The Army is offering $1,500 a month for current recruiters to tack an extra year onto their tours, in a scramble to get the recruiting force manned at 100 percent for the new year, according to a public affairs email leaked Wednesday by U.S. Army W.T.F.! Moments.
To make sure that everyone currently on recruiting duty has a chance to take advantage of that offer, Army Recruiting Command is temporarily adding 60 days to the orders of every recruiter currently serving, “to ensure the maximum number of [Department of the Army] Select Recruiters were given the chance to voluntarily extend,” USAREC spokeswoman Kelli Bland wrote in a Wednesday email to the command.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has given USAREC until January 15 to round out a recruiter shortfall, according to the email, and that 60-day extension of orders also applies to recruiters who are on their way out.
“The assignment has not changed for these soldiers, just the report date, to ensure they have time to consider the $18,000 incentive,” she wrote.
The recruiting force is short about 390 soldiers as of the end of October, Training and Doctrine Command spokesman Maj. Thomas Campbell told Army Times on Friday, coming to about 96 percent fill.
Of course, some soldiers who are in the middle of a permanent change-of-station might be on leave while they move, possibly selling their homes or shipping their belongings.
“My personnel staff is working directly with our impacted recruiters on a case-by-case basis to ensure this action does not cause any soldier or family undue hardship,” USAREC chief Maj. Gen. Frank Muth said Thursday in a statement. “If a recruiter is already in transit to another assignment and does not wish to volunteer to stay with USAREC for another year, we are going to make sure they can continue that move.”
Officials have pointed to a gap in recruiter strength as part of the reason the Army fell so short on its recruiting goal this year. The service has floated several tools to fix that gap on short notice.
In April, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey sent an email to senior enlisted leaders warning them that NCOs with recruiting experience could be involuntarily sent on temporary duty to recruiting stations to surge during the busy late spring and summer months.
That initiative didn’t get off the ground, though.
A month later, a memo from a Texas recruiting brigade made its way around the internet, calling for extended work days and more weekend shifts to fill recruiting quotas. That plan also never materialized,
Then in June, TRADOC put out a call to retired soldiers with recruiting experience, offering them a chance to come back on active duty specifically to work as recruiters for two years.
Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Guden, TRADOC’s senior enlisted leader, first told Army Times in October that leaders were considering $500 a month for recruiters to extend a year. The total $18,000 incentive pay on offer breaks down to $1,500 a month for 12 months.
Current recruiters can expect a message from USAREC no later than Friday with the extra pay offer, according to a Thursday release from USAREC.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.