Army Offers Bonuses for Retention: Military Connection

military connection: cyberwarriors

By Debbie Gregory.

For the first time ever, Soldiers are eligible for a cyber-specific selective retention bonus (SRB) as the Army makes a concerted push to recruit and retain cyber warriors.

The SRB, which became effective, May 20, will initially impact Soldiers in military occupational specialty  35Q, cryptologic network warfare specialists, with an additional skill identifier E6 (interactive on-net operator), with bonuses ranging from $12,300 to $50,400. Bonuses for 35Q EAs (exploitation analysts) already working with specific cyber units range from $7,900 to $32,200.

“There is still a lot up in the air when it comes to the cyber mission,” said Brandon Race, SRB and critical skills retention bonus program manager. “This bonus is the first step that identifies the Army’s need to retain soldiers with these critical skills.” He added that career counselors are the point of contact for all bonuses and qualifications necessary to receive them.

Building out the cyber workforce is a focus of the U.S. Cyber Command and the other military services, as well as the Army.

Each branch of the military services has programs and incentives to sweeten the deal for those members who remain in the cyber field. For example, the Marine Corps has extended standard assignments to four years, and encouraged Marines serving in other occupations to move laterally from jobs such as communications, signals intelligence, electronic warfare, data and aviation into cyber occupational fields.

The Air Force has several programs in place, working with communities, industry and schools to encourage the younger generation to gain cyber skills, such as the Air Force Association’s “CyberPatriot” science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiative in which airmen mentor cyberteams in the nationwide competition, said Maj. Gen. Burke Wilson, USAF, commander, Air Forces Cyber and 24th Air Force.

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Army Offers Bonuses for Retention: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory