Targeted Enlisted Reenlistment Bonuses in Fiscal 2014

Although enlisted retention rates remain high overall, the Air Force considers 13 out of 329 enlisted career fields to be stressed due to factors like “high operational demand” and “low manning,” the service’s manpower leadership told lawmakers on Wednesday. They include the battlefield airmen, intelligence, and certain enlisted aviator career fields, wrote Daniel Ginsberg, Air Force assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs; and Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services, in joint prepared testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel on April 24. To address this issue, the Air Force is allocating $232 million for selective reenlistment bonuses in Fiscal 2014—the same amount as in Fiscal 2013, according to the testimony. An SRB “continues to be the most effective, responsive, and measurable tool for retention, encouraging airmen to stay and/or retrain into career fields with high demand requirements,” they wrote. In fact, “SRB investments have shown to improve retention from one to eight percent per SRB increment, depending on the reenlistment zone,” they stated.