The tiered Selective Retention Bonus program is the Army's primary incentive for encouraging Regular Army enlisted soldiers in priority military occupational specialties to extend their careers.

The flat-rate, cash bonuses available under this program range from $500 to $72,000, depending on a soldier's rank, military occupational specialty and length of service extension.  Factoring in languages, a soldier's bonus can max out at $90,000.

This program was last updated Jan. 12, and periodic updates can be expected during the remainder of the fiscal year, along with revisions to the reclassification in/out calls. The new rates and in/out calls took effect Jan. 27.

A soldier's individual re-enlistment opportunity window for fiscal 2016 opens 15 months before their ETS (expiration term of service), and continues until 90 days before the ETS.

Sources recommend that soldiers who are interested in re-enlisting or reclassifying for a bonus take a close look at the most recent SRB and in/out call options.

That is because bonus opportunities are likely to decline in the future as the Army moves deeper into a drawdown that will take the force to 475,000 soldiers this year, and 460,000 by the end of 2017. As of Jan. 1, fewer than 482,000 soldiers were on the active duty rolls.

The eligibility and payment charts for the Tiered SRB program now apply to soldiers whose enlistment contracts expire before Oct. 1, 2016.

Army policy also requires that soldiers must have at least 17 months of continuous active duty, other than active duty for training as a reservist, and no more than 14 years of active federal service before reaching eligibility to receive an SRB.

Bonuses may be paid up to the 20th year of active federal service, and the maximum obligated service is 60 months.

Army budget projections recently submitted to Congress indicate that about 12,540 soldiers will be approved for SRBs in 2016, and another 12,343 in 2017. Bonuses will average $8,600 per soldier, for an annual total outlay of about $107 million.