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$150K bonuses resume for Special Forces

Jan. 22, 2013 - 08:19AM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2013 - 08:19AM  |  
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A special retention program that features hefty bonuses for retirement-eligible senior noncommissioned officers who extend their careers has been reinstated for select members of the Special Forces career management field.

Lump-sum cash bonuses of $18,000 to $150,000 are expected to remain available until at least Feb. 28 for CMF 18 sergeants first class, and MOS 18Z senior sergeants with 19 to 23 years of total active federal service.

Command sergeants major who have a secondary MOS of 18Z also qualify for the program.

To qualify for the Critical Skills Retention Bonus program, Regular Army soldiers must extend for two, three, four, five or six years.

Eligibility is determined by rank, specialty and total years of federal active service.

Approved soldiers will be paid the bonus if they are within 180 days of the commencement of the total active federal service window.

The CSRB program complements the tiered Selective Re-enlistment Bonus and Bonus Extension and Retraining programs, which are targeted at more junior soldiers who are not serving indefinite re-enlistments.

The SRB and BEAR programs were last revised in October and are slated for another update this winter.

The CSRB program was in effect for most of 2012 but was temporarily suspended Dec. 31. The program typically is targeted at experienced NCOs in such high-priority career fields and specialties as special operations, military intelligence, cryptology, explosive ordnance disposal and satellite communications.

Bonuses generally are tax-free if paid in a combat zone.

Soldiers may not receive more than $200,000 in total bonus payments from the CRSB and SRB programs during a career. Also, soldiers may not receive a CSRB and SRB for the same period.

Here are some other rules governing the CSRB program:

• Soldiers must meet the qualifications for re-enlistment, as defined in Army Regulation 601-280, without regard to their retention control point.

• By law, CSRB payments will be approved for soldiers who exceed 25 years of active federal service. Applications that would result in an excess of 25 years of service will be returned without action.

• Soldiers who are serving an indefinite re-enlistment must agree to remain on active duty for the length of the service extension designated in their CSRB contract.

• Once an application is approved by Human Resources Command, a soldier's service expiration date, or ETS, will be adjusted accordingly.

Interested soldiers should contact their servicing career counselor to obtain a CSRB application. Requests will then be processed through the soldier's first colonel-level commander, the retention management office of Army Special Operations Command and HRC for final approval.

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