The U.S. Army wants to continue to bolster its ranks, and it is not afraid to put some money on the table to do so.
The Army will triple the amount of bonuses it pays this year to more than $380 million, which includes new incentives for soldiers to re-enlist, according to a report.
One of those incentives would be giving soldiers $90,000 up front to commit to another four or more years.
“The top line message is that the Army is hiring,” said Maj. Gen. Jason Evans, who recently became the service’s head of Human Resources Command, the Associated Press reported.
Congress last month approved the Army’s $550 billion budget, which will provide money for the incentives.
This latest round of bonuses became effective two weeks ago and is good for at least the next month, the Associated Press reported; the Army has paid out more than $26 million in bonuses in the past two weeks.
This enlistment campaign sets to strengthen the branch’s ranks after the Obama Administration began to downsize it following the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
President Donald Trump has promised to increase the military’s ranks and firepower, and Congress last year made a decision to bolster the military’s forces.
Trump last year mandated that the Army increase its ranks to 540,000 soldiers; under a current plan for growth, the active duty Army will grow by 16,000 soldiers, bringing it to 476,000 by October.
In order to do this, the Army must get 6,000 new soldiers and re-enlist 9,000 current soldiers, while adding an additional 1,000 officers.
“We’ve got a ways to go,” Gen. Robert Abrams, head of U.S. Army Forces Command, said to the AP in an interview at his office in Fort Bragg, N.C. “I’m not going to kid you. It’s been difficult because a lot of these kids had plans and their families had plans.”
The biggest challenge will be convincing current soldiers to stay on in the Army, especially after they have already made exit plans.