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BEAR updates offer $60K to GIs switching MOSs

Nov. 14, 2012 - 03:50PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 14, 2012 - 03:50PM  |  
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A mid-October update to the Bonus Extension and Retraining program features bonuses of $6,000 to $60,000 for qualified enlisted soldiers who reclassify to priority specialties.

The BEAR program update was announced Oct. 4, replacing the changes announced Sept. 17.

Changes included in the Oct. 4 update took effect Oct. 15, along with several other changes to the Tiered Selective Re-enlistment Bonus program, and In/Out Reclassification Calls.

To qualify for a BEAR bonus, Regular Army soldiers must have at least 17 months of continuous active duty, not to include active duty for training as a reservist.

The Army manages retention bonus programs by these zones, or career categories:

• Zone A. Soldiers with 17 months to six years of service at the time of re-enlistment.

• Zone B. Soldiers with six to 10 years of service.

• Zone C. Soldiers with 10 to 14 years of service.

Soldiers serving in the BEAR program may have up to 24 months of previously obligated, extended service forgiven provided they re-enlist for the Regular Army option within 90 days after completion of reclassification training.

A minimum re-enlistment term of 36 months remains a requirement for bonus entitlement.

A two-year extension does not entitle soldiers to a bonus.

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