Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Army pilots will be required to serve at least 10 years, four years longer than the previous policy, Army officials said this week.
The service obligation begins after graduation from flight training classes, and does not apply to personnel currently in training. The new policy, with a commitment identical to that of the U.S. Air Force, will begin in October, and applies to part-time Army Reserve and National Guard personnel as well. The new guidelines include helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft pilots
"Upon completion of Warrant Officer Flight Training, there is a 10-year service obligation," the U.S. Army Recruiting Command website now reads in part.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced the new policy in June, but the Army provided guidance this week. It comes as the U.S. military faces a shortage of trained pilots, with a 10% attrition rate in 2019 due to retirements and offers from commercial airlines, although the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced opportunities in commercial flying.
In January, the Army said it would offer up to $1,000 per month to pilots in aviation incentives to stay on.