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Army Pauses Reenlistment Bonus Program

There’s good news and bad news. The good news (for the DoD) is that the United States Army met its retention goals for fiscal year 2023. The bad news? Meeting that goal means the Army has no incentive (for now) to continue offering reenlistment bonuses. It has temporarily paused the program.

What is the U.S. Army Reenlistment Bonus Program?

The United States Army reenlistment program offers compensation (cash and other perks) in exchange for reenlisting in critically staffed or mission-essential career fields. 

According to the Army official site, there is a “periodic analysis of each MOS / Job Code in the inventory” to determine which jobs merit a bonus.

The program is, according to the Army, “designed to increase the number of reenlistments in critical MOS / Job Code and is paid by specialty and time in service.”

Soldiers must have between 17 months and 14 years of active service. The reenlistment bonuses are paid for up to 20 years of service. Not all soldiers are offered bonuses, but for those in critical Army jobs, the reenlistment bonus is a powerful incentive.

How powerful?

An Airborne Ranger might be offered as much as $90 thousand to reenlist. Pausing the bonuses means those who choose to re-up (including Airborne Rangers) get no cash in exchange for the new service commitment.

Related: Active Duty Military Benefits

Reenlistment Bonuses Paused

The Army has met its retention goals for 2023, and because of this it has no need to pay soldiers to re-up. The cash bonuses are on hold for the remainder of FY 2023 and until the Army announces new bonuses for 2024.

But that does not mean there are no incentives offered whatsoever. Some may be offered tempting options such as the ability to retrain into another career field, getting specialized training, or being offered special assignment options as a result of reenlisting.

Is the Army Reenlistment Bonus Program Dead?

Any talk of the Army bonuses going away permanently is premature and likely not true. Why? Because the pause is effective until the end of the fiscal year and until the Army announces new options for 2024. At press time the Army has not made such an announcement.

Related: Military Bases by State

About the author

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Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.