Air National Guard bonuses reach all-time highs to bolster recruiting, retention numbers

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

The National Guard Bureau has increased bonuses to the highest levels in recent memory for certain career fields to help alleviate recruiting and retention shortfalls.  The new bonus structure took effect the first of this month.

Master Sgt. Jesse Olhiser, the 173rd Fighter Wing Retention Office Manager, explains that the highest bonus is $90,000 for a fully-qualified reenlistment in the munitions or fuels career fields—paid over five years—an annual recurring payment of $18,000.

“Never in eight-plus years of doing this have I seen anything even close to this,” Olhiser says. “These are by-far the largest bonuses I’ve seen.”  

Other bonuses include $50,000 for a new enlistee headed off to basic training or bonuses in differing amounts for cross-trainee’s or for those interested in other critical career fields.

He adds that these rates are temporary, saying, “We are not sure when it will end; no guarantee it will extend even to the end of the Fiscal Year.”

He encourages those who want to take advantage of the program to contact a recruiter a soon as possible.

Olhiser explains that the program is to help bolster recruiting numbers following years of lower than desired numbers.  He adds that hopefully this may help alleviate potential shortages in the near future.

Some basic qualifications include taking the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, have a high school diploma or equivalent—although high school students in their senior year can enlist—be drug-free and have no criminal record.

Prospective enlistees will undergo screening arranged by a recruiter to determine fitness for duty.

If you are assigned to the 173rd Fighter Wing and would like more information, contact the recruiting office manager at 541-885-6599.