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WASHINGTON — Soldiers with civil affairs and legal jobs will be eligible for re-enlistment bonuses under new guidelines designed to help the Army hold on to hard-to-fill specialties.

The cash, available under the Army’s selective re-enlistment bonus inventory program, targets E-4 through E-6 soldiers who sign up for at least three more years of military service. Bonuses range from $10,000 to $40,000.

Previously, soldiers with civil affairs and legal specialties were not eligible for the re-enlistment cash. Army officials said the addition of those MOS’s — plus ammunition specialists, Avenger system repairers and IFTE (integrated family of test equipment) operators — is a reflection of shortages in those jobs, and not a change in service goals.

“The Army and the nation have a vested interest in retaining soldiers who already have the technical experience and expertise in specialties,” said Army spokesman Hank Minitrez.

The new list, updated at the end of December, also drops several helicopter specialists from the jobs eligible for bonuses.

Changes in that targeted money does not effect the Army’s SRB-deployed program, which offers a bonus of up to $15,000 to any specialist, sergeant or staff sergeant who signs up for at least three more years while serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Brian Hilferty said that deployed bonus has been available to soldiers since January 2005, and nearly 55,800 have re-enlisted so far under the program.

Under the rules, if a soldier is eligible for both the deployed bonus and the targeted MOS cash, they must choose between the two payouts. The two bonuses cannot be combined.

The new guidelines for the targeted specialties bonuses reduce cash payouts for some or all troops in 70 different MOS’s as compared with the bonuses available at the start of 2006, but increase money for 44 specialties.

The largest bonus remains a $40,000 maximum payout for all special operations units, regardless of their MOS.

Both bonuses are tax-free if soldiers enlist while in a combat zone, Hilferty said.

Soldiers with additional questions should consult their units’ career counselors.

A full list of bonuses available through the SRB-inventory program in MILPER message 06-358, available at Details on the SRB-location program are available in message 06-355.

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