- The Washington Times - Monday, February 20, 2017

The U.S. Army is looking to quickly reverse years of downsizing by offering lucrative bonuses for short-term contracts.

U.S. Army Recruiting Command plans on spending up to $300 million to bring its active component up to 476,000 soldiers by Sept. 30. Recruiters are tasked with growing the force to 28,000 soldiers in the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve by Sept. 30. They have enlisted 20,600 individuals as of Feb. 14.

“For the last several years, we’ve been talking about the risk with the size of our force,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Dan Dailey told Army Times on Sunday. “[Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley] has made it very clear that he’s uncomfortable with our risk. We’ve been communicating with Congress that we need to increase end strength.”

Officials are enticing new recruits with bonuses reaching into the tens-of-thousands of dollars for two-year contracts.

“You know who enlisted on a two-year enlistment? Dan Dailey did,” the Sgt. Maj. said. “Not until after those two years did I realize this is my calling. Had I not been afforded that opportunity, maybe to somebody’s benefit now, I might not have been the Sergeant Major of the Army.”

The newspaper noted that six-year contracts for jobs such as Cardiovascular Specialist or Satellite Communications Maintainer-Operator may net bonuses up to $40,000.

“It’s not just about getting people,” Sgt. Maj. Dailey said. “A lot of these young men and women want to join the Army, but just like any 18- to 24-year-old — like my son who’s in college now — they don’t know what they want to do for the rest of their lives.”

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