by Gerry J. Gilmore
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 26, 1999) -- More than 500 Army rotary-wing aviators have an opportunity to earn $12,000-a-year in bonus pay.
To get the bonus, qualified warrant officers specializing in flying AH-64 (Apache) helicopters must accept participation in the Aviation Continuation Pay program.
"This is just one of several steps we're taking to increase our Apache pilot retention numbers, and keep them up," said Maj. Cynthia S. McClelland, chief of incentive pay branch, deputy chief of staff for operations, U.S. Army Total Personnel Command, Alexandria, Va.
According to McClelland, approximately 525 pilots Armywide have been determined to be eligible for the program.
Qualified flyers with six years total service and four years commissioned service can earn as much as $120,000 in bonus money over the next ten years, she said.
"In order to receive the bonus, qualified pilots must agree to serve through their 14th year of commissioned officer service," McClelland said. According to McClelland, most warrant officers are commissioned after two years of aviation service.
"This coincides with promotion to CW 2," she said.
According to a PERSCOM message sent out Jan. 14, applicants for the Aviation Continuation Pay Program must:
"The bonus program will be offered on a year-by-year basis. There is no guarantee that it will be offered next year," she said.
The agreements for this fiscal year's Aviation Continuation Pay program will be mailed out by mid-February, McClelland said, who anticipates a goodly number of the 525 pilots will accept the bonus.
"We're estimating an 85-percent acceptance rate," she said.