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Connecticut offering recruitment bonus for National Guard

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(The Center Square) – A $500 incentive for current and retired National Guard members that leads to recruiting new guardsmen is being offered by Connecticut in an effort to bolster troops.

The Joint Enlistment Enhancement Program was announced Monday by Gov. Ned Lamont.

“The Connecticut National Guard has proven their worth time and again for this state and our communities during the pandemic and natural disasters,” Lamont said.

“In a competitive labor market such as this, every organization is vying for the best talent. We need to think outside of the box when it comes to recruiting, especially for our military that has been a vital resource to our state and country in times of need,” the governor said.

The program aims to utilize eligible guard members and retirees as recruiters in referring potential guardsmen. Supporters of the program hope the experience and encouragement of guardsmen and retirees will parlay into a recruitment tool.

All members serving in the Connecticut National Guard below the general officer rank are eligible for JEEP. In addition to current members, retirees are encouraged to reach out to potential recruits as part of the program.

Guardsmen may be eligible to receive financial bonuses of up to $20,000, in addition to tuition waivers at public colleges and universities in the state, as well as receive low-cost health insurance.

“Now is the time to educate the next generation about the benefits and virtues of military service in support of our nation, state, and communities,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Evon Jr., adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard.

The general hopes JEEP will be an effective first-hand recruitment tool demonstrating the work guardsmen and retirees have achieved in their service.

“We need creative solutions to help bridge that gap in understanding and show potential applicants who we are and what we do,” Evon said.

“This generation is not short on heroes, patriots, or those who want to make a difference, we just need to show them what opportunities are out there and how service in the Connecticut National Guard can help them achieve their goals.”

The governor’s office did not specify how much the program would cost the state of Connecticut.

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