Army says to “hurry up and re-up,” incentive bonuses are changing

Capt. Raymond Ainslie (left), a human resources officer with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, re-enlists Staff Sgt. Alex Segura, his fellow Soldier, during a mass re-enlistment ceremony Oct. 21, 2015 at the AT&T Stadium at Dallas. Photo by 94th Airlift Wing

At the beginning of the year the Army started offering incentive bonuses of $10,000 for soldiers to extend their contracts by a year.

The Army says the time to receive those bonuses, which started in January, is quickly coming to a halt.

According to a recent Military Personnel message, the bonus will drop down to $5,000 on March 24.

“We need soldiers to re-enlist, but we do have a finite budget,” Sgt. Maj. Mark Thompson, a senior career counselor, told Army Times on Wednesday. “If they want to take advantage of it, they can.”

If soldiers want to receive a bonus larger than $5,000 after the 24th they can extend for two years to receive $7,500.

Soldiers, who want to stay in for longer periods, can receive $10,000 for a new three-year contract, $15,000 for four years, $20,000 for five years and $25,000 for anything longer than that.

According to the MILPER message, the $5,000 bonus for a one year extension will be available through April 24 but the Army ideally wants to retain soldiers for longer than that.

“The goal is to keep soldiers on a long-term basis,” Thompson said. “It’s more advantageous for the Army for soldiers to re-enlist rather than extend.”

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