Posted on Nov 18, 2013
SGM Matthew Quick
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What are your thoughts on the changes?

Are you 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."
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Responses: 2
SFC Center Commander
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I think there are issues behind the SDAP changes that are either overlooked or ignored. I'm assigned to a recruiting center in Los Angeles. The BAH isn't adequate for this area. The only way to get adequate housing and stay within your BAH is to live over an hour away from work. We do get COLA ($32/month), so BAH and COLA don't even make up for the real cost of living. So in reality, Soldiers assigned to areas like LA aren't even using their SDAP for what it's supposed to be used for, we're using it to make up the difference in lack of BAH and COLA for the area. Key leaders really need to take a look at the cost of living in an area and quit going by spreadsheets and formulas. Go to rent.com or something and actually look at the living conditions and re-evaluate BAH and COLA. It's actually best to get the information from the Soldiers on the ground (imagine that), because we know the areas, the REAL driving time from certain areas, and so forth. With the decrease in SDAP, we're going to see a lot of NCOs reaching out for financial counseling and could also see security clearances in jeopardy if your Soldiers are already living paycheck to paycheck. And on a side note, shame on them for reducing SDAP for drill sergeants.
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SFC Rocky Gannon
SFC Rocky Gannon
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SFC D, I agree being in USAREC over 12 years, there are a lot of late hours early mornings to go to the MEPS and missed family actitivies. They should not cut SDAP for anyone.
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COL Senior Strategic Cyber Planner
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SDAP is a critical piece of retaining quality personnel in some of the most demanding assignments.
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