Army Offers $20,000 Bonus for recruits

by Hema Mullur
NewsWest 9

22-year-old Eddie Odem was looking for options.  "I was a graveyard clerk at the Kent Kwik," he said.
That's how he ended up at the Army Recruitment Center in Midland. 
"I was just curious to see what my options were," Odem said.  And as he was about ready to take the plunge, a surprise.
"Sgt. Miller immediately told me about a 20,000 dollar incentive, so that got my attention to say the least," Odem said. 
All Eddie has to do to get the cash?  Leave for basic training within a month. 
They're calling it the quick ship bonus, and it's the first time in a while the army has offered up so much. 
"There have been seasonal bonuses, not up to this magnitude, no," said recruiter Sgt. Shawn Miller.  "This is the first time since 2004 that the army has went to a 20,000 dollar seasonal bonus."
Since the bonus went into effect July 25th, Midland has seen a boost in recruits.
"Approximately 6 a month.  So July, August, and September you're talking between 18 recruits that have come through, and have been able to take advantage of getting that bonus."   
And while the money is a great perk, "You think about 20,000 dollars, what would you do with it?" Odem said.
Sgt. Miller says for most, it's about much more. 
"It's not the bonus that's drawing them in to enlist in the army, it's the opportunities.  And then, finding out that there's a 20,000 dollar cash enlistment bonus, like we said, a little icing on the cake for them," Miller said.
But for those considering the army, Midland's newest recruit says now's the time.
"If you're considering it now, it's not going to last forever, so jump on while you still can.  Otherwise whenever you do decide to join, you might not even get a bonus," Odem said.

The quick ship bonus is available for new recruits until September 30th. 

The recruit you met in our story, Eddie Odom, will be heading out to basic training next week.