigade positions. Here, Spc. John Ellis, an explosive ordnance specialist from 5th Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, helps an Afghan National Army role player learn to deactivate an improvised explosive device during a simulated scenario at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo by Pfc. Zoe Garbarino)

Sean Kimmons
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — Officials released new guidance Tuesday (May 15) on the Army’s Selective Retention Bonus Program, which includes first-ever bonuses up to $52,000 for those who re-enlist for critical Security Forces Assistance Brigade positions.

SRB “kickers” that incentivize Soldiers who re-enlist early will also go into effect at the end of this month. Details are included in Military Personnel Message 18-153.

Kickers will now only be available to those eligible to re-enlist on a long-term basis between 10 and 15 months from their contractual ETS date. A $3,000 kicker will be for a five-year re-enlistment, and there is a $6,000 kicker for a six-year enlistment.

Spc. Michael Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, recites the oath of enlistment administered by Cpt. Joseph Cho, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 500th MI Bde., during a reenlistment ceremony aboard the USS Missouri, Ford Island, Hawaii, 8 Nov. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Blaine Courtway, Company A, 205th MI Bn. Reenlistment NCO)

Spc. Michael Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, a human intelligence collector in Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, recites the oath of enlistment administered by Capt. Joseph Cho, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 500th MI Bde., during a re-enlistment ceremony aboard the USS Missouri, Ford Island, Hawaii, in November 2017. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Blaine Courtway, Company A, 205th MI Bn. Re-enlistment NCO)

Soldiers who re-enlist under the NCO Career Status Program must also meet the term length requirement for the corresponding kicker amount.

Soldiers with less than 10 months from their ETS date can still take advantage of a kicker before May 31, when the new policy rolls out.

“I highly encourage Soldiers and command teams to seek out their servicing Career Counselor to understand how this bonus message change will affect their unit and their Soldiers,” said Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Thompson, the Senior Army Career Counselor.

Some Soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss will also be eligible for an SRB bonus to remain at the Texas installation. The stabilization bonus will be the Army’s first one in years for a specific location, Thompson said.

Based off critical shortages in the military occupational specialties of 11B, 13B and 88M at Fort Bliss, those Soldiers could receive a bonus.

“The Army has a cost savings for not having to move somebody if they reenlist for stabilization,” he said. “So we’re passing on that cost savings to the bonus even if it’s not the same pot of money, but that’s the mentality behind it.”

The message also includes bonuses for Soldiers who possess critical skills. For example, a 12R interior electrician who has a parachutist badge may qualify for more money to reenlist.

“If they are not airborne qualified in an airborne position, or re-enlisting to move into an airborne position they don’t get a bonus,” Thompson said. “If they are, they do.”

Bonuses are also on the way for Soldiers interested in joining SFAB units. These will be on top of the $5,000 assignment incentive pay already in place for those who volunteer to go into the Army’s new train, advise and assist units.

“The bonus is for those very critical MOSs that the Army needs,” the sergeant major said.

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen stationed on the island of Oahu stand under the main turret of the USS Missouri rendering arms to the U.S. flag before reciting the Oath of Enlistment. New retention standards require Soldiers to give close attention to physical fitness and other leadership qualities. (Photo by Spc. Jacob Kohrs, 311th Signal Command (Theater))

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen stationed on the island of Oahu stand under the main turret of the USS Missouri rendering arms to the U.S. flag before reciting the Oath of Enlistment. (Photo by Spc. Jacob Kohrs, 311th Signal Command (Theater))

Those MOSs include 25L/S, 92Y, 35F/M/N/P as well as positions in the 11, 12 and 13 career field series.

Many of those jobs will be able to receive Tier 8 bonuses. A staff sergeant or sergeant first class eligible for a Tier 8 bonus, for instance, could earn $46,000 to re-enlist for five or more years. A potential $6,000 kicker would then leave that Soldier with $52,000 in hand, on top of the $5,000 assignment incentive pay.

The money spent on bonuses helps the Army get a return on its investment for the time spent on molding well-trained Soldiers, Thompson said.

“If they are in an MOS that the Army deems as critical, we want them to stay in longer,” he said.

The MILPER message can be found at https://www.hrc.army.mil/Milper/18-153.

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Category: Army News Service, News

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