Every Soldier a Recruiter (ESAR)
What is it? Every Soldier a Recruiter (ESAR) is a referral bonus pilot program established by the Army in January 2006 to instill in Soldiers and leaders that every Soldier is a recruiter. This program was also developed to establish a single, coordinated system for all Soldiers to make referrals to the active and reserve components of the Army. ESAR is a National Guard Personnel, Army (NGPA) funded inter-service referral program that only requires an on-line by name referral to the service component. Participation in ESAR is open to individuals in the regular component of the Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve (SELRES) to include Soldiers serving on AGR tours.
What has the Army done? Significant features of ESAR implementation include:
- In February 2006, the program was expanded to include Soldiers performing duty in the Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program (HRAP), in the Special Recruiter Assistance Program (SRAP), or on Additional Duty Special Work (ADSW) assignments. In addition, the program was expanded to include retirees from all military components. Soldiers assigned specific recruiting and retention positions are excluded from participation in the program.
- As of 30 September 2006, ARNG has processed 758 new Soldiers through ESAR. A lump sum bonus payment of $1000 is made by the Defense Accounting Service (DFAS) through electronic funds transfer to the referring Soldier’s military pay account. The bonus is paid for the referral of anyone with no prior military service who enlists and completes Advanced Individual Training (AIT). The bonus is not paid for the referral of an immediate family member. Immediate family member is defined as spouse, parent (including step-parent), child (natural, adopted, or step-child), brother, or sister.
What continued efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The current program goal is for states and territories to have 100% of authorized end strength aware of ESAR. Currently, the ARNG is seeking to expand ESAR and allow bonus payments for referring individuals with prior service or for mentoring individuals into commissioning programs such as ROTC, or for persuading individuals to join as commissioned or warrant officers. No ending date has been determined for this program.
Why is this important to the Army? The referral bonus pilot program has demonstrated the ability to produce additional accessions to the Total Army. ESAR serves as a force multiplier and builds strength from within. This program could have a positive impact by reducing the contact-to-contract ratio of the production Recruiting and Retention Force (RRF), reducing the manning requirement of the RRF, reducing conventional advertising requirements, and reducing attrition and retention losses by offering the potential for increased monetary compensation to Soldiers.