Army testing enlistment incentive providing home/business funds
What Is It?
The Army has begun offering a new enlistment incentive to prospective recruits in five test markets that provides money to make a down payment on a home or start a business.
Through the new Army Advantage Fund (AAF), people joining the active Army are eligible for up to $40,000 for a five-plus year enlistment, and those enlisting in a reserve component are eligible for up to $20,000 for a five-plus year enlistment. The AAF applies only to those choosing certain military occupational specialties (MOS).
What Has the Army Done?
On Feb. 04, 2008 the Army launched pilot AAF programs in Albany, N.Y.; Cleveland,Ohio; Montgomery, Ala.; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Wash. The AAF could eventually be offered nationally should results in the test markets warrant.
Why is this Important to the Army?
The Army is too small to meet the nation's 21st century national security needs, threat environment, and ongoing global commitments. The Army is growing, but it continues to face the most challenging recruiting environment in the 30+ year history of the all-volunteer force. The AAF reflects the Army's continuing innovation in competing with private industry and the other military branches for personnel.
"What we are hearing from our young people and [their] influencers is that, although it is essential to them to establish home ownership and get started down their chosen career path, many times they question how they will be able to accomplish it," says LTG Benjamin C. Freakley, commanding general of U.S. Army Accessions Command. "The Army recognizes these challenges, and wants to be a part of the solution by offering young adults the proper funds which will allow them to live their American Dream."
How Does this Impact the Individual Soldier?
In its five test markets, the AAF is a new enlistment incentive to tell Soldier candidates about and possibly earn a bonus. Soldiers and Army Civilians can get $2,000 for each person they refer who enlists, completes basic training, and graduates advanced individual training.
People in the five test markets eligible for AAF meet the following criteria:
- No prior military service
- For Regular Army or Army Reserve enlistees
- Must join for three to five years, depending on AAF bonus amount the enlistee desires
- Must choose an eligible Military Occupational Specialty
- Be a high school senior (as long as he/she graduates with a diploma) or a high school graduate (includes home-schoolers)
- Place within score categories I-IIIA for the military aptitude test (minimum score: 50 percent).
For more information on the Army Advantage Fund, go to: Army Advantage Fund
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