Bonus program draws referrals; no cash paid yet
ARLINGTON, Va. — Just five weeks into a new Army program that offers soldiers $1,000 for referring potential soldiers to recruiters, the service has 627 new leads to chase, Army personnel officials said Monday.
But it will be months before anyone sees that cash.
Army officials are pleased with the early results of the new bonus program, although “it’s still a little early to tell how successful” the program will be over the long run, said Lt. Col. Scott Robinson, chief of the Army’s Accessions branch. Officials had projected getting 3,000 recruits through the program between its launch last month and September.
So far, no one has been paid the $1,000 bonus, but those leads have generated two signed contracts, with one of the new recruits now attending basic training, Robinson said. The other recruit is scheduled to leave for training when he finishes high school.
The referral bonus pilot program, which began Jan. 18, is open to all soldiers, regardless of component or rank. The referrals can also be for the active, Reserve, or National Guard, and the referrals do not have to be in the same component as the referring soldier, said Alphonso Green, chief of recruiting policy.
Under the new referral bonus guidelines, soldiers can earn the $1,000 bonus if the candidate they referred to recruiters graduates from Advanced Individual Training, the school soldiers attend after boot camp.
That means it will take a minimum of four months from the time a soldier submits a referral until the soldier gets his or her bonus, Robinson said.
Soldiers can submit the name of any individual who has no prior military experience or has not contacted a recruiter in the past. The only referrals who don’t count are members of a soldier’s immediate family, which the Army is defining to include children (natural and step- or adopted), spouses, parents or stepparents, and brothers and sisters.
Cousins, uncles and aunts, and other extended family are eligible for referral “and highly encouraged,” Green said.
Soldiers can submit referrals for the active Army and Army Reserve via the Internet at https://usarec.army.mil/smart or by calling a toll-free number, 800-223-3735, ext. 60473.
To refer a person to the Army National Guard, a soldier must use the Web site www.1800GOGUARD.COM/ESAR or call 800-464-8273, ext. 3727.