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Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2012

Around the Army: Phase Two, FY12 re-enlistment nears

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WASHINGTON — Historically, the Army’s retention mission encompasses October through the following September — the entire fiscal year.

This year, Army G-1, the staff that makes policy for retention actions, has broken the retention mission up into two phases, with the first phase having ended Tuesday. The second phase will start no later than March 1.

With the Army downsizing, Jim Bragg, chief of Enlisted Retention and Reclassification at the Human Resources Command, said the perception might be that there are no bonuses or any kind of incentives out there anymore. But that is not the case.

“We still have military occupational specialties, or MOSs, that offer incentives to stay in or reclassify in,” Bragg said.

The MOSs that currently have shortages include: •12D, Diver •12P, Prime Power Production Specialist •31D, Criminal Investigations Special Agent •35F, Intelligence Analyst •35L, Counter-Intelligence Agent •35P, Cryptologic Linguist •37F, Psychological Operations Specialist •38B, Civil Affairs Specialist •89D, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist

If a Soldier is in an MOS listed in the Selective Reenlistment Bonus message — MILPER 11-301 — and re-enlists, they’ll receive a bonus to remain in that MOS. That MILPER message can be found at http://bit.ly/rHf9Xc.

Also, if a Soldier volunteers to reclassify into an MOS listed in the Bonus Extension and Retraining, or BEAR, program, which is spelled out in MILPER 11-302, he or she will be paid a bonus upon graduation. That message is located at http://bit.ly/vgKNJf.

“Basically, I’ll take you from your job that you’re not getting promoted in, put you in this job, increase your promotion opportunity and pay you a bonus when you complete training, if you’re willing to change jobs and you meet the qualifications for an MOS in the BEAR program,” Bragg said.

Soldiers who have questions about the re-enlistment requirements or bonuses available need to contact their unit career counselor, Bragg said.

Earned Income Tax Credit may put money in pockets

FORT RUCKER, Ala. — Some people could be eligible to get more money back from the Internal Revenue Service — as much as $5,751. People who earned less than $49,078 from wages, self-employment or farming last year may qualify for a refundable tax credit called the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. But people must file a federal income tax return claiming the credit to get it.

Unlike other tax credits, both EITC eligibility and the amount of tax credit people are eligible for is based on several factors. These include the amount of their income, or combined incomes if married, and whether they have qualifying children and how many. Workers without children also may qualify.

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