Army Special Assignment Pay

Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP) is available to enlisted service members who are performing extremely difficult tasks or jobs requiring extraordinary levels of responsibility. SDAP can be paid in addition to other types of special pay and allowances. To receive SDAP, the service member’s skills will be reviewed and tested annually, and in some cases, certification will be required. SDAP is paid in addition to all other types of pay and allowances. It is subject to income tax but not to the Federal Insurance Contribution Act taxes.

SDAP is based upon the designation of military specialties by the DoD. The military uses this designation in all areas and branches of the military. A military specialty provides occupational standards for the career development of military members and ensures that there are highly skilled members of the military in all areas of special classifications. Special Duty Assignments take this idea of military specialization to the next level by identifying tasks within specialties that are extremely difficult in skill or responsibility. The exact criterion for the designation of military specialties is located in the DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1304.27.

Eligibility for SDAP begins with being an Active member, a Selected Reserve member or a IDT Reserve member called to active duty with a pay grade of E-3 or higher and be qualified in a designated Special Duty Assignment. They may also have to meet other departmental requirements. IDT members will be paid 1/30th of the proscribed SDAP rate. SDAP currently pays:

Special Duty Assignment Monthly Rate
SD-1$75
SD-2$150
SD-3$225
SD-4$300
SD-5$375
SD-6$450

There are very complicated sets of provisions for stopping and suspending the payment of SDAP in the code. If you are entitled to SDAP, you should meet with your personnel officer to make sure that you understand all the rules and regulations regarding your SDAP pay.

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The soldier standing guard in the driving rain or snow at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will get a raise beginning Jan. 1.

So will soldiers in the Old Guard's Caisson Platoon, some members of the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the defense secretary's security team.

Also in line for a raise are some drill sergeants and recruiters.

These changes in Special Duty Assignment Pay are all effective Jan. 1, the Army announced Nov. 23.

"These updates to incentive pay allow us to target and recognize those soldiers who simply have difficult assignments," said Larry Lock, chief of the 2016 Special Pay Panel, in a statement.

SDAP is a discretionary incentive pay that eligible enlisted soldiers in the grade of E-3 or higher may receive based on their duty assignment, according to information from the Army.

SDAP pay ranges from $75 a month to $450 a month, depending on a soldier's assignment.

More than 23,000 soldiers received special duty pay in fiscal year 2015, said Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman.

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