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Inside the Gates: Army increases bonuses to fill ranks

Starting this year new recruits can now earn up to $50,000 in bonus money for a six-year enlistment, depending on their qualifications.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 2:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - At 17 years old, Jonah Dempsey has enlisted in the U.S. Army and is about embark on the next chapter of his life.

“I’d like to learn a lot more about riflery,” Dempsey said. “I’d like to make a lot of good friends and serve my country.”

That decision will pay off for Dempsey, who received a $40,000 signing bonus.

“The military will provide pretty much everything for me,” Dempsey said.” So, I’ll spend what I need to spend, and the rest of it I’ll put into some kind of long-term investment account.”

The highest bonus the Army offered previously was $40,000. However, starting this year new recruits can now earn up to $50,000 in bonus money for a six-year enlistment, depending on their selected career field, qualifications, and how quickly they can ship out for training.

“We show all the entry level jobs they qualify for,” Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Campbell of the Army recruiting office in Wasilla said. “They go in and actually choose what they want to do based off their interests. The bonus is attached to all the entry level jobs.”

Head of U.S. Army Recruiting Command Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen said that the recruiting goal for 2022 is 57,500 to help keep the Army at “full strength” of 485,000.

The incentives come as the Army puts an emphasis on filling several positions right now, like infantry and Special Forces. Recruits who choose fields such as radar repairers, signal support systems specialists and motor transport operators are also available for the bonuses.

What Jonah Dempsey learned about the opportunities available to him in the Army convinced to enlist, including the bonus he received upon enlisting.

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