The Pentagon recently put forth a plan to streamline the more than 60 different specialized pay categories into 8 different groups. The House of Representatives supports this initiative which should maintain current specialty pay levels through FY 2008. Changes may be seen in FY 2009, but some of those changes may be for the better as certain critically manned specialties may receive more bonus money.
The eight main categories are:
- Enlisted Bonuses: Max enlistment bonus $50k; Max re-enlistment bonus: $40k per year.
- Officer Bonuses: Max commission bonus $60k; continuation of service on Active Duty up to $50k per year.
- Nuclear Officer Incentives: Up to $60k per year.
- Aviation Officer Incentives: Up to $850/month and up to $25k per year to extend service obligations.
- Health Care Professionals: Bonus up to $100,000 to accept commission; up to $100,000 per year incentive pay; up to $25k per year for board certifications
- Hazardous Duty Pay: There will be two types: Hostile Fire and Imminent Danger. Hostile fire pay will be $450 and is defined as an area where the member is in grave danger of physical injury. The military member is only required to spend one day in country to receive this pay. Imminent Danger Pay will be $250 and will require a full month in the area to receive this pay.
- Assignment and Special Duty Pay: Max of $5k per month.
- Proficiency and Skills Incentives Pay: Up to $1k per month.
The bonuses for numbers 6-8 will be the same regardless of rank. Other bonuses may depend on rank or officer/enlisted status.
While almost all of these special pays and bonuses are currently around, they are categorized under many separate provisions – some of which are due to expire soon. This proposed bill will streamline operations and extend certain benefits. Many of these bonuses are also seeing increases in the maximum dollar amount allowed.
Please keep in mind these are maximums and will not apply to every specialty or person. Most of the services will have the final say on which percentage of the total dollar amount certain career fields and specialties receive. There will also be sub-groups within the main eight proposed categories.
Streamlining specialty pay is a good thing because it will make it much easier for military members to predict how much they will earn and they will be better able to make financial plans. It will also be much easier for everyone else involved, including military finance specialists, plans and scheduling, accountants, and politicians.
Read more about the proposal here.