Reserve Command announces $10,000 bonus for prior-service enlisted Airmen

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch
  • 367th Recruiting Group, Air Force Reserve Command

To remain competitive in a tight labor market and retain valuable talent, Air Force Reserve Command is offering a $10,000 incentive bonus to fully-qualified, prior-service enlisted Airmen who sign up to fill open positions and agree to a three-year service commitment.

One of several incentives available to those who join the Air Force Reserve, this particular program opens a wider aperture for recruiters to capture qualified Airmen separating from the active-duty Air Force.

“The Air Force Reserve affiliation incentive is a clear demonstration of how we value those who continue to serve and are ‘ready for more,’” said Brig. Gen. Lisa M. Craig, Air Force Recruiting Service deputy commander. “Ready for more time with family, work-life balance, community involvement, educational goals and connections. At the same time, we get to retain the knowledge and experience of that prior-service Airman.”

Historically, the Air Force Reserve has targeted a recruiting mix of 70% prior-service and 30% non-prior-service members. This incentive bonus aligns with helping to achieve this balance and helping the Reserve meet its annual recruiting goal and overall end-strength.

“This bonus is one of many policies and incentive adjustments to help the Air Force Reserve ensure we can recruit the quality Airmen we need to safeguard our combat readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, Air Force Recruiting Service commander. “The move is also important to encourage our Airmen separating from active service to ‘stay blue’ and continue to use their skills and training for the nation as part of the Reserve.”

As recruiting continues to be a challenge across all services, the Air Force Reserve missed last year’s goal of 8,200 by nearly 2,000 accessions. Providing an incentivized opportunity for fully-qualified enlisted prior-service members or Inactive Ready Reserve members to transition to the Reserve Component is one tool to help close the gap in reaching this year’s goal of 9,300 accessions.

“In order to compete with the private sector and other military services in appealing to and retaining qualified talent, we need to have all available resources at our disposal,” said Col. Ephod Shang, 367th Recruiting Group commander and director of AFRC Recruiting. “The Air Force Reserve is such an attractive option to continue to fulfill one’s desire to serve and maintain some very tangible benefits, all while performing on a part-time basis. I highly encourage individuals separating from the active duty to engage with a recruiter to learn more about what additional benefits and incentives they may qualify for.”

Active-duty and IRR Airmen interested in joining the Reserve should contact a recruiter using the AIM HIGH app, visit or simply call 800-257-1212 to learn more about this and many other opportunities to serve in the Air Force Reserve.