Earn Pride And Pay In These Army & Air Force Careers/Jobs

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Since the early part of this century, war has been a global phenomenon. Thanks to the interconnection of politics and economics, conflicts can envelope and span entire continents. When warfare spreads at the speed of information, military strength and preparedness have never been more crucial. Two of the most crucial aspects of war in the modern war are a presence on the ground and control of the skies. As a result, the Army and the Air Force are currently enhancing and expanding their wartime capabilities. If you’re considering a career in the military, or if you’re already enlisted in one of these branches, they are offering signing incentives and retention bonuses to ensure our nation’s strength on the battlefields of today and tomorrow.

Aiming High, Falling Short

To maintain its peak effectiveness, the Combat Air Force—the United States’ frontline of air defense—needs to maintain a 1:4 deploy-to-dwell ratio. This means that, for every month an airman spends deployed, he or she will enjoy about four months at home, training and attending to non-deployment duties. Maintaining these levels means that the Air Force stands at 80% full-spectrum combat readiness. In 2016, however, the deploy-to-dwell ratio fell as low as 1:2 in some career fields. Unsurprisingly, in that same year, the Air Force found itself at its lowest enlistment level since 1947, which was the year that the Army Air Corps split off from the Army proper and became the United States Air Force. Citing their current inability to perform the tasks expected of them by the people and government of the United States, the Air Force has implemented a series of generous retention bonuses meant to keep skilled personnel on active duty. They are also more vigorously recruiting new personnel to expand those, and other, important career fields. As a result, the Air Force grew from 311,000 servicemen and women to about 317,000 in 2016. The branch’s hope for 2017 is to reach a total of 321,000 personnel. This sort of growth would put them well on their way to achieving their goal of 350,000 airmen by the year 2024.

The Air Force Wants You

Broadly, the Air Force is looking to rebuild and strengthen its capabilities in the maintenance, nuclear, cyber and space fields. In particular, the branch hopes to slow the attrition rate of its pilots, who have a very low deploy-to-dwelling ratio and find themselves beset by innumerable non-combat tasks. In addition to easing the lives of pilots and retaining more of them, the Air Force hopes to increase pilot production from 1,200 to 1,400 new pilots every year. Currently, the Air Force is lavishing its attention—and money—on retaining their already skilled personnel as a means of garnering a greater return on the hefty training investment. Thanks to the Aviation Bonus Program (formerly the Aviator Retention Program), active fighter pilots stand to earn as much as $455,000 in bonuses over the course of 13 years, which is the maximum re-enlistment term. Other pilots also stand to earn hefty bonuses for remaining in the service. As remote warfare becomes more and more prevalent, drone pilots are also being offered $35,000 for each year they agree to re-enlist. Bomber, special operations force and mobility pilots will also see $30,000 annual bonuses for re-enlisting, while search-and-rescue pilots can get $28,000 for each year they agree to continue serving. Support personnel are also in high demand.  Maintenance and combat systems officers like navigators, electronic warfare officers and weapon systems officers, among others, will also be offered retention bonuses, but not on the scale of the pilots who’ll be flying their planes. The Air Force is also offering bonuses for recruits who sign on to work in these fields, and these servicemen and -women could conceivably see similar, if not higher, retention bonuses a few years from now.

An Army of One is Not Enough

Much like the Air Force, the United States Army also finds itself in greater need of skilled personnel. To this end, they are attempting to recruit 16,000 soldiers by September 2017. In addition, they hope to retain another 9,000 enlistees and 1,000 officers who would otherwise be leaving the service. This will involve handsome signing bonuses for two-year enlistments in nearly 100 of the Army’s military occupational specialties (MOS) and $10,000 or more in the form of one-year retention bonuses. The Army’s logic is that young recruits will be more willing to commit to service in the short term. Likewise, they hope that active soldiers will be more inclined to remain on active duty in smaller increments, rather than giving up the next several years of their lives in one, solid chunk.

Ways to be a Soldier

The Army is looking to expand its personnel in a variety of fields. In the realm of engineering, these include bridge construction specialists, scuba and deep-sea divers and firefighters. They are also seeking medical, weapons, communication, and engineering personnel to serve in the special forces. Additionally in demand are aviation mechanics, air traffic controllers, and unmanned aerial vehicle operators as well as intelligence analysts and cryptologic network warfare specialists. This is, of  course, merely a small sampling of the many different careers that the Army is seeking to rapidly fill. Whether you’re already on active duty or thinking of enlisting, looking to serve for a short time or build a career as a service member, the Army and Air Force have something to offer you. Not only will you receive pay and technical training, but you’ll have the civic pride of serving your nation in a time of need.