WASHINGTON -- About 1,500 Soldiers are eligible to receive an extra $1,000 a month for being involuntarily extended in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Officials from the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense identified 12 units, mainly from Germany, where Soldiers will receive an incentive package if they meet certain requirements.
The Soldiers in those selected units are eligible to receive an extra $200 in hardship duty pay if they have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, including staging time in Kuwait, for 12 consecutive months or a total of 12 months within a 15-month period. That will increase HDP to $300 for those Soldiers.
The incentive package also includes the option of receiving an extra $800 a month in assignment initiative pay, or a follow-on stabilized assignment equal to the total time spent in theater.
This is the Department of the Armys way of providing for Soldiers in the identified units who were promised that they were leaving at a certain time, but because of operational requirements, they were required to stay longer, said Lt. Col. Gerald Barrett, the chief of Compensation and Entitlements, G1.
However, Barrett said that the incentive is not an across the board package, and only Soldiers in those specific units who served the appropriate time in theater are eligible.
When Soldiers are calculating their time on the ground they should not subtract the time they spent away on emergency or R&R leave, said Deborah Holman, a Compensation and Entitlements analyst. It is all-inclusive, she added.
Also the $800 assignment incentive pay is not prorated, Holman said. Soldiers are eligible for the entire months pay regardless if they re-deploy in the middle or the end of the month, she added.
Whatever option a Soldier chooses either the $800 extra in assignment incentive pay or a stabilized assignment, it will be documented in a signed contract. A Department of the Army Form 4187, Personnel Action, will have to be completed stating what option the Soldier chooses.
Barrett said that in addition to the extra $200 per month Hardship Duty Pay if all 1,500 Soldiers choose the $800 in extra pay it will cost the Army $1.5 million a month. It is anticipated that all units involuntarily extended in Iraq will be replaced by April 1, according to a Department of the Army message that was approved February 13.
After June 1 the incentive package will no longer be offered, Holman said. The Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) established a sunset clause because in the future the goal is to have replacement units ready on time to relieve units scheduled to rotate back to the states, Holman said.
Currently the Army and OSD are looking at a volunteer incentive program in the future, but the Army hasnt approved such a program to date, Barrett said.
The selected units are listed below:
- 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion, V Corps, Germany
- 19th Combat Support Company, Wiesbaden, Germany
- 613th Movement Control Team (Division Support), Fort Campbell, Ky.
- 626th Movement Control Team, Hanau, Germany
- 627th Movement Control Team, Bamberg, Germany
- 71st Combat Support Service Battalion, Bamberg, Germany
- 181st Transportation Battalion Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Mannheim, Germany
- 3rd Battalion, 158 Aviation Regiment, Giebelstadt, Germany
- Company F, 106th Aviation Regiment, Peoria, Ill.
- Company B and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Battalion, 159 Aviation Regiment, Wiesbaden, Germany
- Company, A, 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, Fort Eustis, Va.