The pandemic has been a pain in the butt for businesses, schools, governments, entertainment venues, sports leagues, exporters, and basically every person and entity in the world, including the U.S. Army.
It’s been a tough go luring soldiers into specific critical jobs the past two years, so the Army is investing in trying to fix that problem. For the first time, the amount of a maximum enlistment bonus is $50,000 for highly skilled recruits who agree to sign up for six years.
A story in the AP quoted Major General Kevin Vereen, the head of Army Recruiting command, saying they have had a problem competing for the same talent that major firms and businesses are trying to lure. So they are putting their money where their mouth is and incentivizing the types of recruits they are looking for.
“We are still living the implications of 2020 and the onset of COVID when the school systems basically shut down. We lost a full class of young men and women that we didn’t have contact with, face-to-face.”
Simply put, it’s hard for military recruiters to get into schools and public events. As the pandemic has raged on, the Army has had an advantage because many soldiers decided to reenlist, which took a little pressure off recruiters. The goal for the army last year was to sign up 57,500 new recruits, the same number they are looking at for 2022.
Up until now, the top recruiting bonus was capped at $40,000, but Vereen said they have to step up to get soldiers for the critical jobs such as missile defense crew, special forces, signals intelligence, and fire control specialists.
“We’re in a competitive market. How we incentivize is absolutely essential, and that is absolutely something that we know that is important to trying to get somebody to come and join the military.”