Army approves new Special Duty Pay for certain assignments

Left: A soldier from the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group conducts a "slack" rappel during subterranean operations training . (U.S. Army Photo by Lt. Col. Sonise Lumbaca) Right: Members of the Caisson Platoon, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), participate in the graveside service for U.S. Army Capt. Stephanie Rader in Arlington National Cemetery, June 1, 2016, in Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/Arlington National Cemetery)

The US Army has authorized increases in Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP) for five assignments after the New Year, which will affect all personnel above the rank of Private First Class to varying degrees.

The five assignments affected include the Arlington National Cemetery’s Old Guard Caisson Platoon and Tomb Guards, the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) advisers (ranked E-7 through E-9), the Secretary of Defense Security Team and the US Army Pacific Command Northern Warfare Training Center instructors, who specializes in training soldiers how to fight -and win- in arctic environments.

Beginning at $75 per mensem and increasing along a sliding scale for various tasks and rank systems, the five programs will receive monthly increases of $225 per month, with the exception of the NWTC instructors, who will receive only $150 extra.

While some assigned troops are seeing pay increases, other assignments are feeling the cut: the Warrior Transition Unit went from $225 to $150 per month, while assignment pay for the Criminal Investigation Command will be phased out entirely over the next year.

Recruiters and Drill Sergeants will be seeing a $75 monthly increase on top of the $300 they already make.

According to, Special Duty Assignment Pay is described as “a discretionary incentive pay that eligible enlisted soldiers, serving in grades E-3 or higher, may receive based on the characterization of their duty assignment.”

The new changes come after approval from the Army’s Special Pay Panel, which meets biannually.

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,” said SPP-2016 head Larry Lock.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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