FORT KNOX, Ky. (May 29, 2015) -- For the first time ever, Soldiers are eligible for a cyber-specific selective retention bonus, or SRB, under provisions of a U.S. Army Human Resources Command, or HRC, military personnel message (MILPER 15-140) published this month.

Soldiers, presently serving within the Cyber Mission Force and eligible to re-enlist, should contact their career counselors to pursue the bonus, said Brandon Race, SRB and critical skills retention bonus program manager with HRC's Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate Retention and Reclassification Branch.

The SRB, which became effective, May 20, will initially impact Soldiers in their military occupational specialty, or MOS, 35Q, cryptologic network warfare specialists, with an additional skill identifier E6 (interactive on-net operator), and 35Q EAs (exploitation analysts) already working with specific cyber units. Through the bonus, the Army seeks to retain Soldiers with skill sets required to perform the cyber mission, he said.

"Right now specially-qualified 35Qs, within certain cyber units, will be afforded the opportunity to get the bonus. Their career counselor is the point of contact for all bonuses and qualifications to receive them," Race said.

The SRBs, for qualified 35Qs with ASI E6, will range from $12,300 to $50,400 depending on grade and service commitment. For 35Q EAs, bonuses will range from $7,900 to $32,200.

The SRB for selected cyber warriors is another step along the way to standing up a career management field, or CMF, 17, which will manage the Army's inventory of cyber operations specialists, Race said. The CMF already has been approved by the Army and details will be released via separate military personnel, or MILPER, detailing both transition and reclassification strategies for qualified enlisted Soldiers interested in the cyber mission.

Once activated, the 17C MOS will include Soldiers in the rank of private first class to sergeant major and will be filled through both initial entry training and in-service Soldiers, who meet the requisite qualifications, he said.

"There is still a lot up in the air when it comes to the cyber mission. This bonus is the first step that identifies the Army's need to retain Soldiers with these critical skills. The upcoming MILPER messages outline the transition and reclassification strategies for MOS 17C and is the next step in identifying critical skills needed for all Soldiers, who wish to pursue a career in Army Cyber," Race said.

Soldiers should contact their career counselor with any questions pertaining to the SRB or to reclassification to MOS 17C. Army career counselors can find information and requirements on the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence's Cyber School website or by directly contacting the school on Fort Gordon, Georgia.