The Bonus Extension and Retraining (BEAR) Program is designed to assist in force alignment. It allows eligible soldiers an opportunity to extend their enlistment for formal retraining into a shortage MOS (job) that is presently in the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) Program and, upon completion of retraining, to be awarded the new Primary MOS (PMOS), reenlist, and receive an SRB in the newly awarded PMOS.
The objectives of the BEAR Program are to attract highly qualified soldiers in the rank of SSG (E-6) and below who are currently serving in an overstrength/balanced MOS to migrate into a critically short SRB MOS.
Soldiers applying for the BEAR Program must be eligible for reenlistment in accordance with Army Regualtion 601-280, chapter 3, without a waiver, except for PT test. Required waivers must be approved by the appropriate waiver approval authority and attached to the application. (Approved waivers for participation in the BEAR Program are valid for soldiers desiring to reenlist at the training site or within 90 days after arrival at the ultimate unit of assignment. Soldiers desiring to wait until they fall within the reenlistment eligibility window must request waiver from appropriate waiver approval authority prior to reenlistment).
Periodically, the Army Personnel Command publishes a message for all MOS's (jobs), called the "In/Out" Call Message." This message lists MOSs (jobs), and ranks, and a column for "In" (the first column), and a colum for "Out" (the second column). This indicates whether re-trainees are being accepted into the MOS in that particular rank, and whether members in that MOS/rank are being allowed to retrain out. For example, if the column for a specific MOS/rank says "(Y/N), that indicates that people are allowed to re-train into that MOS, but no one is allowed to re-train out of that MOS.
To retrain under the BEAR Program, soldiers must be in the rank of SSGT (E-6) and below. Specific rank/MOS criteria is as follows:
- E-3 to E-5. If the soldiers rank is SGT (E-5) and below, the appropriate rank column for PMOS (as shown in current PERSCOM In/Out Calls message) must show N/N or N/Y at their current rank and MOS. As an exception, initial term (those who are on their first enlistment period) SGTs (E-5s) and those initial termers in the rank of SPC/CPL (E-4) with a GT score of 110 or higher, may apply for the BEAR Program without regard to the In/Out Calls.
- E-6. If the soldiers rank is SSG (E-6), the appropriate rank column for PMOS (as shown in current PERSCOM In/Out Calls message) must show N/Y at their current rank and MOS.
Soldiers on an initial enlistment must be rank PFC (E-3) or higher, and must be eligible to extend to complete 24 months Time in Service (TIS) after completion of training. No waivers will be considered. They may apply for the BEAR Program regardless of status of in/out calls. These soldiers will be scheduled to complete training after they have served a minimum of 21 months time in service.