Army boosts bonus

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army, for the first time, is offering a maximum enlistment bonus of $50,000 to highly skilled recruits who join for six years as the service struggles to lure soldiers into certain critical jobs during the pandemic.

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

The annual recruiting goal fluctuates as currently serving soldiers decide whether to reenlist or leave. Last year’s recruiting goal was 57,500, and Vereen said it will be about the same this year.

The final bonus figure depends on a variety of factors, including when signees agree to ship out for training, if they already have critical skills and if they choose certain careers — such as missile defense crew, special forces, signals intelligence and fire control specialists.

But other key jobs include infantry, intelligence analyst, combat medic specialist, military police, combat engineer and several others. And those may change every month, based on available spots in the training pipeline and other service needs.

Until now, the Army has offered a maximum bonus of $40,000.

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