Trump’s Vow To Rebuild The Military

Sgt. Samuel Guerra
President Trump has vowed to rebuild the U.S. military, and has just announced a new Army program that is another step toward fulfilling that promise. Soldiers who agree to stay on for additional years are being offered bonus incentives–up to $90,000 in certain cases. The new bonus incentives are part of the “great rebuilding” of the U.S. military, an executive order the president signed in January shortly after taking office.
Trump’s newly released 2018 budget plan calls for a $52 billion increase in Department of Defense spending, for a total DOD budget of $639 billion, so that is how the new incentives would be paid for. Trump has asked Defense Secretary and former General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to recommend ways of strengthening the armed forces.
Trump is concerned that America’s troop levels are at the lowest since 1940, and has vowed to increase Army soldiers to 540,000. This year, the Army’s goal is to add 16,000 soldiers for a total of 476,000. The Army Reserve and National Guard will also expand, but to a much smaller extent.
During the eight years of Obama’s administration, there was a tremendous downsizing in the armed forces. In late 2016, after the election, Congress decided to increase the size of the Army. However, the Army has struggled to add to its ranks, so they will actually triple the bonuses they are paying this year ($380 million), and start new incentives to entice experienced soldiers to re-enlist.
A soldier who commits to four or more additional years can get a $90,000 bonus. There are about 9,000 soldiers that the Army is targeting to convince them to stay. Many have only months left in their enlistments, and have already set plans for their futures. Officials say it will difficult to entice soldiers to stay. Additionally, the Army plans to add 1,000 new officers and 6,000 new soldiers. During a two-week period, the Army paid out more than $26 million in bonus money.