In an effort to recruit more than 6,000 soldiers than earlier expected this year, the Army is offering bonuses worth up to $40,000 or two-year minimum enlistment contracts, Army Times reported.
The order, outlined in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Bill, calls for the Army to bolster its active duty ranks in 2017 by 16,000 soldiers by September 30. That includes 6,000 recruits, 9,000 reenlisted soldiers and 1,000 retained officers.
Along with two year enlistments across 100 military occupational specialties (MOSs) and an investment of $300 million in enlistment bonuses, recruiting incentives and marketing plans, the Army is hoping to convince soldiers to continue serving while also getting thousands of recruits to join.
The Army will be adding 600 new recruiters with boosted pay as well as offering bonuses to soldiers including a one year $10,000 extension as a part of their recruitment plan.
Some bonuses may reach up to $40,000 and two year enlistment contracts will be extended to 94 MOSs which will also garner education benefits.
The goal of the order is to have 476,000 in the active component of the Army by September 30.
As of Feb. 14, the Army had reached 53% of its goal, enlisting 20,600 recruits so far in fiscal year 2017, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey told Army Times.
Congress will have to pass an appropriations bill with a budget to meet those September numbers.
“For the last several years, we’ve been talking about the risk with the size of our force,” Dailey said. “[Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley] has made it very clear that he’s uncomfortable with our risk. We’ve been communicating with Congress that we need to increase end strength.”
“We need the resources to accomplish the missions we have at hand,” he added.