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News | April 27, 2021

U.S. Army offering up to $30k bonus for new PSYOP specialists

By USAREC Public Affairs

The U.S. Army is seeking qualified individuals to serve as psychological operations specialists and is offering signing bonuses up to $30,000, depending on the length of the term of service and the training ship date.


Applicants can opt for student loan repayment up to $65,000, in lieu of a signing bonus. Additionally, all Soldiers are eligible for up to $4,000 per year in tuition assistance to pursue higher education opportunities in the field of their choice, along with a competitive benefits package that includes healthcare, housing and meal allowances, and a variety of family support programs.


Psychological operations specialists are influence experts, who assess the information needs of a specific population and craft messaging to influence and engage target audiences.


“Psychological operations is a dynamic career field that allows you to play to your personal strengths,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Hustoles, a special operations recruiter in Fort Carson, Colorado. “If you’re interested in foreign countries, cultures and languages, this is a career that allows you to chart your own course, while providing unprecedented travel and life experience.”

Some of the skills Soldiers gain are the ability to analyze and organize information; build rapport in unfamiliar surroundings; and attain college-level aptitude in social sciences.


“My experience in psychological operations would translate into highly desirable careers in cybersecurity, marketing and project management, to name a few,” said Hustoles, whose primary career field is special operations. “The mix of technical and interpersonal skills developed in this field are highly desired by future employers. The networking opportunities open a myriad of doors, whether you plan to stay in the Army or move on to private sector careers.”


To qualify to be a psychological operations specialist, applicants must score a minimum of 107 on skilled technical line score of the Armed Forces Qualification Test and pass the Occupational Physical Assessment Test at the heavy level.


Psychological operations specialists attend military police One Station Unit Training, which combines Army Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training in a 20-week course. Upon graduation, Soldiers will attend Airborne training, followed by a 10-day Psychological Operations Specialist Assessment and Selection program. This program tests Soldiers’ psychological, intellectual, physical and problem-solving capabilities with team event assessments.

Once Soldiers successfully complete that program, they’ll move on to the Psychological Operations Specialist Qualification Course, which is divided into five phases:

  • In-Processing
  • Language and Culture
  • PSYOP Core
  • PSYOP Culmination Exercise
  • Graduation


These skills can lead to 51 different certifications or credentials through the Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line Program.  


To learn more about the role of a psychological operations specialist, read the details at or watch the video at






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