Army suspends re-enlistment bonuses for first time in ten years

A soldier holding a DD-214 form.

The US Army has temporarily suspended its Selective Retention Bonus program until the next fiscal year.

The suspension -the first of its kind since 2006- went into effect on Tuesday and will not be raised until the 30th of September, which is the end of FY2016.

“The decision to suspend the SRB program was based on the current and projected success of the Army’s retention program, needs and budget constraints,” Army spokesman LTC Jerry Pionk said in a statement to Army Times. “Currently, we are projecting we will be at about 106 percent of our retention mission across all [military occupational specialties].”

The suspension was announced force-wide and effectively means that soldiers will not receive SRBs for contracts that began on August 2nd, at least until the suspension is lifted.

All soldiers previously eligible are still able to reenlist and those who still have a little time left can wait until October 1st.

“They may continue processing for a reenlistment assignment as long as they reenlist no later than [October 14th],” Pionk said. “Assignments will be deleted after October 14th if the soldier does not reenlist.”

The SRB program is known for offering substantial amounts of cash in order to keep experienced soldiers in high-demand specialties, with the size of the bonus varying in relation to the soldier’s rank, MOS and length of reenlistment. Specialties such as Special Forces and Civil Affairs have previously offered bonuses ranging from $12,300 to $72,000.

SRBs are also found throughout US Army Special Operations Command, as well as the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

A soldier’s individual reenlistment window generally opens 12 months from their ETS date and is still open 90 days prior to ETS. Under federal law and Army policy, soldiers can receive more than one SRB during their career, but the combined payments cannot exceed $200,000.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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