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ARLINGTON, Va. — Soldiers who re-enlisted in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan between March 18, 2003, and Sept. 18, 2003, may now be eligible to receive a retroactive, lump-sum bonus worth as much as $5,000, Army officials said Friday.

Army officials believe that about 5,000 soldiers will qualify for the payment, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Stan Heath said Friday.

The bonus applies to soldiers in grades E-4, specialist, through E-6, staff sergeant, as well as some privates first class (E-3), who re-enlisted in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan. Soldiers who re-enlisted in other deployment areas, such as Bahrain or Uzbekistan, are not eligible for the payment, Heath said.

Soldiers who received a Military Occupational Specialty bonus when they re-enlisted that was less than $5,000 will receive a lump-sum payment in whatever amount brings the total to $5,000. But if the MOS bonus was more than $5,000, such soldiers aren’t eligible for more money under the Selective Re-enlistment Bonus.

The retroactive bonus is an extension of a popular SRB the Army first offered from Sept. 18 to Sept. 30, 2003. The SRB ended when the service ran out of fiscal 2003 funds for the program. But the Army was so pleased with the response the bonus generated that they reinstated the $5,000 bonus in December.

That bonus, which is retroactive to Sept. 30, remains in effect.

But many soldiers who re-enlisted in the three specified countries before Sept. 18 said that they could not understand why they were not offered the additional money, too.

—Full text of the Army personnel message that described the retroactive bonus is at: https://perscomnd04.army.mil/milpermsgs.nsf/

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