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A new menu of retention incentives featuring lump-sum payments of $1,000 to $72,000 under the Tiered Selective Re-enlistment Bonus program take effect Oct. 1, the beginning of fiscal 2014.
And, in a major policy change also set for Oct. 1, the Bonus Extension and Retraining program will be rescinded. Under BEAR, soldiers can re-enlist, retrain, reclassify and receive a bonus for their new military occupational specialty. The SRB and BEAR options announced Feb. 21 remain in effect until Oct. 1.
All BEAR agreements entered into before Oct. 1 will be honored when soldiers complete training in the reclassification MOS, according to Army retention officials.
With the pending phase-out of BEAR, officials said soldiers who are eligible to re-enlist for training and reclassification into an MOS included in the Oct. 1 SRB changes may be eligible to receive a lump-sum bonus when they complete training.
With the ongoing drawdown, bonus and reclassification opportunities have been declining, reflected in the new SRB options and the revamped in/out reclassification calls issued by Human Resources Command in early September.
Career fields with MOSs that are overstrength or balanced, and not generally eligible for incoming reclassifications, include infantry, field artillery, air defense, aviation, communications and information systems, electronic warfare, several language-dependent intelligence specialties, adjutant general, medical, mechanical maintenance, transportation, supply and services, and electronic maintenance and calibration.
The SRB chart issued in February lists bonus opportunities in more than 200 combinations of MOSs, career fields, special skills and language, while the chart that takes effect Oct. 1 lists 120 combinations.
Assignment-specific options include bonuses for select combat arms, combat support and combat service support soldiers who re-up for the Ranger duty, airborne units and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
The Army has retained the deployed category option that allows all re-up-eligible soldiers to re-enlist for a Tier 1 bonus while serving in Afghanistan, Iraq or Kuwait.
To qualify for the SRB program, soldiers must be in compliance with retention standards, as reflected in Army Regulation 601-280, and have at least 17 months but no more than 14 years of active service, and be in the ranks of private through sergeant first class.