The U.S. Congress is giving the U.S. Army a recruiting edge over the other services. Thus Congress is finally recognizing something that everyone else has known for over 60 year; the army has a harder time recruiting people than the other services. All through the period of the draft, the army took most of the draftees, with the other services often taking none. People would rather volunteer for the navy, air force, or even the marines, rather than go into the army. As a result, the other services (which are in the process of laying off people), are not making much of a stink over all this. Congress has allowed the army to come up with unique benefits, like assistance in buying a house and new educational programs. Meanwhile, all services can now offer larger signing bonuses ($40,000 max for active duty recruits, and half that for reservists.) There is a limited amount of money available for these bonuses, so each services only offer them to people with key skills, or willing to sign up and train for those jobs. Another major recruiting goodie is the ability to offer reservists access to the same healthcare program the active duty troops and their families get. Not having this has long been a major gripe among reservists.