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News | April 8, 2020

Some new Soldiers can now qualify for higher rank, more pay

By USAREC Public Affairs

New Soldiers typically enter the U.S. Army at the rank of private, but now some will have the opportunity to enter at higher ranks if they’ve achieved certain civilian qualifications, referred other applicants, or completed college courses.

The newly approved program for advanced enlistment grades can mean up to $400 more per month, depending on the rank approved for the individual. This higher pay is in addition to other benefits Soldiers receive, such as free healthcare, monthly subsistence allowance, and a 401(k)-style retirement and savings plan. 

The Army accepts service in a variety of civilian organizations under this updated policy, from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to Civil Air Force Air Patrol and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Applicants can also refer other applicants and count completed college courses to qualify for the higher rank.

 “These programs are rigorous and teach many of the qualities we want in Army Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Che Arosemena, director of G3 Operations at U.S. Army Recruiting Command. “The Future Soldier Training Program enables the Army to reward Future Soldiers’ hard work by meritoriously promoting them prior to their arrival at an Army Training Center for basic training.”

Applicants are eligible for the rank of private second class under these qualifications:

  • Completes the Future Soldier pre-execution checklist and passes the Army Physical Fitness Test with a total score 180.
  • Completes the Future Soldier pre-execution checklist and passes the Army Combat Fitness Test.
  • Refers one qualified applicant who enlists on or before the date the referring applicant enters.

Applicants are eligible for the rank of private first class under these qualifications:

  • Three academic years JROTC of (or other National Defense Cadet Corps Program).
  • Two or more academic years of Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
  • Complete all Phase II requirements of Civil Air Force Air Patrol; receive the Billy Mitchell Award.
  • Take part in the Naval Sea Cadets Corps; been awarded NSCADM 024 (Certificate Advancement).
  • Achieved the Boy Scout Eagle certificate as a member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Received the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award certificate.
  • Received the Venturing Scout Silver Award.
  • Received the Girl Scout Gold Award.
  • Refers two or more qualified applicants who enlist on or before the date the referring applicant enters.
  • Completes 24 semester hours of college and also provides one referral who enlists.

To find out more about this program, applicants can speak with their local recruiter. To find a local recruiter, learn more about becoming a Soldier and explore the 150 different ways to serve in the Army, visit



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