Defense Systems on the US Army finally offering retention bonuses for cyber warriors:

The Army, which is making a concerted push to recruit and retain cyber warriors, is for the first time offering selective retention bonus specifically to cyber personnel.

The bonuses, or SBRs, are the product of a personnel measure that took effect May 20 and are available to soldiers currently within the Army’s Cyber Mission Force who are eligible to re-enlist, the Army said in an announcement.

Specifically, soldiers with the military occupational specialty 35Q, cryptologic network warfare specialists, with an additional skill identifier E6 (interactive on-net operator) are eligible for bonuses ranging from $12,300 to $50,400, depending on grade and service commitment, the Army said. Those with an 35Q EA (exploitation analyst) specification are eligible for bonuses ranging from $7,900 to $32,200.

The bonuses are part of the Army’s effort to expand its cyber forces—ultimately to a combined 3,806 military and civilian personnel—and retain them to ensure effective operations. Part of that effort is the creation of a career management field for cyber, CMF 17, that has been approved and is under development. The Army said it will release details about CMF 17 in upcoming military personnel (MILPER) announcements.

This has been a long time coming. Considering how competitive the private industry cyber security job landscape is, the only way to retain cyber warriors is to offer these types of bonuses. Otherwise, the talent will seek alternative, more rewarding, and higher paying jobs outside of military service.