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AP: Obama Administration May Eliminate Danger Pay for 56K Service Members Overseas

Posted by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 3:03 AM
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AP: Obama Administration May Eliminate Danger Pay for 56K Service Members Overseas

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is eyeing plans to eliminate danger pay for service members in as many as 18 countries and five waterways around the world, saving about $120 million each year while taking a bite out of troops’ salaries, The Associated Press has learned.

Senior defense and military leaders are expected to meet later this week to review the matter and are poised to approve a new plan. Pentagon press secretary George Little declined to discuss details but said no final decisions have been made.

Senior military leaders came up with the proposed list of locations in their regions that no longer were perilous enough to warrant danger pay, including several countries in the heart of the tumultuous Middle East, such as Jordan, where hundreds of troops have recently deployed because of the bloody Syrian civil war on its border.

AP: Obama Administration Considering Eliminating Danger Pay for 56K Service Members Overseas

KUWAIT – DECEMBER 12: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addresses US troops during a visit to Ali Al Salem Air Base on December 12, 2012 in Kuwait. Credit: Getty Images 

Defense officials said the proposal would strip the stipend – which can be up to $225 per month – from as many as 56,000 service members, including thousands stationed in Kuwait, which was a key hub during the Iraq war. It also would affect thousands of sailors who routinely travel through the Persian Gulf region on ships or airmen who fly over the Gulf.

The $225 monthly cut in pay would come regardless of the service member’s base salary, which can range from a low of roughly $18,000 a year for a brand new recruit to a high of nearly $235,000 a year for a four-star general with more than 40 years in the military. Troops also can receive a variety of other allowances for housing, clothing or job specialties.

Defense officials described the proposal on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about it.

Under the plans being discussed, troops would still receive the extra money if they serve in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The U.S. does not have any military members now serving in Iran.

Some of the countries that could likely be dropped from the list include Bahrain, where the Navy’s 5th Fleet is located; Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Liberia, Haiti and several former Soviet republics.

Officials have argued that if service members are allowed to bring their families with them for assignments in places like Bahrain, then it is difficult to argue that they should receive danger pay.

The list has routinely evolved over many years, with countries added as they became more dangerous hotspots. And military leaders do periodic reviews of the list.

While the changes are based solely on the security review, the cuts also come as the Pentagon is under growing pressure to slash its budget, and as more than 650,000 civilians began taking the first of their 11 required days off without pay through the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier this week that the fiscal pressures and congressional gridlock have led to far more abrupt and steeper cuts than expected. He noted that if Congress does not find a way to avoid the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, the department will have to find $52 billion in additional savings next year.

So far, the danger pay decision does not affect the tax-free status of service members’ pay when serving in those countries or on ships in the Gulf region.

Under existing Defense Department rules, military troops serving in as many as two dozen different nations as well as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden have been able to receive the imminent danger pay. Until early 2012, they received the full monthly amount – $225 at the time – for any complete or partial month they served in any of the qualifying areas.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2012, troops received pro-rated payments of $7.50 for each day they were on official duty in one of the areas.

The total cost has been about $500 million per year.

Officials also said the proposed changes do not affect hostile fire pay. Service members who are exposed to a hostile fire or hostile mine explosion event are eligible to receive a full monthly payment of $225. But they can’t receive both danger pay and hostile fire pay for the same mont

by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 3:03 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Ednarooni160
by Eds on Jul. 11, 2013 at 3:03 AM

Anyone else heard of this?

4kidz916
by Gold Member on Jul. 11, 2013 at 7:43 AM
1 mom liked this

I saw it on the news.  Another hit to the ones putting their lives in danger for us while the govt just keeps racking up unnecessary spending.

-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Jul. 11, 2013 at 8:02 AM

The AP link goes to the blaze....

Where is the AP link?

4kidz916
by Gold Member on Jul. 11, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Here's the one from our local news: 

http://www.wavy.com/dpp/military/AP-NewsBreak-Pentagon-eyes-cuts-in-danger-pay_57704030

Quoting -Celestial-:

The AP link goes to the blaze....

Where is the AP link?


NC_Mom_06
by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM
1 mom liked this

 I think this is so wrong. Obama is so anti military it is sickening. They deserve to have every penny they get for trying to keep us safe and fighting for our country. It wouldn't surprise me if Obama tried to get rid of our entire military.  My husband was in the navy for 12 years.  Obama should take away the  welfare benefits to the people who are abusing it  to save money not hard working military men and woman who are protecting us.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jul. 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Who cares, maybe if he keeps pushing the military to the ground, they will get the backbone that the Egyptian military has.

goldielock37
by Bronze Member on Jul. 11, 2013 at 1:04 PM

How the Pentagon's payroll quagmire traps America's soldiers. The ones that give the most. PLEASE UNDERSTAND, they give more than any other occupation, or gov. agency in this nation. When they sign on the dotted line to serve this country, they are agreeing to DIE for this country, their families lives are controlled by what the military decides to "DO TO" that service member, AND THIS..IS the crap that the country they served makes them go through.. read article

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/us-usa-pentagon-payerrors-special-report-idUSBRE96818I20130709

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Jul. 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM



Quoting Billiejeens:

Who cares, maybe if he keeps pushing the military to the ground, they will get the backbone that the Egyptian military has.


It may come to that..

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jul. 11, 2013 at 2:39 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting Ednarooni160:




Sadly, I am fearful that we don't have it in us anymore.


grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jul. 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

 Obama has never given a crap about our military.  Dem presidents usually don't.  But then again, remember.....'make the sequester cuts hurt, so it will gain them more support in the next couple of elections.

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