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WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- "The Army is hiring," said Maj.
Gen. Jason T. Evans, director of Military Personnel Management.

"We're looking for and want to retain high-quality young men and
women who are resilient, fit, Soldiers of character," he said.

With the drawdown over, there are now "more opportunities for
promotion and incentives as we grow the Army. We want Soldiers to
take advantage of that," he said.

During the drawdown, if a Soldier was passed over for promotion, it
usually meant separation, but now, good Soldiers have a better chance
of re-enlisting or extending, he said, adding there are bonuses for a
number of critical military occupational specialties to sweeten the deal.


On Dec. 23, the president signed the National Defense Authorization
Act for fiscal year 2017. That provided funding for higher levels of
manning and set into motion the end of the drawdown, Evans said.

Costs to retain this size force in FY18 and beyond range between $3.5
and $4.5 billion, which would require additional funding later on.

With the drawdown stopped, and even reversed, the Army will need to
grow to about 1,018,000, including 476,000 active, 343,000 Guard and
199,000 Reserve by the end of this fiscal year, he said.

Growing the active force from 460,000 to 476,000 will be accomplished
by increasing the recruiting mission by 6,000 to 68,500 total, increasing
the enlisted retention mission by 9,000 to 17,500 total, and increasing
officer retention mission by approximately 1,000, he said.

Also, qualified prior-service Soldiers with needed skills will be
welcomed back, he added. All of this increase in personnel across the
board needs to happen by Oct. 1.

To help grow the Army, the pool of recruiters will grow and incentive
bonuses will be available for recruiters and retention noncommissioned

Additionally, the school houses are expanding their class sizes to
accommodate the influx, he added.

Where will the additional Soldiers be going?

Evans said many will go to undermanned units and some will support
the ongoing unit conversion of an infantry brigade combat team to an
armored BCT at Fort Stewart, Georgia.


Bonuses tend to be in critical MOSs and locations, Evans said.

Military Personnel Message 17-014, "Selective Retention Bonus [SRB]
Program," of Jan. 20, spells out the qualifications for bonuses by grade,
location and MOS.

For example, a FY17 ETSing infantry sergeant could receive $20,800
for re-enlisting 60 or more months, while a corporal could receive
$20,100 for that time period. If that corporal re-enlisted for three years,
the amount would be $10,500.

A large number of the bonuses will go to those in combat arms
branches such as Special Operations Command and 75th Ranger
Regiment. Those with language proficiencies will benefit as well.

Besides the SRB, an active-duty Soldier who extends for at least 12
months will receive a $10,000 extension bonus..

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