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Special Duty Assignment Pay

The Navy SEAL Grinder PT

If you are an enlisted member who is performing duties which have been designated as extremely difficult or involving an unusual degree of responsibility in a military skill, you may be entitled to Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP).

The following table reflects the most recent SDAP monthly rates:

What Military Specialties Qualify For Special Duty Assignment Pay?

Some of the qualifying military specialties include:

  • Nuclear Trained Sailors
  • Special Operations Forces
  • Production Recruiter
  • White House Communications Agency
  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  • Defense Courier Operations
  • Senior Enlisted Advisor to the JCS

Keep Up With Military Pay Updates

Military pay benefits are constantly changing. Make sure you're up-to-date with everything you've earned. Subscribe to Military.com to receive updates on all of your military pay and benefits, delivered directly to your inbox.

Jim Absher, Military.com

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WHAT IS SDAP AND WILL YOU QUALIFY?

air force special duty assignment pay 2022

Suggested read:

The Basics of SDAP

Who gets sdap.

  • Be at a minimum pay grade of E-3.
  • Be on active duty and entitled to basic pay, be a reservist performing IDT, or be entitled to drill pay.
  • Completed special OJT.
  • Be certified as qualified and actually serve in the Special Duty Assignment.
  • Meet any extra requirements outlined by your branch.
  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Canine Explosive Detection Team
  • Career Management
  • CQC Instructors
  • Cybersecurity Ops
  • Defense Couriers
  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  • Helicopter Rescue Swimmers
  • National Strike Force
  • Nuclear Work
  • Senior Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Special Ops

How Much Is SDAP?

Getting your sdap.

More like this:

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Air Force Scraps Plan to Cut Special Duty Pay

air force special duty assignment pay 2022

The Air Force is reversing a plan to cut the monthly Special Duty Assignment Pay incentives that hundreds of airmen receive to take on some of the service’s toughest jobs, Military.com reported. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall made the announcement Monday at Air & Space Force Foundation’s annual conference.

“The past several months of inflation has put unique pressures on the finances of some of our airmen and Guardians in critical specialties,” Kendall said. “Our system to adjust special duty pay was out of sync with the rapid changes [on] our economy brought on by COVID and the invasion of Ukraine.”

The cuts were scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1.

Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Izabella Workman

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Home Logo: Military Compensation

Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP)

Assignment Incentive Military Pay is the military's preferred way to compensate troops from all services. Assignment Incentive Military Pay is often paid to service members for unusual assignment circumstances.

Those service members who have involuntarily extended their tours in Iraq and Kuwait combat zones receive an additional $200 in hardship duty pay and another $800 in assignment incentive pay for a total of an extra $1000 a month. Those service members in certain skills who have served 12 months Iraq and Afghanistan and volunteer to agree to extend their tours receive this assignment incentive military pay.

They receive additional pay for extensions including $900 per month for a 12 month extension, $600 a month for a 6 month extension and $300 a month for a three month extension. Service members with critical intelligence skills will receive up to $1000 a month for each month's extension. Service members in other areas such as South Korea may also receive Assignment Incentive Military Pay for extensions of their tours.

The Assignment Incentive Military Pay Program has become extremely popular and is the military's preferred way to compensate troops from all of the services for certain unusual and extended assignments. The pay cap was increased to $3000 a month Assignment Incentive Military Pay is taxable unless in a combat zone.

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Space Force mulls 8-year active duty enlistments for new recruits

air force special duty assignment pay 2022

The Space Force is considering requiring prospective guardians to enlist for an initial term of eight years on active duty — twice as long as first-term troops usually sign up for — in a bid to build a more stable workforce to span the coming decades.

It’s one change to personnel policies now under consideration as the Space Force looks to break typical military molds and craft a workforce that meets its unique needs as the Pentagon’s newest and smallest branch.

air force special duty assignment pay 2022

Congress approves Space Force part-timers, but still no Space Guard

A new space force structure approved in the 2024 defense policy law may create more flexibility for troops..

“I know eight years is a big commitment to make if you’re 20 years old, 21 years old,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force John Bentivegna told Air Force Times. “But let me explain to you … the training you’ll get, the opportunities you’re going to get, the experience you’ll have — it takes time.”

All enlisted troops across the armed forces are already required to agree to at least eight years in uniform. But most serve out a four- or six-year term on active duty before spending the remaining time in the individual ready reserve — a pool of former active duty, National Guard and Reserve troops who can still be called up in an emergency.

Instead, the Space Force could ask guardians to spend their entire enlistment on active duty. Once those eight years are up, they would be off the hook — with no commitment to the individual ready reserve.

Bentivegna hopes that a new set of policies, which will allow guardians to toggle between full-time and part-time service while remaining on active duty, can offer the enlisted force more flexibility while keeping them in uniform longer.

The idea is on the table because the Space Force, established in 2019, has discovered that its enlisted recruits skew older — averaging 22 years old — and are more educated than those of the other services. Rather than joining the military straight out of high school, 40% of those recruits enlist after earning an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree, the service said last month.

The Space Force also handles a niche set of highly technical missions, like cyber operations, electronic warfare and space-based intelligence, using an enlisted workforce of more than 4,000 people. All enlisted guardians must pass the background checks and polygraphs needed to receive a top secret/secure compartmented information clearance as well.

Because its recruits come in with more skill, and because the force is so small, the service doesn’t want to lose that expertise — or the money and time it takes to train guardians in those fields — after just four years.

The service will also explore how to structure re-enlistment bonuses and other incentives to avoid losing them to lucrative jobs in the space and cyber industries once the eight years are up.

“A guardian’s journey doesn’t end at the traditional four- or six-year mark, which enables the service to build the technical depth and expertise we need for great power competition,” Bentivegna said in a follow-up email from a spokesperson. “We are working to enrich their experience through technical training schools, fully qualified promotion policies, bonuses and [reimagining] our professional military education.”

Speaking at the Air and Space Forces Association’s Air Warfare Symposium on Wednesday, Bentivegna noted that the U.S. also needs to reform military pay and benefits to make service more enticing and sustainable for those who do opt into years in uniform.

“That model that we’re looking at may be just a little outdated. What is the value proposition of service? It’s changed,” he said. “I think that’s the goodness of the dialogue we’ve had.”

It’s unclear whether asking prospects to join the Space Force for nearly a decade could make a dent in the service’s recruitment efforts.

More than 4,000 people sought to enlist in the Space Force in 2023, the service told Congress in January. But just a fraction make it into the limited number of available billets. The service plans to recruit nearly 700 new enlisted guardians in fiscal year 2024.

That’s a sliver of what the other armed forces aim to bring in throughout the year. For instance, the Air Force hopes to sign up 25,900 new active duty enlisted airmen by the end of September.

Todd Harrison, a military space expert at the American Enterprise Institute, warned the Space Force to do its homework before settling on major changes to career models.

He worries an eight-year commitment could make it harder for the Space Force to compete for talent with private industry and the other armed forces, if recruits see the contract as a long time to be locked into military service.

Harrison also questioned whether high performers, who may have other options to consider, would be attracted to an eight-year commitment. He suggested the Space Force track the correlation between how people feel about longer enlistments and how well they score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, an entrance exam that determines which jobs a recruit is qualified to hold.

“Look before you leap,” he said.

Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.

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IMAGES

  1. Air Force approves special duty assignment pay > Air Force's Personnel

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  2. 2022 Military Pay Chart: A breakdown of new Basic Pay rates

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  3. 2022 Military Allowance, Incentive, Bonus & Special Pay

    air force special duty assignment pay 2022

  4. Pay Scale Air Force

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  5. Air Force Ranks and Basic Pay for 2022

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  6. FY21 Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP) charts are out on MyPers : r

    air force special duty assignment pay 2022

COMMENTS

  1. Air Force releases FY24 special duty assignment pay adjustments

    Published June 23, 2023 Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The Air Force has completed its annual review of special duty assignment pay for enlisted members using a new board process to ensure appropriate distribution based off the SDAP definition.

  2. PDF Special Duty Assignment Category (SPECAT) Guide

    The purpose of the SPECAT Guide is to provide additional mandatory eligibility qualifications and requirements for special duty assignments (Special Duty Identifiers {SDI} and Reporting Identifiers {RI}) above qualifications and requirements listed in the Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory (AFECD).

  3. PDF By Order of The Department of The Air Force Secretary of The Air ...

    USC § 352, Assignment Pay or Special Duty Pay. 2.1.3.2. Inform Air Force Personnel Center Assignments and Air Expeditionary Force Program Division (AFPC/DP3A), National Guard Bureau, Force Management Programs Branch (NGB/A1PP), Chief, Air Force Reserve (AF/RE) of continued assignment

  4. Special Duty Assignment Pay

    If you are an enlisted member who is performing duties which have been designated as extremely difficult or involving an unusual degree of responsibility in a military skill, you may be entitled to...

  5. My Base Guide

    With Air Force Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP) being cut for some at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, many up-and-coming military members are asking the questions, "What is SDAP?" and "Do I qualify for it?"

  6. Airmen brace for special duty pay cut in 2023

    Sep 2, 2022 Military training instructors are among the enlisted airmen whose special duty pay will be affected by budget cutbacks in 2023. (Brian Boisvert/Air Force) Hundreds of...

  7. Air Force reverses plan to cut special duty pay for enlisted airmen

    — The Air Force will no longer cut special duty assignment pay for enlisted airmen in some of the service's most grueling and important jobs, reversing a plan that was set to take...

  8. AF updates enlisted special duty assignment pay effective Nov. 1 > Air

    The Air Force will update enlisted special duty assignment pay for several career fields, locations or special assignment duties effective Nov. 1, following the most recent Air Force semiannual review. ... To see the full special duty assignment pay list and a summary of the changes, visit the enlisted compensation landing page on myPers.

  9. Special Pay

    Special Pay is additional monthly and/or annual pay given to eligible active duty Service members who perform certain specific duties, serve in specific geographic locations, occupy specific Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC), or are given certain specific assignments. Eligibility

  10. PDF SPECIAL DUTY ASSIGNMENT PAY (SDAP)

    SDAP is broken into six levels with pay rates ranging from $75 to $450 per month. Each military service assigns a level of SDAP to specific duty specialties and assignments. The current...

  11. Defense Finance and Accounting Service > MilitaryMembers

    Chapter 11 Special Pay-Diving Duty. Diving Duty Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay. Master Diver Skill Incentive Pay. Chapter 15: Special Pay - Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP) Army - 14 th Missile Defense Battery. September 30, 2021. Army - Drill Sergeant and Advance Individual Training Platoon Sergeant. Army - Cyber Command. September 30, 2023.

  12. Air Force releases FY24 special duty assignment pay adjustments

    ARLINGTON, VA, June 23, 2023 - The Air Force has completed its annual review of special duty assignment pay for enlisted members using a new board process to ensure appropriate distribution based off the SDAP definition. M y A ir F orce B enefits. M y A ir F orce B enefits. ... Air Force releases FY24 special duty assignment pay adjustments

  13. Assignment

    The Assignment Management System (AMS) is a web application that houses multiple applications in support of officer assignments, enlisted assignments, commander responsibilities, and individual Air Force members. Users have access to a portion of their own personnel data and the ability to use manning tools, volunteer for available assignments, and review career field information using AMS.

  14. Special duty assignment pay changes effective Oct. 1

    Special duty assignment pay levels for a handful of career fields changed effective Oct. 1 following the most recent Air Force biennial review. In addition, select nuclear career fields have been approved for special duty assignment pay, according to an, ... 2022 Archive Photos Video Graphics Press Releases Information. Newcomers ...

  15. Air Force Scraps Plan to Cut Special Duty Pay

    The Air Force is reversing a plan to cut the monthly Special Duty Assignment Pay incentives that hundreds of airmen receive to take on some of the service's toughest jobs, Military.com reported. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall made the announcement Monday at Air & Space Force Foundation's annual conference. "The past several months of inflation […]

  16. Special and Incentive Pay Index

    Career Incentive Section 301a Aviation Career Incentive Pay (ACIP). Section 301c Submarine Duty Incentive Pay (SUBPAY). Section 304 Diving Duty Pay. Section 305a Career Sea Pay (CSP)....

  17. AF updates enlisted special duty assignment pay effective Nov. 1 > Air

    The Air Force will update enlisted special duty assignment pay for several career fields, locations or special assignment duties effective Nov. 1, 2017, following the most recent Air Force semiannual review. , News, features and commentaries about Air Force Reserve people, equipment and missions

  18. Air Force releases FY24 special duty assignment pay adjustments

    The Air Force has completed its annual review of special duty assignment pay for enlisted members using a new board process to ensure appropriate distribution based off the SDAP definition. The review focused on identifying personnel in extremely demanding positions with unusually challenging responsibilities based on a defendable scoring ...

  19. News

    June 23, 2023 Air Force releases FY24 special duty assignment pay adjustments . The Air Force has completed its annual review of special duty assignment pay for enlisted members using a new board process to ensure appropriate distribution based off the SDAP definition.

  20. Assignment Incentive Pay

    Assignment Incentive Military Pay is often paid to service members for unusual assignment circumstances. Those service members who have involuntarily extended their tours in Iraq and Kuwait combat zones receive an additional $200 in hardship duty pay and another $800 in assignment incentive pay for a total of an extra $1000 a month.

  21. DOD 'slow rolling' fair special pays for Guard, Reserve, advocates say

    At issue are 18 entitlements such as aviator incentive pay, which distributes up to $1,000 per month to qualified active duty pilots, and jump pay, which pays $150 per month to active duty who ...

  22. Space Force mulls 8-year active duty enlistments for new recruits

    The first two guardian flights to experience a Space Force ecosystem within Air Force basic military training graduated at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, on June 22-23, 2022.