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Special and Incentive Pays

Basic pay and allowances are only a part of the military compensation picture. Many military members qualify for special pays and incentives that are part of the service's recruitment and retention efforts. Some compensate members for assignment to hazardous or difficult duty conditions.

NOTICE: Changes to Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) and Hardship Duty Pay - Location (HDP-L): Effective June 1, 2014, there will be changes to the locations designated as imminent danger areas for IDP purposes. The press release from DoD has more information. Our HFP/IDP page has general information on this special pay. Effective June 1, 2014 there will be some changes to the Hardship Duty Pay-Location (HDP-L) Special Pay. The HDP-L monthly rate in East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Montenegro (Podgorica), Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is increased to $150. The HDP-L monthly rate in Bahrain will be established at $50.

The Military Compensation website provides pages that describe some of the more common special pays. These include:

There are more than 60 special and incentive pays. The following is a list of those authorized by law. Visit your military finance office to find out if your service has implemented a specific special pay or incentive and whether you are eligible to receive it. You can get a definition of each at Military Compensation.

Hazardous Duty Arduous Duty Assignment Career Incentive Accession Proficiency Retention Responsibility Rehabilitation Skill Conversion Transfer between Services Medical Updated May 15, 2014