In January 2023, the U.S. Army issued Army Directive 2023-01 concerning the Army Recruiting Ribbon program. Later that month, the Secretary of the Army sent a letter to the Army community about the Soldier Referral Program (SRP) Pilot.
The Army Recruiting Ribbon and SRP certainly got attention and signaled that the Army was struggling to try to fill its ranks. Having spent years of trying a multitude of different approaches, the Army was now returning to a modified version of the SRP and mobilizing its ranks to support recruitment operations.
The SRP is designed to enable soldiers of all ranks and all components to share their Army story with a potential applicant and direct them to an Army website enabling a local recruiter to contact the applicant and action their potential enlistment. Under the 12-month SRP Pilot, soldiers in the grades of E-1, E-2, and E-3 may receive one rank advancement for providing a valid referral of someone who both enlists and ships to Army Initial Military Training (IMT).
The Army Recruiting Ribbon was created to increase recruiting awareness throughout the Army and to encourage soldiers to embed themselves within their communities to tell their Army story. The Army Recruiting Ribbon is awarded to all soldiers who provide a valid referral to the U.S. Army of an individual who both enlists and ships to Army IMT.
All soldiers, whether officer or enlisted, who provide a valid referral to the U.S. Army of an individual who enlists and ships to IMT may receive the Army Recruiting Ribbon up to four times during their career. Additional awards are identified with a numerical device added to the ribbon. The Army Recruiting Ribbon is ranked between the Army Sea Duty Ribbon and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal in order of precedence according to an email received by USAMM from U.S. Army’s Human Resources Command (HRC), Awards and Decorations branch. At each award of the Army Recruiting Ribbon, soldiers in the grades of E-4 or E-5 will receive 10 points toward promotion to E-5/E-6. Soldiers may receive up to 40 total promotions points for four valid referrals.
The first O5/lieutenant colonel commander/civilian equivalent or above in the soldier’s chain of command is the approval authority for the Army Recruiting Ribbon. The soldier’s battalion commander is the approval authority for award of the Army Recruiting Ribbon and will provide a memorandum to serve as supporting documentation for the award. The approval memorandum will be web uploaded via the Integrated Personnel Electronic Records Management System for filing in the soldier’s Army Military Human Resource Record.
The provisions of the SRP and Army Recruiting Ribbon programs apply to the Regular Army, Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and U.S. Army Reserve.
Referring soldiers in the rank of E1 - E3 in good standing and not flagged, are eligible for early advancement for a valid referral of an individual who both enlists and ships to Army IMT. A soldier may only receive one rank advancement for providing a valid referral. HRC Promotions branch will periodically conduct audits to track soldiers promoted under the SRP.
The referring soldier and applicant must willingly provide and submit their own information through the established Go Army system. The referring soldier must provide evidence of referral to their Unit S1. The first O-3/captain commander/civilian equivalent or above in the soldier’s chain of command is the approval authority for promotion. Promotion authorities should initiate the process for eligible soldiers within 60 days of a valid referral’s ship date. Time-in-Grade, Time-in-Service, and existing waiver limitations do not apply to early advancement through SRP.
Soldiers may refer a qualified applicant for service into the U.S. Army by providing the applicant's name, phone number, and email and their DoD ID number. Submit the applicant's information via link, email or phone call listed below. Referred applicants must willingly provide and submit their own contact information. The referring soldier must willingly provide and submit their own DOD ID number, first name, and last name.
Referrals can be submitted in any of the following ways:
Soldiers can navigate to https://www.goarmy.com/refer and follow the instructions, entering the requested information. Soldiers can also text RFRL to GOARMY (462769) and allow the referred applicant to enter key information.
Units can update the referring soldier’s record in the Integrated Personnel and Pay Systems – Army (IPPS-A) by following these instructions:
1. For E1 - E3 early advancement, HR Pros will need to submit a Personnel Action Request (PAR), Action: Promotion. When filling out the PAR, the HR Pro must select Action Reason for "Merit Promotion." Effective date, Grade Entry Date, and Rank Entry Date must all be the same, and equal to the date the commander approved the promotion. The HR Pro will attach the USAREC consolidated validation roster as the supporting documentation. Then route the action to the unit commander for approval and order production.
2. For E4 - E5 Promotion points, the referring soldier will submit an Admin Records Correction PAR to their S1 Pool using the self-service feature in IPPS-A to add the Army Recruiting Ribbon. Promotion points automatically update when the Member’s record changes.
3. To add the Army Recruiting Ribbon to a Soldier’s record, the Referring Soldier will submit an Admin Records Correction PAR to their S1 Pool using the self-service feature in IPPS-A. The instructions for an Admin Records Correction PAR can be found in the IPPS-A User Manual, Version 5, Chapter 7, Process 7-3 (Submit an Admin Records Corrections PAR). The HR Pro will attach the USAREC consolidated validation roster and commander’s approval memorandum as the supporting documentation.
For clarification or questions regarding the Army Recruiting Ribbon, contact the HRC Awards and Decorations branch, AHRC-PDP-A, 502-613-9126, (DSN) 983-9126, or by email at email@example.com.
For clarification or questions regarding Early Promotion, contact the HRC Enlisted Promotions Branch, AHRC-PDV-PE, 502-613-9013, (DSN) 983-9013, or by email RA firstname.lastname@example.org or USAR AGR email@example.com.
The Army Directive 2023-01 (Army Recruiting Ribbon Program) is located at the following link: https://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/ArmyDir.aspx.
The Secretary of the Army - Tri Signed Letter and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affair) SRP Authorization memorandum is located at the following link: https://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/PogProponent.aspx