Uncle Sam Wants You (But He'll Talk to Mom First)

New bonuses offer help on mortgages, business startups
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 10:01 PM CST
Maria Thompson, 19, left, an online business student, listens to a recruitment speech from U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Allan Welchez Rivera in Mayaguez, western Puerto Rico, Aug. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Herminio...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Army recruiters will soon promise recruits hefty bonuses to buy a home or start a business in a bid to sway their parents that enlisting is a good investment, the Wall Street Journal reports. "We know most 18-year-old kids don't think about mortgages yet," says a Pentagon official. "We're going after the influencers."

Under the initiative, which begins in January in certain cities, the Army will give soldiers $40,000 after they complete their tours. "If you want to get a soldier, you have to go through mom, and moms want to know what kind of future their children will have when they leave the Army," said a recruiter. The move comes as the Army struggles to meet recruitment quotas even as it plans to expand. (Read more Army recruiting stories.)