SMA Wants More Bonus Pay For Soldiers

SMA Wants More Bonus Pay For Soldiers

The Army’s top-enlisted man, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey has again highlighted just how soldier-centered the Army’s newest leadership team is.

Earlier this week, Dailey stated that soldiers who currently deploy to places such as Iraq and Afghanistan receive extra pay, such as hostile fire (and rightly so) but we currently neglect the other group of soldiers currently away from home- those on non-combat tours.

The Army is looking into a new bonus pay that would mirror something like what the Navy uses for their “at-sea pay”.

The Navy’s current program for sea pay ranges monthly, soldiers earn anywhere from $60-$750 for senior members, with most junior enlisted members earning an additional $100-$300 a month.

In addition to this at-sea pay, the Navy and Marine Corps now also give their troops a “hardship duty pay”, which pays an additional $16.50 a day for every day spent deployed over 220 days.

“Are we incentivizing deployability? Remarked Dailey. “[This new incentive pay would help soldiers] when you’re away from home, in the field, downrange, deployed, away from family.”

All of this is in stark contrast to what we’ve come to see from top leaders and soldier’s pay. Just this past month we’ve seen congress use pay as a leveraging tool for their own political agendas. Additionally, last year a mockery of senior Pentagon officials told Congress that “soldiers understand the need for pay cuts.”

Should the Army approve a new hardship pay for its soldiers, the proposal would still need to be cleared by the Department of Defense and Congress.

The proposal could see troops currently serving in Africa, NTC, the Pacific Pathways, and even those serving in Europe on NATO rotations receiving more pay.

Perhaps the largest group to benefit from this change would be those serving in Korea- soldiers stationed in South Korea for the most part PCS alone, leaving their families back home in the states. Those who are accompanies by their families typically are on 2 and 3-year tours.

Personally, I know of a soldier whose wife had PCS’ed to Korea and was en-route to the airport to PCS there himself when 3ID had called him and told him he needed to reprocess (after having just cleared Fort Stewart) back into his unit and would be staying in 3ID.

Soldiers work hard enough (or most of them anyway) as it is, the stress placed on a separated family is overwhelming- the least we can do is attempt to alleviate it as best we can.  

About the author: Andrew Farquharson is an Iraq Campaign veteran and an ex-cavalry scout currently living the dream in Newport, Rhode Island as a college student. Aside from writing for 11Bravos his hobbies include mountain climbing, shooting guns and convincing women they should date him. Comments or hate mail can be sent or, follow him on Instagram @Lord_Farquharson