Army Retention Program
What is it?
The Army Retention Program is one of the tools the Army uses to shape the force. The program is designed to retain the right Soldier with the right skills at the right location. The program allows the Army to foster an environment that encourages high quality, career-minded Soldiers to stay with the Army team. The retention program encourages Soldiers to continue their service with the Army whether on Active Duty or in the Reserve Component.
What has the Army done?
The Active Army (AA) retained 69,777 Soldiers in fiscal year 2007, finishing the year 112% of mission. The Army Reserve (AR) finished the year achieving 119% of mission and the Army National Guard (ARNG) finished at 100% of mission. In fiscal year 2008, in order to achieve overall manning levels the AA must retain 65,000 Soldiers, the AR must retain 14,946 Soldiers and the ARNG must retain 31,889 Soldiers. As of May, the AA has achieved 126% of its year-to-date mission, the AR has achieved 114% of its year-to-date mission, and the ARNG has achieved 103% of its year-to-date mission. For FY08, the Army is offering numerous retention incentives to enhance retention efforts. Included in FY08 is the enhanced Selective Reenlistment Bonuses (SRBs), offering lump sum flat-rate payments up to $18K for Soldiers in select skills, while Soldiers in specialized skills can receive up to $29K. Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait can receive reenlistment bonuses up to $12K tax-free. The Army continues to offer a Critical Skills Retention Bonus (CSRB) to retirement eligible Soldiers in the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community up to a max of $150K for six years, while other select skills are offered up to a max of $100K for five years. The AA continues to support and encourage Active Duty Soldiers who elect not to reenlist to transfer to the Reserve Component upon completion of their Active Duty tour. In addition, the Army continues to offer the MGIB Transferability of Benefits to Children and Spouses. The program is open to Soldiers in critical skills with at least six years of service who reenlist for at least four years, the option of transferring up to $18K of MGIB benefits to their Children or Spouse.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army intends to continue retaining Soldiers at tremendously high levels. It is imperative that flexible and adaptable programs are in place to accomplish our mission, and we will continue to adjust incentives programs to ensure mission success.
Why is this important to the Army?
A successful retention program is critical to properly manning the Army. Today’s Soldiers possess a wealth of skills and combat experience and retaining these Soldiers is essential to the quality of the force as well as meeting our manpower needs. The Army Retention Program serves as an adaptable morale enhancing tool which Army leaders use, not only to meet the manpower needs of today’s Army, but also set the stage to properly man the Army as it continues to transform.