Posted on Sep 1, 2019
Saralyn Shone
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Hoping some of you with more knowledge than myself - which would include EVERYONE here - can help me clarify something about Army enlistment. I have gotten different answers from different staff and don't know where to go for the bottom line.

Involved in the process of joining as a 42R (Musician). Currently have Masters Degree in performance (thought would get the education done before going into the service to keep the focus going).

In terms of incentives, I am confused about the difference - if any - between an enlistment "bonus" payment if you have a "hard to fill" MOS and the SLRP (Student Loan Repayment Program).

The information I have been given is that the Hard to Fill list changes quarterly and in the case of instrumental musicians, can vary according to the specific instrument. One recruiter has told us that it isn't available at ALL and one told me it isn't available currently for my instrument. I tried to find a copy of the critical MOS list online and was not successful.

Second point of confusion involves the SLRP. One recruiter told us that if the instrument wasn't in the critical MOS list, then loan repayment program is not an option. Another said it was a separate program from the enlistment incentive based on instrument. Another said it wasn't available at all.

Money is not going to be the determining factor here but everyone needs to be as informed as possible with correct information. We understand that if something is NOT in your enlistment contract, even if hypothetically available, you will not get it. Because of that we are trying to do as much research ahead of time so we can make responsible decisions and speak from knowledge.

So, are MOS-based bonuses (please excuse if I'm not using the right word here, I'm learning as fast as I can) SEPARATE from the loan repayment program?

Who within the recruiting structure is responsible for knowing the answers and providing the correct information, so we can go to the right staff person?

Many thanks
Posted in these groups: SLRPExpertsights-e1324327272686 MOSDouble-barred_dollar_sign.svg Money
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Responses: 6
CSM Charles Hayden
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Saralyn Shone DISCLAIMER: I have NO rhythm, cannot dance, swim, dribble a basket ball, nor march very well.

A masters in music, and you only play one instrument?

I always expected experienced musicians to be capable of several instruments?
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Saralyn Shone
Saralyn Shone
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Play multiple instruments but audition process has you select one for MOS purposes! And we never forget that without an audience musicians are nothing!
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CSM Charles Hayden
CSM Charles Hayden
>1 y
Saralyn Shone Thank you for not taking offense.

What else do you play, what instrument do you wish to audition upon?

“We” just recorded: ‘Bluegrass, the Story of Country Music’.

I was born and raised in Ohio, the folks are from Southern Ohio, I am 25% Irish.

As I said before, I have no rhythm, but I sure do enjoy Blue Grass and Country Music.
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SGT Army Musician
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The first person I would go for clarity on what type of money I would get for my MOS and more importantly insutrument I want to join the bands with is the band liaison for your region. They know the most up to date information when it comes to what instruments in the field CURRENTLY have signing bonuses and/or student loan repayment.

Whatever is offered, will be in your enlistment contract. It’s either one or the other, not both. They are different. When I joined they were only offering the signing bonus, not the loan repayment.

If that’s the case, you can sign up for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and income driven repayment. FedLoan servicing has a great system online and over the phone where they can guide you through this process. Based on how much you make they will lower your rate you pay each month significantly (income driven repayment part). Right now I pay nothing, others it’s usually less than $100 depending on how much debt you have. This is also only for federal loans. If you decide to stay in the Army for 10 years, and keep your payments, they will forgive whatever amount is left after 10 years (the public service loan forgiveness part).

I hope this helps. Good luck with your process.
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Saralyn Shone
Saralyn Shone
>1 y
Lots of helpful information here - much appreciated. Will be checking out these programs ASAP and contacting the regional liaison.
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SSG(P) Retention and Transition NCO (USAR)
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I reclassed as a 79V retention and I would think the recruiters Have to work the same way. What ever is in the table at the time you enlist they will give you.when I enlisted I got a bonus and kicker and SLRP ,big not as much as others with the same MOS that I went to basic and AIT with ,the answer was at the time I went that is what was in the table to give . Bonuses and amounts to incentives varies from time you enlist to and the MOS . It’s not something the recruiter decided he you wants to give you it’s what ever is in system to give at the time you sign the paperwork ,they can’t tell you or they can but they have to put a disclaimer that what they say one day may not be there the next day . I would think that musician would not be a shortage MOS therefore I would think they don’t have bonuses. Never know until you ask the day you are about to sign
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Saralyn Shone
Saralyn Shone
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Very helpful and clarifies several questions. Thank you!
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