Attrition: The $40,000 At The End Of The Tunnel


February 23, 2008: The U.S. Army is experimenting with a unique recruiting program. In order to attract sharp recruits, the army is offering a special $40,000 bonus to those who will join, and successfully complete, four years of service first. The bonus can only be spent to buy a house or start a business. That is meant to attract recruits who have goals, and are willing and able to work towards them. Reservists can get a $20,000 bonus under a similar program. The army is testing the program in five cities (Albany, N.Y., Cleveland, Ohio, Montgomery, Alabama., San Antonio, Texas and Seattle, Washington). The recruits attracted by this kind of program can be analyzed (for performance) over the next few years to determine if the army is getting its moneys worth.

Since the army went all-volunteer in the early 1970s, it has found that a small number of high quality recruits are more useful than a much larger number of less capable troops. The army has been doing a lot of research into screening recruits to find those who are best equipped to make superior soldiers. This has led to new recruiting programs designed to attract those people.


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