FORT KNOX, Ky. -- The U.S. Army is seeking qualified individuals to serve in the infantry and is offering signing bonuses up to $15,000 or student loan repayment up to $65,000, depending on the length of the term of service and the training ship date.
In addition to the sign-on bonus, Soldiers are eligible for up to $4,000 per year in tuition assistance to pursue higher education opportunities in the field of their choice along with a competitive benefits package, including healthcare, housing and meal allowances, and a variety of family support programs.
The infantry is a physically demanding career field, as it is the main land combat force and backbone of the Army. It's also the starting point for many advanced schools such as: Special Forces, Airborne School, Ranger School, Sniper School, and Pathfinder School.
Enlistees attend Infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, for 22 weeks. During training, they will list their specific infantry job preferences, although assignments are determined by the needs of the Army. Upon graduation, Soldiers are assigned as either an infantryman (11B) or an indirect fire infantryman (11C).
"There's a very unique bond between infantry soldiers not found in any other (career) in the Army," said Staff. Sgt. Leonard Markley, an Army recruiter in Toledo, Ohio, whose primary career field is infantry. "It's us against the world, and we as infantrymen all know about the hardships that come with this (career): Walking countless miles, sleep deprivation and rationed meals. Even when I see another infantryman walking by, I have respect for him and have his back, because we are brothers through all our hardships."
Infantry training teaches hard work and leadership in Soldiers.
"The Infantry has instilled a work ethic in me that is noticeably different than my peers," Markley said. "This work ethic and discipline will set me apart wherever I go after the military. It is the premiere career for leadership and management development skills. I can go anywhere and be a successful manager in any civilian field."
To qualify for the infantry, applicants must score a minimum of 87 on the combat line score of the Armed Forces Qualification Test and pass the Occupational Physical Assessment Test at the heavy level.
As U.S. Army infantry personnel are in direct combat roles, they must possess tremendous discipline and high moral character. They must also have a readiness to accept a challenge and face danger as well as the ability to remain calm under stressful situations.
The skills Soldiers gain as infantrymen can lead to 46 different certifications or credentials through the Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line Program. Infantry training can help prepare Soldiers for future careers in law enforcement, management and other leadership roles.