US Army offering bonuses of up to $50,000 for new recruits

U.S. Army Soldier Brigadier General John Gentry, commander, 78th Troop Command, Georgia Army National Guard, conducts an enlistment ceremony during halftime at Georgia Southern University's annual military appreciation football game against Coastal Carolina in Statesboro, Ga., on Nov. 6, 2021. Photo by Spc. Tori Miller

The US Army is willing to pay big money in order to make up for manpower losses and recruiting shortfalls attributed to the Coronavirus pandemic and vaccine mandates.

For the first time, the Army is offering a maximum enlistment bonus of up to $50,000 to highly skilled recruits who sign up for a six-year haul.

Closed schools are the Army’s primary stated reason for the low recruiting drive, all while a large number Soldiers currently in-service declined to re-enlist.

“We are still living the implications of 2020 and the onset of COVID, when the school systems basically shut down,” said Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, head of Army Recruiting Command. “We lost a full class of young men and women that we didn’t have contact with, face-to-face.”

According to the Associated Press, Verden went on to state that many students leaving high school “are making the decision that they don’t necessarily need to work right now.”

Jobs ranging from helicopter crew chiefs and intelligence to Special Forces can come close to tallying the $50,000 limit, provided the candidates are highly-qualified and can attend all the schools.

At a time when consumer prices are hitting 9.7% with inflation, dangling the dollar may be an attractive recruiting scheme, as it was in the mid 2000s.

“We’re in a competitive market,” said Vereen. “How we incentivize is absolutely essential, and that is absolutely something that we know that is important to trying to get somebody to come and join the military.”

The Army will also offer an incentive between $2,000 to $9,000 for those who are ready to ship out to basic training within 90 days, and more money is being offered for those who ship out sooner.

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