Re-enlistment decisions need to be made earlier
Spc. Jeffrey Anderson (right), a Black Hawk helicopter crew chief, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, re-enlists Feb. 14, 2009, on the Camp Taji Airfield, Iraq, in front of a Black Hawk helicopter as Capt. Benjamin Watt (left), executive officer for Co. B, administers the oath.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 25, 2012) -- Some Soldiers will need to make a reenlistment decision by Jan. 31, or they won't get to stay in the Army.

"If your expiration of term of service is in fiscal year 2012, you have to re-enlist before you hit 90 days from ETS (end term of service) , or Jan. 31, whichever date you hit first," explained Jim Bragg, chief of Enlisted Retention and Reclassification at the Human Resources Command.

Historically, the Army's retention mission would encompass October through the following September -- the entire fiscal year.

This year, Army G-1, the staff that makes policy for retention actions, has broken the retention mission up into two phases, with the first phase running from Oct. 1, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2012. The second phase will start no later than March 1.

With the Army downsizing, Bragg said, the perception might be that there are no bonuses or any kind of incentives out there anymore. But that is not the case.

"We still have military occupational specialties, or MOSs, that offer incentives to stay in or reclassify in," Bragg said.

The MOSs that currently have shortages include:

- 12D, Diver
- 12P, Prime Power Production Specialist
- 31D, Criminal Investigations Special Agent
- 35F, Intelligence Analyst
- 35L, Counter-Intelligence Agent
- 35P, Cryptologic Linguist
- 37F, Psychological Operations Specialist
- 38B, Civil Affairs Specialist
- 89D, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist

"If you're in a job that doesn't offer promotion potential, or you just want to do something different, that's where the Army needs you," Bragg said.

If a Soldier is in an MOS listed in the Selective Reenlistment Bonus message -- MILPER 11-301 -- and re-enlists, they'll receive a bonus to remain in that MOS. That MILPER message can be found at

"That's based on your MOS, a special skill you have, or maybe even a specific location you're in," Bragg said. "If we're having a hard time filling it, we'll give you an incentive to stay in there."

Also, if a Soldier volunteers to reclassify into an MOS listed in the Bonus Extension and Retraining, or BEAR, program, which is spelled out in MILPER 11-302, he or she will be paid a bonus upon graduation. That message is located at

"Basically, I'll take you from your job that you're not getting promoted in, put you in this job, increase your promotion opportunity and pay you a bonus when you complete training, if you're willing to change jobs and you meet the qualifications for an MOS in the BEAR program," Bragg said.

Other things still remain the same.

"We've always required Soldiers to meet the Army weight standards and the Army's physical readiness test standards before they're authorized to re-enlist. And when you get a bonus to re-enlist, the minimum is three years; the maximum is six," he said.

Soldiers who have questions about the re-enlistment requirements or bonuses available need to contact their unit career counselor, Bragg said.

Page last updated Thu January 26th, 2012 at 06:27