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The Army Will Now Offer Cash Bonuses And 2-Year Contracts
The U.S. Army has decided to reverse the drawdown, and needs to staff up with another 6,000 recruits in 2017, Army Times reported Feb. 19. How they plan to do it? Big cash bonuses and shorter contracts.
The order, outlined in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Bill, calls for the Army to bolster its ranks in 2017 by 16,000: That’s 6,000 recruits, 9,000 reenlisted soldiers, and 1,000 retained officers.
With the addition of two-year enlistments across 100 military occupational specialties and an investment of $300 million in enlistment bonuses, the Army hopes it will be enough to entice soldiers to continue serving, and new recruits to join.
For some, the bonuses may reach up to $40,000. And although two-year enlistments are not new, they were previously generally limited to very few MOSes. Now, 94 specialties will offer the shortened contracts. What’s more, those two-year stays will garner education benefits, wherein up to 80% of that soldier’s college degree can be covered by the GI Bill.
The mandate is expected to put the active component at 476,000 soldiers by Sept. 30. However, the branch still faces budget uncertainty.
“We’re going to go back and ask for more money,” Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey told Army Times.
“For the last several years, we’ve been talking about the risk with the size of our force,” he added. “We need the resources to accomplish the missions we have at hand.”
As of Feb. 14, the Army had reached 53% of of it’s goal, enlisting 20,600 recruits so far in 2017.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.
Editor's note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia announced on Monday it would hold a large test of its Strategic Missile Forces that will see it fire ballistic and cruise missiles from the land, sea and air this week.
The exercise, from Oct. 15-17, will involve around 12,000 military personnel, as well as aircraft, including strategic nuclear bombers, surface ships and submarines, Russia's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.