Thousands more offered in new enlistment bonuses for some Air Force jobs

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Sgt. Quenisha Gonzales (second from left), pose for a photo with airmen who reenlisted and members of the Sgt. Quenisha Gonzales (second from left), poses for a photo with airmen who reenlisted and members of the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Airforce precision-flying demonstration team, during a reenlistment ceremony May 20, 2016 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. The troops had the unique opportunity to reenlist during the Shaw Air Expo & Open House.


Thomas Gnau

Dayton Daily News, Ohio

If you quality for an Air Force special warfare job and could use $50,000, the Air Force would like a word with you. Soon.

The Air Force added more jobs eligible for enlistment bonuses in fiscal year 2022, the Air Force said Wednesday.

Air Force special warfare recruits are eligible for up to $50,000 upon entering active duty, the service said. And some cyber career fields are attached to bonuses up to $20,000, based on the applicant’s certification levels in those fields.

Seven maintenance-related skills, with four or six-year contracts, were also added to the FY22 Initial Enlistment Bonus program this week.

Qualified recruits have to act quickly, though. The service said bonuses will be offered through Sept. 30.

This move brings the total number of Air Force “specialty bonuses” to 22.

“Our Air Force value proposition is about far more than pay or compensation,” Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, Air Force Recruiting Service commander, said in a release. “It’s primarily about opportunity and joining a community with an unmatched sense of purpose, but in a highly-competitive labor market, enlistment incentives can help ensure we get the additional Airmen required to fill our ranks and serve the nation.”

He added: “Today, that job market is at record-high levels of competition and it’s a battle for talent.”

The Air Force’s $8,000 “quick-ship bonus” that began in April remains in place. “Quick ship” happens when an already qualified applicant fills a short notice basic training vacancy, and ships within five days or less.

The Air Force said about 180 bonuses have been paid to recruits who entered active duty within a few days of signing a contract.

In an interview last month, Thomas told the Dayton Daily News that he sees an “increasing disconnect” with civil society tied to decreasing exposure to the American military today, with fewer veterans, fewer military bases across the country and generally less civilian access to those bases, especially after 9/11.

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