Army Increases Enlistment Bonus to $50,000 To Compete For Talent With Corporate America

With the “great resignation” still underway and labor shortages at an all-time high, it appears that American companies now have one more entity competing against them in the search for talented, qualified people who want to work: the U.S. Army.

Tim Stelloh of NBC News reported that “the Army is seeking to blunt the pandemic-fueled labor shortage rocking the country’s economy with its largest bonus ever — $50,000.”

According to Stelloh, “Military recruiting officials said the incentive for qualified recruits who sign up for certain career paths and agree to active-duty six-year enlistments is aimed at luring the ‘same talent’ that private companies are competing for.”

“This is an opportunity to entice folks to consider the Army,” added Brig. Gen. John Cushing in a statement.

The move from the Army is on par with new programs created by the likes of Target (No. 29 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021), Walmart (No. 22 in 2021) and others, all of which have recently created employee reimbursement programs, new 401(k) retirement accounts and profit-sharing agreements in an effort to pull in potential new workers.

“Enlistment bonuses used to max out at $40,000 in the Army,” Stelloh reported. “But with full- and part-time positions vacant across 150 careers, military officials boosted incentive packages by $10,000.”

New recruits enlisting for six years in a common role, like air and missile defense, would automatically qualify for the new bonus, which would be paid at the end of their service. There is also potential for additional bonuses such as $1,000 if the candidate agrees to attend training within 90 days.

The U.S. Department of Defense is currently regarded as the largest employer of workers globally by WorldAtlas, with more than 3.2 million employees. In comparison, Walmart and McDonald’s (numbers 3 and 4 on the list) clock in at 2.1 million and 1.7 million workers, respectively. 


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