Everyone in the military seems to have their favorite “barracks lawyer” tale of how the Army supposedly works in the background. These discussions can become especially heated when it comes to reenlistment issues because now we’re discussing fairly large sums of money in terms of bonuses, incentives and entitlements. Add in the fact that this can affect a Soldiers entire career and it raises the importance even more.
Bonuses and incentives are a primary tool used to retain key personnel. As an all volunteer force the US Army does not have conscripts, therefore, our personnel have to choose career paths. The needs of the Army fluctuates as certain MOS positions become more or less in demand due to personnel moving, retiring, etc. This changes often.
To put this in perspective, within six months of transferring out of a 79V slot a Career Counselor is considered field irrelevant. Enlistment and reenlistment policies and bonuses change so often that even a formally trained career counselor away from the day-to-day of the job is starting over after leaving for a half year. For better or worse, this is sort of like the US tax code where even CPAs and other professionals in the field need to take refresher training every year just to stay current on all the changes.
Bottom line, don’t put your career decisions into the hands of your buddy or the local barracks “expert.” You need current, ACCURATE details for your career and need them before you’re eligible to reenlist, which is one year from expiration of term of service.
If you are approaching the one year anniversary of your ETS date, find a local career counselor and set an appointment today!