If you're counting the reasons to enlist in the Army Reserve, the wide array of enlistment bonuses and benefits may just provide that extra encouragement. In today's Army Reserve, you'll find everything from enlistment incentives, educational support bonuses, and job opportunity benefits.
Army Reserve enlistment cash bonuses at or above $10,000 are paid in full upon successful completion of your basic training. The rest of your eligible Army Reserve bonuses are paid in annual portions of $10,000 until the entire bonus amount is received in full.
Each Army Reserve incentive program is individual and has limits on combinations with other offers. In general, your Army Reserve bonus or bonus combination cannot exceed $40,000.
That all adds up to cash in hand plus annual payouts in incentives and bonuses for choosing to be part of today's Army Reserve.
Army Reserve recruits may qualify for a $20,000 Enlistment Bonus if your enlistment contract is at least six years with an additional two years in Inactive Reserve (IRR). While in the IRR you do not attend drills or get military pay, but you may be deployed while serving. Your Enlistment Bonus for the Army Reserve can be combined with the educational financial support of the GI Bill kicker and Student Loan Repayment programs.
There are also enlistment benefits available for three year Army Reserve recruits without prior service who remain on IRR for the full eight years - including eligibility for the full Army Enlistment Bonus. Experienced service members enlisting in a critical skills position for at least 6 years may receive a $15,000 bonus; 3 years service makes you eligible for a bonus of $7,500. These hefty enlistment bonuses may also be combined with other army incentives.
The qualifications of this program for the Army Reserve are identical to those of the Army Home/Business Bonus, but the bonus amounts vary. Army Reserve Home/Business Bonus amounts range from $10,000 for a 3-year enlistment contract, to $15,000 for a 4-year contract, to $20,000 for a 5-year contract.
CIVILIAN SKILLS BONUS
The Army Civilian Skills bonus is available to Army Reserve recruits enlisting for a minimum of three years, who have civilian skills the army is looking for. The Army Civilian Acquired Skills Program (ACASP) starts with a base bonus of $5,000, and can go up to $20,000 for qualified Army Reserve applicants enlisting in a critical skill specialty for at least three years. This Army Civilian Skills bonus can be combined with the Student Loan Repayment Program, but only for six year enlistment.
STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM
The Army Reserve Student Loan Repayment Program offers up to $10,000 toward student loans to eligible recruits enlisting in a Selected Reserve Troop Program. Some selected specialties may offer up to $20,000. SLRP is also available to service members who had served prior to enlisting, granted that they enlist in a high demand job for at least three years.
CIVILIAN JOB PREFERENCE
Wondering how to get a jump start on the civilian job market? Civilian Job Preference is not a monetary bonus, but it opens up continual job opportunities for you. Through the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS), qualifying Army or Army Reserve recruits can secure an interview and consideration priority for a civilian company/PaYS partner (of which there are over 275) after completing army service. Just choose a PaYS option during your army enlistment, then prepare for specific job training for your chosen employment option.
GI BILL KICKER
This Army Reserve program is similar to the active duty Army College Fund. The G.I. Bill Kicker, part of the New GI Bill, and can add up to $667 additional monthly payments for college tuition. Qualifications include acceptance into army jobs that offer this benefit, and may be available to prior service members who enlist in a high-demand job for at least six years.
MIDDLE EASTERN TRANSLATOR AIDE BONUS
The Army Reserve offers a $10,000 enlistment bonus for eligible recruits who speak certain Middle-Eastern languages as part of the Army 09L Program in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). This Middle Eastern Translator and Aide Bonus can be as high as $20,000 for new recruits, or $15,000 for prior service members who enlist for at least four years. IRR service members are not assigned a unit and do not attend drills after basic job training, but may be called to active duty at any time during their service.
The Deployment Deferment incentive from the Education Career Stabilization program (ECS) provides new Army Reserve recruits the option of serving in the Army Reserve and attending four years of college without being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Deployment Deferment program doesn't protect you from being deployed if a new federal deployment is initiated.
Deferment times are based on enlistment length; for example enlisting for 8 years active duty will make you eligible to defer for four years, while 6 years active duty enlistment with 2 years in IRR leaves you with a 2-year deferment option. Requirements for college attendance include at least six semester hours per term and a 2.0 minimum grade average.
The option to combine this offer with other enlistment offers depends upon the time of your deferment. For example, if you choose Deployment Deferment of more than two years, you cannot combine other enlistment incentives. Army Reserve applicants who defer for less than two years may be eligible also for the Enlistment Bonus, Student Loan Repayment, or the GI Bill Kicker.