Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet


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


Active Duty Soldiers - Bonus opportunities to active duty Soldiers as incentives to develop or maintain certain skills and/or at various stages of their career.

New Recruits - Upon enlistment into the Army, new recruits may be eligible for cash enlistment incentives if they enlist for certain skills and meet the mental and physical qualifications for the particular skill. The bonuses depend upon availability of the skill training.

Benefit Highlights

Active Army Enlistment Bonus : Qualified active duty recruits may be eligible for a combination of bonuses totaling up to $40,000. The maximum bonus for a three, four, five, or six-year contract is based on periodic updates and is subject to change. Recruiters will have the most up to date bonus information.

Active Duty Education Bonus (HIGRAD) : Qualified non-prior service applicants who enlist for three or more years, possess a qualifying aptitude test score, and enlist in an Army Military Occupational Specialty that is designated as an incentive skill may receive one of the following bonuses for civilian education:

  • Associates degree or higher-$5,000

  • Recruits with 60 or more college semester hours (no degree)-$4,000

  • Recruits with 30 to 59 college semester hours-$3,000

Civilian Acquired Skills Bonus : Active Army applicants who possess civilian skills that the Army needs, such as proficiency in certain foreign languages, X-Ray certification or specialties in animal care, may be eligible for a $5,000 bonus.

High Demand MOS : Applicants who enlist for three or more years in the following jobs may qualify for additional seasonal bonuses ranging from $3,000 to $15,000. Current (subject to change based on Army requirements) high demand MOSs include:

  • 17C (Cyber Operations Specialist)

  • 35Q (Cryptologic Cyberspace Intelligence Collector)

  • 18X (Spec Forces; Elementary Lang Proficiency)

  • 37F (Psychological Operations Specialist)

  • 25D (Cyber Network Defender)

  • 35P (Cryptologic Linguist)

  • 35M (Human Intelligence Collector: Lang Proficiency

  • 14P (Air Missile Defense Crew Member)

15W (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) 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 an enlistment bonus up to $40,000 depending on the number of years enlisted for and any other qualifying bonus criteria met.

Critical Skills Retention Bonus : A service member who is serving in a designated critical area can receive a Critical Skills Retention Bonus (CSRB) if an agreement is signed to remain on active duty for at least one year. A Retention Bonus is not authorized for members who have completed more than 25 years of active duty or who will complete their 25th year of active duty before the end of the period of active duty for which the bonus is being offered. Qualifying Professions will be listed on the Human Resource Command MILPER Message website:

Reenlistment Bonus : A soldier currently serving in the Army may be eligible for a reenlistment bonus, provided the Soldier:

  • has completed at least 17 months of continuous active duty (other than for training)

  • is qualified in a military skill designated as critical

  • reenlists for a period of at least three years

The bonus is paid to Soldiers in their Reenlistment window or who reenlist to meet an HQDA imposed Service Remaining Requirement (SRR). The bonus amount is determined based on the critical demand of the MOS or skill, and the amount of additional service the Soldier reenlists for.

Additional Information

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

Selective Retention Bonus (SRB) Program:

Listing of MOS names by number:

DoD Financial Management Regulation:

Document Review Date: 26 June 2018