A new bonus of $20,000 is available to more than 7,000 regular Army captains who agree to remain on active duty beyond their initial active-duty service obligation, according to a report on the Army News Service Web site.

Citing the need to increase capabilities and reduce stress over the long term, the Army says it has needed nearly 6,000 more captains and majors since 2004, according to Col. Paul Aswell, chief of the Officer Division, Directorate of Military Personnel Management.

The branches considered critical for the purposes of the Critical Skills Retention Bonus include:

air defenseadjutant generalarmor, chemicalengineerfield artilleryfinanceinfantrymilitary intelligencemilitary policeordnancequartermastersignal corpstransportation corps

Officers commissioned into the Army nurse corps or medical science corps are also eligible for the CSRB, according to the report.

Aviation officers are not eligible at this time due to their longer initial contracts, but the Army is working on an incentive program to offer them by year’s end.

Eligible captains must have a date of rank between March 1, 2005, and Jan. 1, 2007. Similar incentives will be offered to captains in other year groups, Aswell told Army News Service.

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