The Army has a good idea on Captain retention (I know):
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 15, 2008) – In an effort to encourage more mid-grade officers to remain in service, the Army is again offering a “menu of incentives” for active-component captains that includes options for a cash bonus, attendance at graduate school or the Defense Language Institute.
“The Army recognizes the tremendous experience and professionalism of the captains serving in our Army today,” said Col. Brian Baldy, director of Officer Personnel Management, Human Resources Command. “This program is an effort to retain these great officers as the Army transforms and grows. We need to retain these quality officers and this program is being executed to do just that.”
The incentives are available to eligible captains from April 7 through Nov. 30.
The menu of options available this year are:
1) The cash option, payable in the same $25,000, $30,000, or $35,000 tiers based on the officer’s accessed branch;
2) The Expanded Graduate School Program option, which is fully funded graduate school; or
3) The Defense Language School option, based upon a pre-Defense Language Aptitude Battery score.
An eligible officer will only be able to select one option in exchange for a three- year non-concurrent active-duty service obligation if accepting the cash option, or a 3:1 active-duty service obligation in the case of accepting the expanded graduate school program or attendance at the Defense Language Institute.
This is really a step forward for the army in their retention efforts. Offering a grad degree or a marketable foreign language skill to a captain may just prove to be the deciding factor in someone’s decision to stay in. Also, the option of language school (previously reserved for only billeted officers in a translator slot) may be a GI-Bill-type step forward for America in the globalized international economy. An entire generation of American business leaders with military experience and language skills may be in development here, which could only be a net plus for the country as a whole.
…Which just goes to prove that a blind squirrel finds an acorn once and a while.