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Old 06-21-2009, 14:15   #1
Scimitar
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NOTE: To all individuals contemplating an 18X contract - AD or ARNG

Yes it's not about the money, but you do owe it to yourselves to ensure you are getting everything you deserve.

There are some big changes in US Army Recruiting Command at the moment as well as the ARNG side of the house so this information may change. Do your homework.

Enlistment Bonuses
There are specifically two enlistment bonuses that many recruits are unaware of and with a little forward thinking can become eligible for.

1) Seasonal Bonus
The Army finds it a little hard to fill slots during the 'down season'. For recruits SHIPPING between 1 Oct and 31 May there is currently a $5000 Seasonal Bonus for many MOS incl 18X.

I have talked to a number of applicants who where thinking of the early November ship date (Yes you can choose your own ship date - with in reason), by changing this date by 5 weeks they became eligible for another $5000 enlistment bonus, seems worth it for just 5 weeks and you are helping mother Army.

Your call...do your own homework.

2) Quick Ship Bonus
Again a little sketchy on this but, if you are willing to ship with in 45 days of enlisting you may be eligible for the Quick Ship Bonus which is currently $5000. Again, no need to try and play the system too much here, but if all it takes is a little tweak to get an extra $5000....

HTH.

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Last edited by Scimitar; 07-31-2009 at 14:46.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:21   #2
TDude90
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I took the ASVAB last week (Scored a 90), after which, my recruiter looked up the nearest availible slot for 18x, which was in January. According to what your saying, I guess I would need to jump on this before the Febuary cutoff to qualify for an enlistment bonus?

Also, the recruiter said the bonus was $6k. Far from the $40k they advertize on all the propaganda, but like you said, this isn't all about the money, or else I'd be trying to get a SEAL contract. SEALs are the only job in any service I've found actually offering the big money.
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Old 06-30-2009, 15:26   #3
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I'm surprised the next slot is January, my G2 is that they are struggling to fill 18X slots due to the new demands on the quality of recruits (i.e. No med waivers etc), are you sure of this...?

Feb may not be the cut-off date, do your own research.

The $6k may be the high demand bonus, not the seasonal bonus, do your homework.

The $40k is the maximum combined bonus allowed, all the advertising I've see says this...?

IIRC I signed an 18X contract in 2006 that offered $32k. Gov can't justify big bonuses with the recession.

Don't let the money effect your decision; just don't lose out on $5k cos you didn't know.

For a couple of guys I've talked to already, they where able to push for dates only 5 wks later then they where planning and get the $5k.

It's not about the bonus but seems silly to miss out on $5k if one only has to wait an extra 5 wks.

There have been some very big Bonus changes military wide since April, not sure but there may have been a drop in the SEAL Challenge bonus as well…?

As always policies of this type are complicated and ever changing, do your own homework and tell us what you discover.

Cheers

S
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"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
-- Phillip Brooks

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"
-- Robert Browning

"Hooah! Pushing thru the shit til Daisies grow, Sir"
-- Me

"Malo mori quam fiedari"
"Death before Dishonour"
-- Family Coat-of-Arms Maxim

"Mārohirohi! Kia Kaha!"
"Be strong! Drive-on!"
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Last edited by Scimitar; 06-30-2009 at 15:36.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:43   #4
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What about a 32 yr old prior service Infantry Marine whose been out for 6 years? With 3 dependents? I think I'd be lucky if I got an 11B contract...much less something like as flashy as an 18X or Ranger contract. I'd count myself lucky if I was one of you young hard chargers gunning for the glory right now. It ain't about the money. Don't get me wrong...the green is good to have. But most of these Ranger, 18X bonuses are only payable upon completion of training I would imagine. And odds are, well lets just say they aren't in your favor. Count yourself lucky for the opportunity to serve your country. With the current recession, a sure thing going down to the recruiter and getting a contract for 4 years isn't a sure thing anymore. They are very picky at the moment from what I've been told. Anyway, if you make the commitment...serve your country well. If your a young lad, a few years in the Grunts starting off will go a long way and never hurt anybody. It'll give you a bit of experience on how the military works as well as a few valuable critical skills and if you have what it takes, I'm sure SF will be there for you should you decide on it. Besides, with the turnover of the 18X'ers I hear about its better for you if your determined in your course and are willing to stay it. No use in wasting Army time and that of your team just to do 4 and out. I would think commitment and dedication to duty, the fight and your team would be a critical factor. Doing 4 years on the Grunt side and then out is one thing, but signing on and then becoming an elite warrior is another. I wish I had it to do all over again. Just my humble .02.
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Old 07-01-2009, 22:52   #5
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Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
new demands on the quality of recruits (i.e. No med waivers etc)


Scimitar, could you expand on this a little? Is there a new policy or directive being sent out to the recruiters/counselors at MEPS? I'm just a little curious as my records are currently with the doctors at MEPS and I was under the impression that if the doctors cleared me, that would be that.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:50   #6
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Originally Posted by tcush View Post
Scimitar, could you expand on this a little? Is there a new policy or directive being sent out to the recruiters/counsellors at MEPS? I'm just a little curious as my records are currently with the doctors at MEPS and I was under the impression that if the doctors cleared me, that would be that.
My best man was a USAREC Station Commander, Chatted to him a few weeks ago. This is what I understand....no expert here.

Due to the recession the level of guys separating has dropped significantly and USAREC has already reached its mission for the year. So the order went out to cut back on guys coming in.

Down go Bonuses and Recruiters are only allowed to work 9-5 due to the spate of recruiter suicides. Apparently Med waivers are not enlistable, that may only be for the 18X program?

Word has it that they are even looking at only taking those with at least some university. Butů.before you panic check with your recruiter.

Also I believe that recruiting year ends September therefore new mission, everything opens up. You will probably see a small rise in Bonuses and some of the restraints loosen.

HTH

Any questions?

Scimitar
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"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
-- Phillip Brooks

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"
-- Robert Browning

"Hooah! Pushing thru the shit til Daisies grow, Sir"
-- Me

"Malo mori quam fiedari"
"Death before Dishonour"
-- Family Coat-of-Arms Maxim

"Mārohirohi! Kia Kaha!"
"Be strong! Drive-on!"
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:38   #7
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Thanks. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens if I do get the waivers.
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Old 07-02-2009, 13:00   #8
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Yes it's not about the money, but you do owe it to yourselves to ensure you are getting everything you deserve./quote/Scimitar

Excuse this old man's response,but I just struggle to understand in todays army why the motivation to go SF is associated with a bonus........ When I earned my Green Beret that was the proudest moment of my life...... The Beret was all that was needed,not $$$........... I'm sorry,I just don't get it...................

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I believe that SF is a 'calling' - not too different from the calling missionaries I know received. I knew instantly that it was for me, and that I would do all I could to achieve it. Most others I know in SF experienced something similar. If, as you say, you HAVE searched and read, and you do not KNOW if this is the path for you --- it is not....
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SF is a calling and it requires commitment and dedication that the uninitiated will never understand......
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Old 07-02-2009, 14:29   #9
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Originally Posted by greenberetTFS View Post
Yes it's not about the money, but you do owe it to yourselves to ensure you are getting everything you deserve./quote/Scimitar

Excuse this old man's response, but I just struggle to understand in today’s army why the motivation to go SF is associated with a bonus........ When I earned my Green Beret that was the proudest moment of my life...... The Beret was all that was needed, not $$$........... I'm sorry, I just don't get it...................

Big Teddy
TFS,

Thanks for the question. I don’t even want to say "you're right", cos what do I know I am still far from being a BTDT.

But to answer your question, I posted this simply out of the desire to ensure that 18X aspirants approach the enlistment process fully informed.

Today’s Army is offering a number of benefits that as far as I understand weren't available in yester-year; or at least are now more complicated.

The recruiter isn't obliged to educate the 18X aspirant on these benefits; if he educates himself it is likely he will receive everything that the Army is willing to give him. If he chooses to go in blind, chances are he’s going to miss out of something that could have been his.

As an illustration, when I bought my first new motorcycle, I honestly didn’t care how much it cost, I was going to buy that thing no mater what, but I didn’t let the sales guy know that. I haggled, bargained, and got a good deal.

My first enlistment had a $36k bonus, if my second enlistment goes thru, it will likely be near zero. Believe me when I say, I couldn’t care less. However I was planning on the September class, when I discovered the seasonal bonus I figured
"Hey why not delay for 5 wks to the October Class and get an extra $5k..."
It sure aint the reason I'm signing up, but I ain't gonna look a gift horse in the mouth either.

Quote:
...why the motivation to go SF is associated with a bonus...
I have seen it in the business world often enough and I imagine it also applies to SFAS (others can lend better advice here then I can). "Money is not a robust Point of Energy"....in english....that bonus WILL NOT motivate you through that tough Selection!

In fact reports I hear is that upwards of 40% of 18X recruits reneg the 18X portion of their contract IN BASIC TRAINING. Why?

21 Year old Jonny walks in off the street; Sgt recruiter advises him that he qualifies for the 18X program; that SF is high speed low dragg and look there's a bonus....Not knocking recruiters or USAREC, just an observation from talking with literally hundreds of 18X aspirants.

Now don't get me wrong, if I may quote a great man*
"There is a fine line between planning and chorography".

Don't get anal about it! However, having been 'involved' with recruiting, I have seen far too many individuals either have their enlistment messed-up or not receive the best outcome they could simple because they were under informed.

With just a little forethought and preparation you can ensure that your enlistment goes smoothly and that you indeed obtain the best outcome available to you.

The way I see it you're enlisting to become a professional, so why not act like one now, get your situational awareness on and learn a bit about the recruitment / enlistment process. Chances are it’ll pay dividends.

HTH?


Scimitar

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"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
-- Phillip Brooks

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"
-- Robert Browning

"Hooah! Pushing thru the shit til Daisies grow, Sir"
-- Me

"Malo mori quam fiedari"
"Death before Dishonour"
-- Family Coat-of-Arms Maxim

"Mārohirohi! Kia Kaha!"
"Be strong! Drive-on!"
Maori saying

Last edited by Scimitar; 07-02-2009 at 14:31.
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Old 07-02-2009, 17:58   #10
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I don't care about a bonus-- but the info about 18x stats is interesting. S you sound pretty well informed. Know any more about that? Probably doesn't matter too much from an individual standpoint whether or not anybody else is ready when I go into SFAS, but I hadn't expected many drops before selection.
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Old 07-02-2009, 19:30   #11
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I do have some interesting stats on 18X Selection rates thru each stage of the program.

However, instead of answering your question it is likely more appropriate for me to repeat what the QPs on this board will likely tell you, and have told others before.

There is only one Selection rate
100% or 0% and you are the only candidate.

In line with where this thread is going re: going into the program with the right mentality / Point of Energy, the best advice I have gotten is straight from the LTC Martin book "Get Selected for Special Forces".

"Write down why you MUST be Special Forces" (Ch 8)
Write a short essay on it. When the going gets hard, you need it clear in your head WHY AM I PUTTING MYSELF THRU THIS PAIN.

The answers I've had is that the majority of those you quit during Basic are thinking something like this...
"Basic is hard and I hate it, how much more am I going to hate SFAS etc."
"Why am I putting myself thru this pain again?"
"I can't really remember"
"OK, I'm going to quit right now - I'm happy with 11B in the 82nd or 101st"

HTH

Scimitar
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"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
-- Phillip Brooks

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"
-- Robert Browning

"Hooah! Pushing thru the shit til Daisies grow, Sir"
-- Me

"Malo mori quam fiedari"
"Death before Dishonour"
-- Family Coat-of-Arms Maxim

"Mārohirohi! Kia Kaha!"
"Be strong! Drive-on!"
Maori saying
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Old 07-29-2009, 14:27   #12
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Found the following link :
http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/apa/goals.htm

Looks like the recruiting year ends Sept 30
Looks like they also reduced their recruiting goal a bit
I wonder what that means as far as bonuses are concerned

Again, I totally agree that this is about wanting to live the life and to see and do crazy and exciting things. I have a degree, and could go for OCS instead, but.... that just doesn't offer what I'm looking for. But if they are offering money, then i'll take it. More toys for my son, why not?

Also, I think Scimitar is correct, that the 18x is often exploited as a recruiting tactic. A buddy of mine who enlisted as a 25p, was initially told by the recruiter that he should go for 18x. Its funny too, because this is a guy who had to take the treadmill/heart rate test at meps because of his body fat %
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Old 07-29-2009, 15:23   #13
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Quote:
Looks like the recruiting year ends Sept 30
Looks like they also reduced their recruiting goal a bit
I wonder what that means as far as bonuses are concerned

Again, I totally agree that this is about wanting to live the life and to see and do crazy and exciting things. I have a degree, and could go for OCS instead, but.... that just doesn't offer what I'm looking for. But if they are offering money, then i'll take it. More toys for my son, why not?
Yes, USAREC like most sales engines big and small can be driven by numbers more then reality sometimes. Buy this I mean sales targets are great for management to monitor progress but abutrary lines in the sand can actually be a negative towards actual sales rates. Crazy really, but it's just part of the machine when it comes to sales engines.

USARECs year does end Sep, at the moment they really don't care to much about how many people are coming in, (i.e. aint accepting waivers till Oct probably) they have reached their target for the year already and no ones seperating due to the economy.

However you may find their interest will peak again in the new year when management looks at the whole years targets and wants to score a big hit in the first quarter. You may see bonus increase.

For example the seasonal bonus of $5k isnt so much due to difficulty in filling slots, but more about, new year, new targets, lets start filling the quota quick and a $5k extra bonus will increase numbers.

Not bad things at all, just observations. Understand how the machine works and you will work better with the machine. There's an old saying "Use the system before it uses you", I think a better way to think about it is, "Understand the system so you can use (work-with) each other"

Quote:
Also, I think Scimitar is correct, that the 18x is often exploited as a recruiting tactic. A buddy of mine who enlisted as a 25p, was initially told by the recruiter that he should go for 18x. Its funny too, because this is a guy who had to take the treadmill/heart rate test at meps because of his body fat %
Basically recruiters get 2 points for 18X, so if you get over 75% on the ASVAB its in their interest to throw it at you. The ASVAB is really the only screener for the 18X contract too, so basically probably 15% of guys walking thru the door are eligable for it.

I'm not sure if exploited is the right word, again from my experiance 95% of recruiters are well meaning hardworking top notch NCOs. If they weren't they wouldn't have been recommended for recruiting duty. However the necessary evils of the machine and of sales in general does create situations which appear as injustices but really are just a reality. There is a very good reason why our system is based on "Caveat emptor" buyer beware.

The best advice I ever heard was no mater what your age bring an educated savy adult along with you when you visit the recruiter. And just realise the recruiter isnt really obliged to tell you anything that you havn't asked. But when asked he is obliged to tell you his version of the truth.

HTH

S
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"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
-- Phillip Brooks

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"
-- Robert Browning

"Hooah! Pushing thru the shit til Daisies grow, Sir"
-- Me

"Malo mori quam fiedari"
"Death before Dishonour"
-- Family Coat-of-Arms Maxim

"Mārohirohi! Kia Kaha!"
"Be strong! Drive-on!"
Maori saying
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Old 07-31-2009, 14:50   #14
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Originally Posted by Hostile0311 View Post
....18X bonuses are only payable upon completion of training I would imagine....

My understanding is that as Off-Peak and Quick-ship bonuses are not tied to your specific MOS, then aslong as you graduate any AIT you will receive them.

S
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"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
-- Phillip Brooks

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp"
-- Robert Browning

"Hooah! Pushing thru the shit til Daisies grow, Sir"
-- Me

"Malo mori quam fiedari"
"Death before Dishonour"
-- Family Coat-of-Arms Maxim

"Mārohirohi! Kia Kaha!"
"Be strong! Drive-on!"
Maori saying
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:47   #15
amatlis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
My understanding is that as Off-Peak and Quick-ship bonuses are not tied to your specific MOS, then aslong as you graduate any AIT you will receive them.

S
I just talked to a recruiter who said the Off-Peak and Quick-ship bonuses have gone away. Can anyone else confirm? I'm going to MEPS in the next few weeks and wanted to be armed with correct information.

As a separate question, a buddy of mine who went national guard rep-63 and is just now in the Q course *strongly* advised I set up my contract to come home after AIT for a few months to train before going to selection. He mentioned two reasons:
  1. Financial: He said, doing it the split way, you get "Mobilized For Training" orders when you go to selection and Q course - which means significantly more pay and off-barrack housing. He said he is kicking himself in the butt for not doing this. I just wanted to know if others had heard the same and does it make sense to ask for this?
  2. SOPC: His advice was to avoid SOPC if at all possible. He said he was already in shape on his own, but SOPC was a non-stop smoke session for undisciplined people who couldn't work out on their own and didn't help him get in shape for SFAS but rather broke his body down. As an older guy like myself, he said he would have been able to train for selection much more efficiently on his own and allow himself time to recover from injuries.

As MEPS is the last time I will be able to make any decisions about my contract, I respectfully turn to PS.com for information. I already asked my recruiter, and he says he doesn't know anything about off-barrack housing or extra pay for MFT orders. He also says I can't split up my enlistment if I go 11B, because the 19th in West Virginia doesn't support that MOS. According to my recruiter, I would have to choose an MOS supported by the company, which I might consider, but I really have my heart set on going to infantry school at Ft Benning. I would appreciate any information and hopefully this is helpful to others on the board. In anticipation of comments that SF is not about the money or finding an easier way in, I would like to point out that I've already made the decision to forgo my current salary, so why not get as much one can? And regarding avoiding SOPC if it's not effective, I train almost every day in MMA, and we constantly look for the most effective way to train rather than just the hardest because you will become a better fighter if you can continue training every day rather than needing to take time off for injuries, which has happened to me in the past when I trained stupidly.

Again, respectfully looking for information before I sign my contract. I could not find the information with Google-fu or searching the board. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by amatlis; 08-02-2009 at 11:12.
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