Ohio National Guard Bucks for Buckeyes Program

Any current or retired Ohio National Guard member or current state employee of the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department CAN receive $2,000 per enlistment for any lead AND/OR $1,000 for an innovative idea for recruiting new members.

As part of the State of Ohio’s 2023 operating budget, the Ohio National Guard has established a “Bucks for Buckeyes” incentive to support Ohio Army and Air National Guard recruiting and accession efforts. Funds are specifically tied to compensating individuals who assist in the enlistment of a Soldier or Airman, or have identified an innovative approach or concept that supports recruiting efforts.

Through Bucks for Buckeyes, any current or retired Ohio National Guard member or current state employee of the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department can receive $2,000 per enlistment for any lead that successfully enters military service and reports for initial military training. Qualifying members and retirees are encouraged to identify friends, family and associates with an interest in joining the Ohio National Guard or who have a desire to serve their community, state and nation.

Additionally, members and employees are eligible to earn $1,000 for each submitted innovative recruitment idea that is approved by the Innovation Initiative Awards Board, which will meet quarterly.

Read the list of frequently asked questions to ensure you are paid correctly, timely, and understand how payments will impact your taxes.


Frequently Asked Questions

A: Bonus payments will be paid via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to your bank account. Ensure your bank account information is entered accurately on the Bucks for Buckeyes Payment and Direct Deposit Form. All payments occur as an EFT.

A: Referral bonus payment amounts are published each July. For July 2023 through June 2024, each lead that results in an enlistment and completion of initial military training, the recruiting assistant receives $2,000. Each approved Innovative Initiative Awards receives $1,000.

A: Potentially. If you earn $600.00 or more from the State of Ohio during its calendar year (July to June), you will receive an IRS Form 1099 by January 31st the following calendar year. Keep in mind that no income tax is withheld, and you need to be prepared to pay an amount due when filing your federal, state, local, and school district personal income tax returns. If you want to have a specific percentage of your recruiting incentive payment withheld, please complete a Voluntary Tax Withholding Form (W4-V) and submit it with your agreement.

A: In most cases, payment occurs within 8-10 business days from the date the bonus documents are received (pending the accuracy of the documents and individual information).

A: Contact your unit and make them aware of any issues.