The Air Force announced Monday it is offering hefty bonuses — some up to $50,000 — for recruits to join the ranks and ship off to training quickly as the service faces lingering recruiting shortfalls from the pandemic.
Just four months ago, the head of Air Force recruiting raised the alarm in a letter about how the spread of COVID-19 caused serious headwinds, likening the declining number of airmen joining the service to decreased revenue in a business.
“Not two years into a pandemic, and we have warning lights flashing,” Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, Air Force Recruiting Service commander, wrote in a memo that leaked in January. “If we were a company, we would still be in the black, we would still be making a profit, but our profit margins and our available capital, those numbers are trending down right now.”
To fill this void, the service is offering $8,000 for qualified recruits who can sign and ship off to training for certain careers “within five days or less,” the service said in a press release.