Army National Guard: Federal Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet



There are many opportunities to earn money in the Active Army in addition to basic pay. Bonuses may be available for new recruits and Soldiers, who select specific Army jobs, complete special training, assume extra responsibilities, or have served in the military before.


National Guard Soldiers on Federal Active Duty status are eligible for certain bonus opportunities at various career stages or for certain skills.

Benefit Highlights:

Reserve Component Enlistment Bonus: Soldiers enlisting the in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve may be eligible for a combination of bonuses totaling $20,000.  Examples include: 

  • Six years, with prior service-up to $15,000 
  • Three years, with prior service-up to $7,500 
  • Non prior service-up to $ $20,000

Qualified Army Reserve/Army National Guard applicants who already have civilian skills that the Army needs and enlist for six years in a critical skill specialty may be eligible for a $5,000 bonus.

Army Reserve Education Bonus: Qualified non-prior service applicants who enlist for three or six years may receive one of the following bonuses for civilian education: 

  • Bachelor's degree-$4,000
  • Associate or two-year degree-$3,000 
  • High school graduates with 60 or more college semester hours-$2,000 
  • High school graduates with 30 to 59 college semester hours-$1,000

Officer Candidate School: Soldiers who enlist for and complete Officer Candidate School (OCS) in an eligible Area of Concentration may receive up to $10,000

Reserve Chaplain Bonus: Individuals who enter the Army Reserve or Army National Guard to serve six years as a Unit Chaplain may be eligible for a bonus of up to $ $10,000.  The bonus is payable following the completion of the Chaplain Officer Basic Course, which must be completed within 36 months of commissioning.

Middle Eastern Translator Aide Bonus: Individuals who speak certain Middle-Eastern languages and enlist as Translator Aides in the U.S. Army are eligible for a $10,000 enlistment bonus.

Prior Service Enlisted Bonus: If you were formerly enlisted in any armed force and enlist in the Selected Reserve of an armed force for a period of three or six years, in a critical military skill, you may be eligible for a prior enlistment bonus.  A bonus may only be paid to a Soldier who meets each of the following requirements:   

  • has completed a military service obligation, but has less than 16 years of total military service, and received an honorable discharge at the conclusion of that military service obligation 
  • was not released, or is not being released, from active service for the purpose of enlistment in a reserve component 
  • is projected to occupy, or is occupying, a position as a member of the Selected Reserve in a specialty in which the person:

Six years - up to $15,000 Military Occupational Specialty Qualified (MOSQ or non-MOSQ)

Three years - up to $7,500 (MOSQ or non-MOSQ) Troop Program Unit Reenlistment Bonus (REB) (MUST BE MOSQ) - Soldiers must not have completed more than 20 years of time in service (TIS) computed from their pay for entry basic date (PEBD) at their current expiration of term of service (ETS).

NOTE: Army National Guard does extensions, NOT reenlistments 

  • 6 Year Reenlistment restricted by critical skill (except in Theater)
    • First term REB: lump sum
    • Career REB: installment only
    • Total - $15,000
  • 3 Year Reenlistment restricted by critical skill (except in Theater)
    • First term REB: lump sum or installment
    • Career REB: installment only
    • Total - $7,500

Reenlistment Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

  • ARNG - Not to exceed $50,000
    • Extend for not less than 6 years
    • Must be MOSQ
    • Must be in a Modified Table of Organization and Equipment (MTOE) unit or Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) unit.
    • Must not have received the SLRP as an enlistment, re-enlistment, or extension option any Selected Reserve (SELRES).
    • Must have one or more qualifying loans at the team of extension.
  • USAR - Not to exceed $50,000 Enlistment must be in a primary or mobilization vacancy recorded in Recruit Quota System (REQUEST); must be MOS qualified and contract for at least a 3-year period.

Additional Information:

For more information about Bonuses, please visit the following Websites maintained by the Department of Defense:

Document Review Date: 1 January 2016