Army ups special pay for recruiters, drill sergeants and Old Guard soldiers
The soldier standing guard in the driving rain or snow at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will get a raise beginning Jan. 1.
So will soldiers in the Old Guard's Caisson Platoon, some members of the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the defense secretary's security team.
Also in line for a raise are some drill sergeants and recruiters.
These changes in Special Duty Assignment Pay are all effective Jan. 1, the Army announced Nov. 23.
"These updates to incentive pay allow us to target and recognize those soldiers who simply have difficult assignments," said Larry Lock, chief of the 2016 Special Pay Panel, in a statement.
SDAP is a discretionary incentive pay that eligible enlisted soldiers in the grade of E-3 or higher may receive based on their duty assignment, according to information from the Army.
SDAP pay ranges from $75 a month to $450 a month, depending on a soldier's assignment.
More than 23,000 soldiers received special duty pay in fiscal year 2015, said Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman.
Five new jobs have been added to the Army’s SDAP roster for next year. Two others will see pay increases, while one assignment has been dropped all together, the Army said.
The five jobs added to the list are:
- The Old Guard Caisson Platoon.
- The Old Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- Asymmetric Warfare Group operational advisors in the ranks of E-7 through E-9.
- U.S. Army Pacific Command Northern Warfare Training Center instructors.
- The Secretary of Defense Security Team.
They will each receive $225 a month in extra pay, except for the USARPAC Northern Warfare Center instructors. The instructors will get $150 a month.
Soldiers who will lose money include Warrior Transition Unit leadership, who will receive $150 a month instead of $225.
Soldiers who are Criminal Investigation Command special agents, with the military occupational specialty of 31D, will be dropped from SDAP entirely effective March 1.
The Army plans to terminate SDAP for these soldiers over a 12-month period. On March 1, their SDAP, which is currently $150 a month, will be cut in half, and the rest of the pay will be phased out for no more than 12 months, Taylor said.
Drill Sgt. Andrea Webb inspects her new trainees at Fort Sill, Okla., March 9, 2016. Some drill sergeants could see an increase in Special Duty Assignment Pay effective Jan. 1, the Army has announced.
Photo Credit: Cindy McIntyre/Army
Other changes include a raise for some drill sergeants, who can move up from the baseline $300 extra a month to $375 "based upon service as a drill sergeant, completion of a certification program and approval by their battalion commander," Taylor said.
There's also a new payment scheme for recruiters, who start at $300 a month.
Beginning Jan. 1, production recruiters can move up to $375 a month after a year on the job, successfully completing the Advanced Training Program, and getting a recommendation from their battalion commander.
In addition, recruiting station commanders assigned to a recruiting center or station; recruiting guidance counselors who are master sergeants and below; recruiting battalion operations noncommissioned officers; recruiting battalion master trainers; and recruiting company first sergeants will be authorized $375 extra pay a month.
Soldiers with the recruiter MOS of 79R who are assigned to staff positions are authorized an extra $75 a month.
Special duty assignments are those designated as having extremely demanding duties requiring extraordinary effort or an unusual degree of responsibility, according to the Army.
Assignments that qualify for SDAP include the sergeant major of the Army, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, nominative command sergeants major and sergeants major, the White House Communications Agency, Ranger-qualified sergeants and higher in the 75th Ranger Regiment, air traffic controllers and Army Cyber Command.
"The goal of the Special Pay Panel was to validate recommendations of challenging positions that require soldiers to consistently perform in an 'above and beyond' manner and then make recommendations concerning levels of incentive payments," Lock said.
The panel, which meets biennially to review SDAP, looked at every military occupational specialty or program that requested consideration for the special pay.
Officials said soldiers should speak to the human resources specialists in their unit to see what duty assignments are approved for SDAP under the new policy.
About Meghann Myers
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT
Earn up to $450 per month in Special Duty pay
Special Duty Assignment Pay is a monthly incentive of $75 to $450 for enlisted soldiers, privates first class and above, who perform duties that are unusually demanding, or that require a high degree of responsibility, and typically involve long hours of daily commitment.
Under budget-driven cuts to the program in 2014, hundreds of soldiers serving in certain recruiting positions, or as drill sergeants, career counselors, air traffic controllers and cadre with Warrior Transition Units had their SDAP reduced or eliminated.
However, the Army also added some new categories and pay increases to the SDAP in 2014 that remain in effect.
More recently it has approved three levels of SDAP for privates and above assigned to the Army's growing cyber mission force. The payments are $150 monthly for apprentices, $225 for journeymen and $300 for masters.
Among the changes in 2014, the Army added Ranger-qualified sergeants and above to the SDAP program if they are serving as Ranger or Reconnaissance and Surveillance Course instructors, as well as nominative sergeants major who are rated by general officers.
The SDAP for the sergeant major of the Army also was increased one level to SD-6.
Positions and specialties on the revised eligibility list include NCOs with special mission units, Special Forces soldiers, soldiers assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Rangers and explosive ordnance disposal specialists and command sergeants major.
Army budget documents recently submitted to Congress indicate that in 2015 the Army will spend $113 million on SDAP for nearly 24,300 soldiers.
The budget for SDAP in 2016 is projected to be cut by $5.8 million, and some 1,270 soldiers, primarily because of the drawdown.
Pay levels and qualifying duties now in effect for SDAP are:
SD-1:Soldiers assigned to Level I positions with the White House Situation Room, as coordinators with the White House Transportation Agency, or RL-2 and RL-3 air traffic control positions.
SD-2:Command sergeants major and sergeants major serving in two-star nominative positions, cyber mission force soldiers, technicians with the White House Communications Agency, Shelter Complex, Facilities Maintenance Unit, Level II positions with the White House Situation Room, supervisors with the White House Transportation Agency and soldiers serving in RL-1 positions as air traffic controllers.
Also, soldiers assigned to the White House Presidential Emergency Operations Center, special agents with the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Army Technical Escort Unit, soldiers serving as attaché NCOs, Ranger-qualified sergeants and above serving with the Military Information Support Operations Command, or as Ranger or Reconnaissance and Surveillance Course instructors.
SD-3: Squad leaders and platoon sergeants with Warrior Transition Units, command sergeants major and sergeants major assigned to three-star nominative positions, cyber mission force soldiers, soldiers assigned to supervisory positions with the White House Communications Agency, Shelter Complex or Facilities Maintenance Unit, and soldiers in leadership positions with the White House Situation Room.
Soldiers assigned to special mission units, the cyber mission force, Ranger-qualified sergeants and above with the 75th Ranger Regiment, soldiers with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, production recruiters, master sergeants and below serving as recruiting guidance counselors, recruiting battalion master trainers, recruiting company first sergeants, drill sergeants, command sergeants major and sergeants major serving in four-star nominative positions, and soldiers assigned to management positions with the White House Communications Agency, Shelter Complex or Facilities Maintenance Unit.
SD-5: Soldiers assigned to special mission units, CMF-18 Major Force Program-11 billets, and explosive ordnance disposal soldiers performing EOD duties.
SD-6: Soldiers assigned to special mission units, and the sergeant major of the Army.
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Special Duty Assignment Pay
If you are an enlisted member who is performing duties which have been designated as extremely difficult or involving an unusual degree of responsibility in a military skill, you may be entitled to Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP).
The following table reflects the most recent SDAP monthly rates:
What Military Specialties Qualify For Special Duty Assignment Pay?
Some of the qualifying military specialties include:
- Special Operations Forces
- Production Recruiter
- White House Communications Agency
- Defense Threat Reduction Agency
- Defense Courier Operations
- Senior Enlisted Advisor to the JCS
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Duty assignment special pay army
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