HELENA — On October 1, the Guard Referral Incentive Program will start to provide payments to soldiers, airmen and veterans who refer someone to the Montana National Guard.
“It’s something that I’ve been working on with the governor to support our recruiting efforts in the state,” said Major General Peter Hronek, the Adjutant General for the Montana National Guard.
Current members of the Montana Army and Air National Guard, below the rank of Colonel, are eligible to receive a payment for a referral.
“With our numbers down a bit, I think it was a great way to bring awareness to our current service members and former service members to bring in people that would be great to serve the country,” Hronek said.
A payment of $500 will be made once a referred individual enlists.
“I hope I can bring in roughly 500 with this program we have, and that will get us basically to full strength,” said Hronek.
The GRIP program will help to create a larger footprint for recruiters.
“This is a program to help the recruits get out, get to more people without adding additional recruiters to the street,” Command Sergeant Major Keith Deboo, the Recruit and Retention Battalion for the Montana National Guard said.
Hronek also says it gets you set up on the right foot while staying in the state.
“It really gives you a great start in life. And the nice thing about is you get to stay in Montana, you get to serve your state and country and you can still live in the community and have a job that you like in the state. So, you get kinda all the best of both worlds.”
The GRIP program has been done before in other states and so far, the reactions have been positive.
“The reactions have been very positive. I think we’re just excited to get the first recruits in and really show how simple it is to give us a great lead and reward them with a payback from the state,” said Hronek.
For more information on GRIP or to submit a referral visit dma.mt.gov.