CAMP CASEY (April 18, 2023) -- The Army announced the Soldier Referral Program in January 2023, which incentivizes current Soldiers to help boost recruitment numbers and inspire others to enlist in the Army.
Soldiers in pay grades E-1 to E-3 can be promoted to the next higher rank within 60 days of a referred applicant shipping out to basic combat training. Unlike promotion waivers, these SRP promotions bypass time in service and time in grade requirements. Additionally, soldiers of all ranks who refer an applicant will receive the new Army Recruiting Ribbon after attending basic combat training. The ribbon is worth ten promotion points and can be awarded up to four times.
Spc. Kurt Gonzales, a 42A Human Resource Specialist and finance clerk for the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, Battalion S1 shop, under the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, stationed out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, found out about the Soldier Referral Program when he accompanied one of his friends to a local recruiter office before joining a nine-month-long rotation to South Korea. In South Korea, Gonzales reflected on the experience and said his friend reminded him of himself and how he was unsure of what he wanted to do after high school.
"I asked him if he wanted to join the Army," said Gonzales. "I told him about all of the positive things the Army can do for him, and he was interested, so we went to talk to a recruiter." Gonzales said he was happy that his friend could take his advice and follow in his footsteps and said there are many things he has learned in his time in the Army that many young people could also learn from joining the Army.
"It helped me mature and learn how to be an adult and be independent," said Gonzales. "I plan to refer more people. The Army is a great way to jumpstart your career and a good path, especially if you are unsure what you want to do."
Since leaving for South Korea, Gonzales' friend has shipped off to One Station Unit Training, which consists of Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, at Fort Benning, Ga., to become a 19D Cavalry Scout.
To refer a Soldier: talk to your local Army recruiter, visit goarmy.com/refer, or text "RFRL" to 462769 (GOARMY) to receive a referral form.