By Cpl. Samuel Ellis, Headquarters Marine Corps
Washington — Most special duty assignment pay rates are scheduled to be revised to meet budgetary constraints beginning Oct. 1. Most Marines reporting to special duty assignments after the effective date will receive a lower rate than in previous years.
Special duty pay adjustments will affect Marines serving as recruiters, drill instructors, combat instructors and embassy security guards, among other billets; however, Marines who started serving in special duty assignments before Oct. 1 will be grandfathered and will not experience any pay changes.
Some special duty assignment pay allowances will increase after a 12-month introductory period. For example, after serving one year as a drill instructor a Marine’s special duty pay will increase from Level 3, $225 to Level 4, $300.
According to 1st Lt. John Krahling, compensation chief for the Marine Corps, The decision to restructure the pay program was not taken lightly.
“We spent significant time evaluating all relevant factors before making a final decision on the changes,” Krahling said. “As the Department of Defense and Marine Corps move into a more resource-constrained environment, we must fully evaluate each of our programs by weighing total costs and benefits of the current programs.”
By making the adjustments, the Marine Corps will save an estimated $35 million over the next five years. According to Krahling, the Corps is doing its best to reduce the budget while trying to maintain the integrity of the program and attract future Marines to the special assignments.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure none of the existing programs go away,” Krahling said. “Every billet and assignment that receives special duty pay will continue to.”
Krahling said only 4 percent of the Manpower Personnel pay account is discretionary. Most of the pay categories that make up the manpower account are mandated by law and are therefore non-discretionary. That leaves bonuses and special pays, such as special duty assignment pay, to make up the majority of the levied cost savings and reductions.