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Special pay overhaul to affect thousands of enlisted

Dec. 5, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Ranger-qualified sergeants and above have been added to the Special Duty Assignment Pay program if they are serving as Ranger or Reconnaissance and Surveillance Course instructors.
Ranger-qualified sergeants and above have been added to the Special Duty Assignment Pay program if they are serving as Ranger or Reconnaissance and Surveillance Course instructors. (John D. Helms / Army)
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ProgramPay level
Sergeant Major of the ArmySD-6
Special mission units SD-2 through 6
CMF-18 MFP 11 Billets SD-5
EOD soldiers performing EOD dutiesSD-5
Ranger-qualified (E-5 and above) 75th RangersSD-4
160th Special Operation Aviation RegimentSD-2 through 4
Production recruitersSD-4
Recruiting guid. counselors (MSgt. & below)SD-4
Recruiting battalion master trainers SD-4
Recruiting company 1st sgts. SD-4
Drill sgts. SD-4
ProgramPay level
CSMs and nominated sgts. maj. rated by a general officer/SES4 Star Billets = SD-43 Star Billets = SD-32 Star Billets = SD-21 Star Billets = SD-1
White House communications agency, shelter complex, facilities, maintenance unitManagers = SD-4Supervisors = SD-3Technicians = SD-2Operators = SD-1
Warrior Transition Unit (squad leaders and platoon sgts.)SD-3
White House situation roomLead = SD-3
Level II = SD-2
ProgramPay level
White House situation roomLevel I = SD-1
White House presidential emergency operations centerSD-2
CID-accredited special agentsSD-2
Technical escort unit SD-2
Attaché NCOs SD-2
Ranger-qualified (E-5 and above) (MISOC)SD-2
Ranger-qualified (E-5 and above) Ranger/RSLC instructorsSD-2
White House transportation agencySupervisors = SD-2Coordinators = SD-1
Air traffic controllers RL-1 = SD-2RL-2 &3 = SD-1
Key to pay levels: SD-1 = $75; SD-2 = $150; SD-3 = $225; SD-4 = $300; SD-5 = $375, SD-6 = $450


Thousands of enlisted soldiers serving in certain recruiting positions, or as drill sergeants, career counselors, air traffic controllers and cadre with warrior transition units will have their Special Duty Assignment Pay reduced or eliminated under a budget-driven overhaul of the SDAP program.

While those changes are scheduled to take effect Feb. 1, the Army also has added some new categories and pay increases to the special compensation program that took effect Nov. 1.

In an effort to minimize the financial impact of the cuts on soldiers and families, the reductions and terminations will be implemented in February after the annual military pay increases take effect in January. Additionally, the Army will phase in the reductions over a 12-month period.

SDAP is a monthly incentive of $75 to $450 for enlisted soldiers, grade E-3 and above, who perform certain duties that are unusually demanding, or that require a high degree of responsibility.

“As the Army moves into a more resource-constrained environment, we must fully evaluate each of our compensation programs by weighing total costs and benefits, [and] we have decided to add, modify or eliminate certain Special Duty Assignment Pays,” according to a statement issued Nov. 28 by the Office of the Army G-1 (Human Resources).

Positions and specialties on the newly revamped eligibility list include, without any changes, noncommissioned officers 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.

The six pay levels for SDAP remain SD-1, $75; SD-2, $150; SD-3, $225; SD-4, $300; SD-5, $375, and SD-6, $450.

Army budget documents indicate that during the coming year, the Army had planned to spend about $122 million on SDAP for 22,600 soldiers, a reduction of $5 million and 5,000 soldiers under the 2013 program.

Under changes to SDAP approved by Army leaders Nov. 1, special pay for air traffic controllers, production recruiters and Warrior Transition Unit cadre will be reduced two levels Feb. 1.

Special pay will be terminated for career counselors, defense couriers, soldiers assigned to the On-Site Inspection Agency or the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The Army also is terminating special pay for Recruiting Command soldiers who are not assigned to a recruiting station or center, and soldiers assigned to recruiting support functions above battalion level.

Under a change approved Nov. 1, the Army defines “production recruiters” as soldiers who are field recruiters, station commanders assigned to centers and stations, guidance counselors (master sergeant and below), first sergeants and battalion-level recruiter trainers.

The special pay will be reduced one level for soldiers assigned as drill sergeants and criminal investigation special agents, and for soldiers assigned to technical escort units and those assigned to defense attaché duties.

More money for some

Included in the Nov. 1 changes, the Army has 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 or Senior Executive Service equivalents.

The SDAP for the sergeant major of the Army also was increased one level to SD-6 on Nov. 1.

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