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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — In an effort to stabilize a turbulent one-year tour policy here, the Army has started offering targeted re-enlistment bonuses for 124 jobs in South Korea.

In exchange, the Army will be assured of soldiers to fill critical specialties, said Sgt. Maj. Robert Shields, theater retention director.

Soldiers must agree to stay in South Korea between six to 12 months beyond the original end date of their tours.

“It really does a lot of good things for Korea,” Shields said. “They’ve increased substantially the number of soldiers in Korea who will be eligible to get this bonus.”

With the new additions, now 131 South Korea-specific jobs have re-enlistment bonuses.

The Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Va., decides who get re-enlistment bonuses based on personnel strengths and reported shortages, Shields said.

The Army has two types of bonus programs: Selective Re-enlistment Bonus and Targeted Selective Re-enlistment Bonus, Shields said.About 17 Army jobs face eliminated or decreased bonuses, he said.

The decreases go into effect March 14, and are typically timed to take effect about one month after the increases, Shields said.

Selective bonuses are open to soldiers in particular jobs regardless of where they are stationed. “Targeted” means the soldier has to be stationed in a specific area to be eligible.

To qualify for the bonus, soldiers in the United States on their way to South Korea must agree to stay for an 18-month tour as opposed to the traditional 12-month stay.

For soldiers already in South Korea, they must do an additional six months beyond the end of their tour for a “targeted” bonus. That’s better than before, when soldiers already in South Korea had to serve 18 months beyond their re-enlistment date for a bonus.

If soldiers extend 12 months beyond the end of a tour, they have an option of getting their bonus all at once.

If the extension is only six months, half the bonus is paid up front and the rest is paid on the anniversary date of re-enlistment.

Soldiers should contact their career counselor with any questions, Shields said. They can explain how the bonuses are calculated and paid, and the local finance office can provide more details on exact dollar amounts, Shields said.

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