The military has many jobs that are considered hazardous and offers the men and women who choose these jobs special incentive pay. Members of the military who volunteer for these hazardous positions include pilots, SEALs, divers, parachutists, and more. The Navy offers special pay for being onboard submarines and working with nuclear energy plants. All of these jobs are deemed more dangerous than others.
To compensate U.S. service members who are assigned these high-risk duties, the armed forces usually issues a special payment of $150 per month, known as hazardous duty incentive pay. There are other pays that are more than the $150 rate, depending on the job.
Assignments That Qualify
Individuals on orders to perform the following duties are eligible:
|Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay|
|Hazardous Duty incentive Pay||Rates per month|
|Parachute - Static Line / Free Fall||$150 / $225|
|Flight Deck Duty||$150|
|Experimental Stress Duty||$150|
|Toxic Fuels (or Propellants) Duty||$150|
|Toxic Pesticides Duty||$150|
|Dangerous Viruses (or Bacteria) Lab Duty||$150|
|Chemical Munitions Duty||$150|
|Maritime Visit, Board, Search, Seizure (VBSS) Duty||$150|
|Polar Region Flight Operations Duty||$150|
|Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support (WMDCS) Team||$150|
For parachute duty (jump) pay, there are two separate amounts authorized. Regular jump pay is $150 per month. HALO (high-altitude, low-opening) parachute duty pay is $225 per month. Only one type of payment is authorized for a qualifying period. When a member qualifies for both types of duties, the higher rate of pay is authorized.
When the qualifications and requirements have been met, entitlement to hazardous duty incentive pay commences on the date the member reports for and enters on duty in compliance with competent orders. For instance, if you are a Navy diver but stationed at the Pentagon for a tour, you could lose your dive pay since you are not stationed at a base that dives regularly. You can still do a requalification dive every year and still receive your monthly payment if you remain qualified in that activity.
Entitlement ceases on the effective date published in orders for termination of such duty or the date the member is detached from and no longer required to perform the hazardous duty, whichever occurs first. When a member commences hazardous duty on a date other than the first day of a month, or terminates that duty on a date other than the 30th day of a month (or February 28 or 29, as appropriate) and otherwise meets the requirements for the month, then he or she is entitled to a prorated portion of the rate of pay for the month.
Dual hazardous duty incentive pay is limited to those members required by orders to perform specific multiple hazardous duties necessary for the successful accomplishment of the mission of the unit to which assigned.
Members who qualify for incentive pay for more than one type of hazardous duty may receive no more than two payments for the same period.
Hazardous duty incentive pay is not taxable.
Military service members who are part of the aircrew are eligible for a form of hazardous duty incentive pay more commonly known as flight pay. The following table reflects the current level of HDIP for each paygrade.
|Hazardous Duty Pay (Crew Member Non-AWAC)|
|Hazardous Duty Pay||Pay Grade Amount|
|O-7 - O-10||$150|
|O-5 - O-6||$250|
|O-1 - O-4||$150|
|W-4 - W-5||$250|
|W-1 - W-2||$150|
|E-7 - E-9||$240|
|E-1 - E-3||$150|
Incentive for members to volunteer for and remain in diving duty such as Navy divers, Navy SEALs, Navy explosive ordnance disposal, Army divers, and Marine RECON/MarSOC divers compensates divers for the hazardous duty. As of 2019, up to $340 per month may be paid to enlisted divers and up to $240 per month payable to officers.
You also can receive added payment depending upon where you live or are deployed. The hazard duty pay—location (HDP-L) is special pay the Department of Defense authorizes for service members permanently stationed or serving temporarily in locations with a significantly lower quality of living than is normally experienced by service members and residents in the continental United States.