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Hardship Duty Pay

U.S. Marines with the Maritime Raid Force (MRF), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, detonate a water charge on a mock-up of a steel door during a demolition range conducted at Arta Beach, Djibouti, Feb. 6. Cpl. Devan K. Gowans/Marine Corps
U.S. Marines with the Maritime Raid Force (MRF), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, detonate a water charge on a mock-up of a steel door during a demolition range conducted at Arta Beach, Djibouti, Feb. 6. Cpl. Devan K. Gowans/Marine Corps

Hardship duty pay is is additional compensation paid to servicemembers assigned to locations where living conditions are substantially below those conditions in the continental U.S. (CONUS). The following is a summary of HDP:

Military Hardship Duty Pay-Location

HDP-L is compensation paid to members assigned outside the continental United States in Quality of Life (QoL) Hardship locations -- Locations where QoL living conditions are substantially below the standard most members in the continental United States would generally experience. HDP-L is intended to recognize the extraordinary arduous living conditions, excessive physical hardship, and/or unhealthful conditions that exist in a location or assignment. Rates are payable in increments of $50, $100, or $150 a month based on the level of QoL hardship in a given area.


  • All members serving on PCS in a designated area, or serving in a temporary duty or deployed status for over 30 consecutive days in the area will receive HDP-L
  • Members on permanent reassignment to the area will be eligible from the day of arrival
  • Members TDY to the area are not eligible during the first 30 days of consecutive service at the designated location. On the 31 st day, HDP-L will be payable retroactive to the date of reporting.
  • Entitlement to HDP-L continues through the date of departure on PCS.

For specific conditions of this entitlement, including a list of current and past locations, view the OSD Military Compensation website.

Military Hardship Duty Pay-Mission

HDP-M is payable to members both officer and enlisted, for performing designated hardship missions. HDP-M is payable at the full monthly rate during any part of which, the member performs a specified mission. A member assigned to, on temporary duty with or otherwise under the operational control of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA), or the Central Identification Lab-Hawaii (CIL-HI) may qualify for HDP-M based on performance of a hardship mission members so assigned are entitled for each month in which they perform investigative or remains recovery in a remote, isolated area (including, but not limited to, areas in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and North Korea) for recovery of U.S. service member remains.

Hardship Duty Pay - Involuntary Extension

Hardship Duty Pay for Involuntary extension of duty is a $200 a month HDP payable to servicemembers serving on a designated involuntary extension of duty. Only members assigned or attached to specific units deployed to the Iraqi area of operations are eligible.

To qualify for the Involuntary Extension Program for Iraq the following must happen:

  • Servicemembers must be serving in a unit in Iraq.
  • The unit must be specified by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to continue to serve beyond their scheduled 12 month deployment.
  • And including staging time served 12 consecutive months or 12 months within a 15 month period.

The maximum total of HDP-L, HDP-M, and HDP- Involuntary Extension combined compensation that may be paid to an individual member in any one month is $1,500.

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