The Military Guide


Just Announced: Special Duty Assignment Pay Changes January 2014

by Curtez


Last week we received notification about changes to the Army Tuition Assistance Program. Earlier today, I received notification that Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP) will similarly be affected:


As the Army moves into a more resource constrained environment, we must fully evaluate each of our compensation programs by weighing total costs and benefits of the current programs. Accordingly, we have decided to add, modify or eliminate certain Special Duty Assignment Pays (SDAP) beginning 1 January 2014.

The Army regards SDAP as a valuable tool to encourage members to volunteer to perform extremely demanding duties or duties demanding an unusual degree of responsibility. The decision to restructure the SDAP program was not taken lightly and we spent significant time evaluating all relevant factors with the understanding that our final decision would affect Soldiers and Families.

In an effort to minimize the impact, we timed our implementation to coincide with the 1 January pay increases. For those Soldiers serving a specialty or billet whose SDAP will be reduced or terminated, we will incrementally phase-in the changes during a 12-month period to afford Soldiers and their Families opportunity to adjust to decreased pay.

In recognition of the responsibilities and expectations inherent to certain leadership positions, we are authorizing SDAP for Ranger-qualified soldiers (E-5 and above) serving as Ranger or Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader Course instructors and nominative sergeants majors rated by general officers or senior executive service equivalents.

SDAP will remain at its current level for those leaders and Soldiers serving in or supporting certain special operations units, missions or activities. The SDAP level also remains unchanged for our Command Sergeants Majors rated by general officers or senior executive service equivalents.

To balance current leadership priorities with decreased resources, we will reduce the SDAP level for many non-commissioned officers (NCOs) assigned to positions within U.S. Army Recruiting Command and those Soldiers assigned to White House support activities. We are further clarifying the eligibility rules and SDAP levels for Warrior Transition Unit or community based health care organization cadre members. We have also instituted SDAP reductions for accredited Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents, technical escort unit Soldiers, air traffic controllers and foreign attaché NCOs.

After a full review of the SDAP program, we will eliminate SDAP for Soldiers assigned to the Defense Courier Service, On-site Inspection and Defense Threat Reduction Agencies, or as Regular Army career counselors and transition NCOs (PMOS 79S and 79V). We have also terminated SDAP for Soldiers not assigned to a recruiting station or center, or those assigned in selected recruiting functions above battalion level. These eliminations in no way reflect the individual Soldier’s importance the Army, but reflect our changing mission priorities.

Ultimately, to be good stewards of our resources while continuing to support and care for Soldiers and their Families, we have made tough decisions on compensation. Our people are our most important assets, and your leadership and affirmation of their critical contributions to the Army are essential to maintain a highly-functioning, cohesive team.
Army Strong!

Raymond T. Odierno General,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       38th Chief of Staff United States Army
The Strength of our Nation is our Army, The Strength of our Army is our Soldiers, The Strength of our Soldiers is our Families, This is what makes us Army Strong!”

My current assignment comes with “extremely demanding duties”, I’m often required to travel across a 14 state footprint. This January, I will begin to incrementally lose $37.50 from my NET pay, until SDAP is terminated in full ($450 worth) December 2014…  While this change will hurt, fortunately I figured out the secret to becoming financially independent

Do you receive SDAP? If so what are your thoughts about the change?