Army to Boost Special Pay for Recruiters, Drill Sergeants

Conversation with a recruiter.

The Army announced plans Wednesday to boost special incentive pay starting Jan. 1 for enlisted soldiers with the rank of E-3 and above, including drill sergeants, recruiters and those serving at Arlington National Cemetery, who are deemed to have "extremely demanding duties."

In a release, the Army did not immediately specify how much of an increase will go to Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP) for enlisted soldiers or state how many soldiers would be eligible.

However, the release states, "This change in policy translates to an increase to some programs' pay and new eligibility for others."

An Army spokesman said details on the pay and eligibility would be forthcoming.

SDAP is described as "a discretionary incentive pay that eligible enlisted soldiers, serving in grades E-3 or higher, may receive based on the characterization of their duty assignment. Special duty assignments are those designated to have extremely demanding duties requiring extraordinary effort for satisfactory performance or an unusual degree of responsibility."

"The goal of the Special Pay Panel was to validate recommendations of challenging positions that require soldiers to consistently perform in an 'above and beyond' manner and then make recommendations concerning levels of incentive payments," said Larry Lock, head of the 2016 Special Pay Panel.

The change to the Army's SDAP policy includes increasing incentive pay for drill sergeants and recruiters, the release said. Another change authorized SDAP eligibility for soldiers serving in The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, specifically soldiers serving in the Caisson Platoon and at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"These updates to incentive pay allow us to target and recognize those soldiers who simply have difficult assignments," Lock said.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at

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