Peace Time: June 21, 2001


: The booming economy (no matter what the stock market seems to say) has left the Air Force, which never had recruiting problems before, struggling to fill its uniforms. The solution is obvious and effective: pay bonuses. In 1997, the Air Force paid out $1.6 million in bonuses to a handful of key technical specialists in four special fields. This year, the Air Force will pay out $134 million to find or retain people in 85 technical specialties. Recruits can get up to $12,000 depending on the field they qualify for, and a mid-level service member in a key specialty can get as much as $60,000 to re-enlist.--Stephen V Cole


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