News: 'Wagonmasters' have their 1st re-enlistment in Iraq
Story by Sgt. Matthew Cooley
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq — Sgt. Elizabeth Whitehead, personnel clerk and Laredo, Texas, native, became the 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade's first in-theater re-enlistment here Oct. 1.
Whitehead said she planned on making the Army a career and re-enlisted soon after coming to Iraq for a $4,500 bonus.
"I wanted to re-enlist anyway, but I did it here in Iraq because I knew it would be tax free," Whitehead explained.
"I wanted to make sure I got the bonus before it goes down."
Sgt. Rachelle Hurd and Staff Sgt. Shanna Culotta, battalion retention noncommissioned officers, explained the present re-enlistment situation in Iraq, stressing that the tax-free deployment bonuses will be reduced by Oct. 20.
Although some Soldiers prefer to wait for special events such as a child's graduation or their own birthday, these retention NCOs urge Soldiers wanting to re-enlist to do it quickly before the money is gone.
"We expect to make mission [quota]," Culotta said.
"Quickly," Hurd interjected.
"Very quickly," Culotta agreed.
Many Soldiers who weren't eligible for a bonus back at Fort Hood, Texas, may qualify while deployed to Iraq.
"People are still wanting to stay in the Army because it's a good career," Hurd said.
Culotta smiled and broke into song.
"We like it here we love it here, we finally found a home!" referring to the Army marching cadence.
For more information on re-enlistment options, contact your battalion retention team.