ALERT: Effective 1 October, 2013, the BEAR program is COMPLETELY RESCINDED for ALL MOSs. The information below the line is just for older, research purposes and Google search results. I will keep you updated if the information changes in the future.
Here is the current link for the MILPER message for the BEAR program (HEFTY bonus!!!):
http://armyreenlistment.com/Messages/MILPER/BEAR_13_031_20130204.pdf (or check here for the latest: http://armyreenlistment.com/board.html)
If you are currently on active duty and hold an MOS that is N/N or N/Y according to the IN/OUT calls, you may be eligible to re-classify into MOS 35P and get a language.
It's very simple to understand IN/OUT calls. You can only have three options for each skill level of each MOS: Y/N, N/N, and N/Y. When you look at the IN/OUT call list for your skill level and MOS, it will tell you if your MOS is under-strength (Y/N), even-strength (N/N), or over-strength (N/Y).
Those MOSs that are even and over strength are able to re-classify into the MOS 35P and can be paid a hefty bonus via the Bonus Extension and Retraining (BEAR) Program. The BEAR program re-trains current Soldiers into MOSs that the Army is short handed in and gets them out of their current even or over strength MOS. One thing to understand about the BEAR program is that you must first EXTEND to meet your training requirements, and then later RE-ENLIST. So you ask, what if the bonus changes by the time it comes time to re-enlist? Well, you actually get locked into the CURRENT bonus when you extend, so your amount paid cannot go down, only up.
You can find the current IN/OUT calls and BEAR program bonuses at http://armyreenlistment.com/board.html.
Here is an example: A 25P SGT looks at the IN/OUT call list posted above. He notices that 25P at SGT is N/Y, meaning he is overstrength in his MOS. He then looks at the BEAR message, also posted above, and notices that 35P is on the BEAR program with Tier level 8 bonus. He reads Paragraph 7B which states: SOLDIERS IN THE RANK OF PFC THRU SSG MUST SHOW N/N OR N/Y AT THEIR CURRENT RANK AND PMOS AS SHOWN IN THE CURRENT IN/OUT CALL MILPER MESSAGE. and realizes that he qualifies to reclassify into this MOS. Upon completion of the school and language school, he will be awarded the bonus of Tier 8 for SGT for 35P. As of right now, if he extended to attend training and then re-enlisted for 5 or more years he would be eligible for a bonus of $22,800!
Additionally, according to the IN/OUT call MILPER message, he realizes he must re-enlist to re-classify if he is within his re-enlistment window. However, if he is not in his re-enlistment window, according to paragraph 4B3 "(3) SOLDIERS MAY REQUEST RECLASSIFICATION INTO CMF 18, 12D, 12P, 31D, 35L, 35P, 37F, 38B, 79R (SSG ONLY), AND 89D REGARDLESS OF THE IN/OUT CALLS FOR CURRENT PMOS." This is done by submitting a DA 4187 through Department of the Army. If you need to know how to do that, click here for a blog post about voluntary reclassification.
So now that we understand all of the above, we need to make sure we meet the minimum requirements for the MOS 35P:
Defense Language Institute for six to 18 months, depending on language selected for. (Note: Recruits who already speak a needed foreign language fluently may be allowed to skip this course).
Cryptologic Linguist Training Course at Goodfellow Air Force Base, TX, 10 - 16 weeks, depending on language
ASVAB Score Required: 95 in aptitude area ST
Security Clearance: Top Secret
Strength Requirement: Heavy
Physical Profile Requirement: 222221
- Normal color vision required
- Must be US Citizen
- A qualifying score on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, (DLAB), of 100 or above
- A qualifying score on the English Comprehension Level Test
- Never been a member of the U.S. Peace Corps
- Good voice quality and be able to speak English and foreign language idiomatically and without objectionable accent or impediment
- No record of conviction by court-martial
- No record of conviction by a civil court for any offense other than minor traffic violation
The biggest complication we see here is that you must score a 100 or above on the DLAB. You're in luck, because I have a blog post giving you some tips on passing this difficult test! Click here to see that post. Click here instead to read about getting a Top Secret clearance.
If you are interested in this MOS, don't delay - see your local Career Counselor to talk about re-enlistment options ASAP!
If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.