Army increases enlistment bonuses to $50,000 as COVID-19 takes toll

Posted at 8:02 AM, Jan 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army, for the first time, is offering a maximum enlistment bonus of $50,000 to highly skilled recruits who sign up for six years.

The service is struggling to lure soldiers into certain critical jobs amid the continuing pandemic.

Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, head of Army Recruiting Command, told The Associated Press that shuttered schools and the competitive job market over the past year have posed significant challenges for recruiters.

"We are still living the implications of 2020 and the onset of COVID, when the school systems basically shut down," Vereen told CBS News. "We lost a full class of young men and women that we didn't have contact with, face-to-face."

Heading into the most difficult months of the year for recruiting, the Army is hoping that some extra cash and a few other changes will entice qualified young people to sign up.

According to NBC News, enlistment bonuses vary by position and other circumstances. For instance, the outlet reports that the Army is offering a $9,000 "critical accession" bonus for air and missile defense crew enlistments and an additional $1,000 if the recruit attends training within 90 days.