Fort Detrick
Career Counselor

21st Signal Brigade
COM (301)619-6104
DSN 343-6104 FAX 6111

1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 137
Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5000
DSN 343-0367/6704
FAX: 301-619-7633


The goals of the Army Retention Program are to:

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  • Reenlist, on a long-term basis, sufficient numbers of highly qualified Active Army Soldiers.
  • Enlist, or transfer and assign sufficient numbers of highly qualified Soldiers who are separating from the Active Army into Reserve Component (RC) units, consistent within geographic constraints.
  • Achieve and maintain Army force alignment through the retention, transfer, or enlistment of highly qualified Soldiers in critical skills and locations.
  • Adequately support special programs such as the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) and ROTC "Green to Gold" programs.

Recruit the Recruiter

Roles and Missions:

The COMMANDER, by virtue of his/her position, is the Retention Officer who owns the retention mission and is accountable for accomplishment of the retention mission. Duties cannot be delegated.

The COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR is the Senior Retention NCO for the Command and as part of the retention team is accountable for keeping NCOS involved in the Retention Program and attaining retention objectives.

The CAREER COUNSELOR is the advisor to the commander, CSM and soldiers in all matters pertaining to the Active and Reserve Component retention missions. Career Counselors are the "eyes and ears" of the Command Retention Team.

Retention Considerations:

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  • Must be recommended by commander.
  • No adverse disqualifications.
  • Must qualify for the option chosen.
  • Must meet the Retention Control Point for current rank.
  • Marginal, nonproductive soldiers should be rehabilitated or separated.
  • Reenlistment Window closes 90 days from ETS date.

Rentention Bonuses and Options:

  • Bonus Incentives
    • Enhanced Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) Program

      Amount: Based on Additionally Obligated Service and current MILPER Message.
      Focus: To specific skills and grades (SPC-SSG) ASI and SQI Based on percent of fill, retention rate, replacement costs and criticality shortage MOS.
      Payment: Upon Reenlistment, Lump sum, up front.
    • Bonus, Extension and Retraining - BEAR Program

      Allows retraining in critical PMOS with a guaranteed bonus upon school completion and reenlistment within 90 days of completed training.
  • Army Training
    • Airborne Training
    • Language Training
    • MOS Retraining
    • Additional Skill Identifier (ASI)
    • Special Qualification Identifier (SQI)
  • Education
    • 100% Tuition Assistance
    • Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL)
    • College Reenlistment Incentive
  • Assignment
    • CONUS & OCONUS Station of Choice
    • Special Management Assignments (Old Guard, SOCOM, etc...)
    • Current Station Stabilization

The Army Reserve

U.S. Army Reserve

The Army Reserve is a worthwhile part-time career for those with prior military service. Regardless of your branch of previous active duty service, the time you've invested can work to your advantage in the Army Reserve.

Depending on your branch, your military skill, length of time since your last discharge and your unit's needs, you can enter the Army Reserve at, or close to, your last pay grade. Your active duty time will count toward Reserve retirement income and benefits.

You may not be required to attend the usual initial training period because of your experience in a specialty. You may also have an opportunity to learn a new specialty. There are some opportunities, depending on location, for training in a new specialty and assignment to a unit where that specialty is needed.

Because there are more than 5,000 Army Reserve units throughout the country, you probably won't have to travel far from home.

Today's Army Reserve is all about building An Army of One. Through technology, Advanced Individual Training and support we help ordinary men and women become better. With more opportunity, more choices and more freedom than ever before, the knowledge and experience gained in the Army Reserve helps build confidence, skills and character traits you'll be able to leverage in just about any career.

Today's Army Reserve boasts the smartest group of men and women who ever served, in part, because of our strong commitment to education. The Army Reserve believes that professional training, combined with a wide range of educational opportunities, makes for better Soldiers... and better people. Plus, for a smaller Army Reserve to be successful, we must have not only the best technology but smart, committed, and well-trained Soldiers to run it. Army Reserve training gives you an education money can't buy. And the money to buy a college education.

Training requirements are usually one weekend a month and two weeks a year for Annual Training. An E-4 with three years of service can earn more than $2,800 a year. An E-5 with four years of service can earn more than $3,300 a year.

Post Exchange and commissary privileges
For the commissary, similar to a civilian grocery store, shopping visits are limited and can be distributed throughout the year. For the PX, privileges are unlimited.

Educational Benefits
You may qualify for our Student Loan Repayment Program if you have a federally insured loan. A maximum repayment of $10,000 can be made for many Military Occupational Specialties, but certain critical specialties can qualify you for $20,000 in loan repayments.

Low cost life insurance
For $20.00 a month you can receive $250,000 in coverage.

PX and commissary privileges continue for you and your family. Opportunities to meet lifetime friends and business contacts. Medical care for both you and your dependents when you reach age 60 at military health care facilities, when available. A retirement plan which provides for a monthly retirement income at age 60, after 20 years of creditable service without any deductions from your Reserve paycheck. After 20 years of service and as a member of the Retired Reserve, and not yet 60, you'll still have PX, commissary privileges and low-cost life insurance. Space-available military air travel in the United States and Puerto Rico.

If you've already had active duty in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, the Army Reserve can be right for you. You'll find that the Army Reserve is much more than a collection of benefits. It's people working together to reach a goal, and a valuable investment for both you and your country.

The Army National Guard

Army National Guard

The Army National Guard (ARNG) is one branch of the U.S. Total Army, consisting of the Active, Guard, and Reserve components. The Army National Guard is composed of reservist - civilians who serve their country on a part time basis. Each state and territory has its own Army National Guard as provided by the United States Constitution. Both the state and the federal government control the Army National Guard, depending on the circumstance. Whereas, the Active Army and Army Reserve (USAR) are completely controlled by the Federal Government, and the Army Reserve serves solely as a federal reserve to the Active Army. The Army Guard force structure consists of Combat, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support units, while the Army Reserve force is primarily comprised of Combat Support and Combat Service Support. The ARNG consists of approximately 350,000 soldiers versus just over 200,000 in the USAR.

The Guard has a unique dual mission, with both Federal and State responsibilities. During peacetime, tough the State Adjutant General commands the Guard forces. The Governor can call the Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, drought, and civil disturbances, to name a few. In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard to participate in Federal missions. Examples of this are the many Guard units that have deployed to support operations in Bosnia. When federalized, Guard units are commanded by the Commander in Chief of the theater in which they are operating.

The Army National Guard offers a large selection of military occupation specialties (MOS's) throughout a range of skills divided into three major categories: Combat (Infantry, Artillery, Armor, Aviation, Air Defense), Combat Support (Engineer, Chemical, Military Police, Signal, Military Intelligence, Civil Affairs) and Combat Service Support (Finance, Public Affairs, Personnel, Supply, Maintenance, Transportation). Different MOS's have different qualifications and your recruiter can help you determine which MOS would be best suited for you.

The Guard offers a series of benefits ranging from competitive pay and education assistance to insurance and retirement benefits. A broad range of skills are learned through schools and job training. Beyond these tangible benefits, most Guard members agree that the greatest benefit is the opportunity to serve their country, state and community.

National Guard members are required to attend one drill weekend each month and one annual training period (usually 2 weeks in the summer) each year. Weekend drills usually consist of attending one Saturday and Sunday, but can occasionally include reporting for duty on Friday night. Initially, all personnel are required to attend initial entry training (IET), which can usually be scheduled to meet civilian occupation constraints. Duration and location of IET varies in accordance with the military occupation specialty (MOS) or career field that a soldier chooses.

The Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program, as governed by AR 135-18 and AR 140-30, supports and enhances the mobilization readiness of the United States Army Reserve (USAR). AGR soldiers serve full time and enjoy the same benefits and entitlements of an Active Duty soldier, including full commissary and post exchange privileges, medical care for themselves and their immediate family and the opportunity for immediate retirement after 20 years of Active Federal Service. Soldiers serving in AGR are stationed worldwide in positions that directly support the USAR.