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4 or 6 yr contract/re-enlistment bonus
Last Post 15 Jun 2018 02:45 PM by Old Guard2. 9 Replies.
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OronUser is Offline
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Oron

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13 Jun 2018 07:04 AM
    Hi! I'm moving along in the enlistment process and am trying to decide whether a 4 or 6 year contract is better. I've done some research and question asking and was settled on 6 years when someone mentioned that this could actually leave me with less of a bonus in the long run because of a lost opportunity for a re-enlistment bonus. The person who told me this was army, so I wanted to get some CG opinion on this. 

    Additionally, are there any benefits for doing 6 years other than an extra few hundred bucks? I decided to go for it because I figured it couldn't hurt and I expect to be in for longer than that anyway, but thought I'd ask while I'm here. Thanks for any info you can provide!
    BellsUser is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 07:51 AM
    Your buddy is right. say you are approaching your 4 year mark, and an enlistment bonus comes out, you will not be eligible for that bonus unless it comes out again when your contract is up. Bonuses come and go, some never come, and it depends on the rating you choose. The ratings that have been getting them lately are MK, ET, EM, OS, CS, and that's about it. And lately, meaning, maybe in the last 5 years.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    stealthtt24User is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 09:01 AM
    My question is what are the positives of doing a 6 year? Do you get offered anything extra? You mentioned something about a couple hundred bucks, do they make you an E3 as soon as you join?
    OronUser is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 09:21 AM
    Thanks for your answer! I'm looking at BM and AMT, both of which are popular ratings. Can I be pretty sure that there won't be a re-enlistment bonus? How much is the bonus, anyway?

    @Stealth, yeah, you go in as an E3 (I'm not sure if this goes into effect during boot camp or after) and that's pretty much it. The difference between E2 and E3 is about $100.
    sevenup87User is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 10:15 AM
    I've personally never been a fan of 6 yr contracts.

    A.) E-2's make E-3 within 6 months of joining as long as they don't mess up.
    B.) As long as you don't mess up you can easily get an extension to your contract (which is distinctly different from Re-Enlisting). And this will fulfill any commitments you need. ANNNND leave you with the option to reenlist if a bonus becomes available.
    C.) 6 Years is a loooong time. You may decide you want to do something else after 3 years.

    I'd say with some confidence that if you go BM there will be no re-enlistment bonus. I was a BM for the last 8 years.

    If you're joining for the money ( which I have no problem with) I'd heavily suggest Culinary Specialist. The CG has had massive CS bonus's for years. You have the option to advance very quickly; But most of the CS's I knew hovered around the 2nd class paygrade so they could maximize on additional reenlistment bonus'. Plus a couple of CS's I knew got picked up for OCS... I think it's because they handle finances and are admin oriented.
    m1ashooterUser is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 10:39 AM
    The Army throws reenlistment bonuses around like a drunk spending money at a bar. Bonuses are used when either they have trouble attracting people to the job or keeping people in a job. Also keep in mind that bonuses are going to be taxed at a high rate. For example a service branch dangles a $100,000 bonus in front of a person and the person takes it, the Gov't is only going to give you $75000 of it and keep the rest for taxes.

    Never sign up for the money. You sign up to serve and because you want the job. If that job pays extra then that a plus.

    I recommend 4 year enlistments, because if you find you don't like what you do then you are only doing it for four years.
    sevenup87User is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 11:00 AM
    Good point about the taxes. Most single members aren't paying attention and don't realize they've made just enough to knock them out of the 15% tax rate and into the 25% tax rate. It usually happens around the E-5 pay grade.
    stealthtt24User is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 11:21 AM
    Thanks for the info. I second everyone else. Why sign up any longer than you have to when you have no idea what the future holds?
    OronUser is Offline
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    13 Jun 2018 02:26 PM
    Thanks a lot for the info everyone, I guess 6 years isn't worth it no matter how you look at it.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    15 Jun 2018 02:45 PM
    I'll be devil's advocate, a position I relish usually. My son signed for 6 years. He was paid as an E3 all through boot, he graduated an E3 and was quite happy. With all the schooling extension, unit extension and another unit extension, he only just reenlisted for the first time last August after 8 years on active duty. He received a very nice OS bonus, to the tune of some $20,000 or something like that. He doesn't regret signing for 6. He didn't miss out on a bonus. He did get paid a touch extra for whatever the time difference was between boot and normal progression to E3. It is all up to the person what is or isn't worth it. To him, it was worth it. To you, it might not be.

    There truly is no right or wrong answer to this question. The only answer that matters is what works best for me. I can tell you the likelihood of BM ever seeing a bonus would be slim to none. Can WWIII break out tomorrow and bonuses will be readily available to everyone? Sure. That's possible I suppose. Likely not going to happen and I doubt you would ever see a bonus for BM. Just something to consider. Best of luck, what you choose is what you think works for YOU! No one else.
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