Living in the United States and serving on Active duty has many privileges. But none is as deserved as the special pay and benefits for special duty afforded our Servicemembers. Soldiers are citizens just like everyone else, and they do not work twenty-four hours a day, nor do they work constantly without break. Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors take time to participate and enjoy the same activities, sports and freedoms that we all do. But they also place themselves in harms way in special duty situations. And because of this, they are compensated for their service.
Special Duty pay exists to recognize the situations and circumstances that require Servicemembers to place them at increased risk or danger. It is offered to enlisted people and Officers with special duties and special skills. The nature of these duties or skills incurs extra responsibility, risk, or danger. Sometimes it includes all three. Some of these special duties include flight operations; sea pay, hardship duty pay, foreign language proficiency pay, hardship duty pay, diving duty pay, and other special duty pay areas.
Hardship Duty Pay. This is a type of extra compensation for Servicemembers that are assigned to locations where the standard of living, or living conditions is especially difficult. To qualify conditions must be considerably below what is found in the United States. Amounts generally paid for soldiers that live in such an area beyond thirty days at a time are fifty, one hundred, and one hundred fifty dollars per month. The amount depends on the conditions and the area.
Special Duty Pay. This is a pay type for enlisted Servicemembers whose job or duty entails significant extra responsibility. It requires additional time or effort on the part of the Servicemember, and so they are compensated accordingly. Some examples are combat air controllers, parachute instructors, or fuel specialists. The extra pay in this area ranges from fifty-five dollars per month, to a high of three hundred seventy five dollars a month.
Flight Pay. This is a pay type awarded to those professionals who are involved in areas of flight operations. Pilots, navigators, and other aircrew members qualify for amounts up to two hundred forty dollars a month. In special cases flight pay can yield up to eight hundred forty dollars additional per month.
Foreign Language Proficiency Pay. This is pay for those that can speak a second language, and is based on the needs of the service the person is enlisted in. Sometimes pay for foreign language pay can be very lucrative, depending on the needs of the service branch.