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Special Pay and Incentive Pay for the Military

Special Military Pay

As a service member, you will receive different types of pay during the course of your military career. There is your base pay, BAH for your housing, and BAS for food. There are also different special and incentive pays, over 60 of them which you may or may not qualify over the course of your military career.

Some of these pays are only for certain branches, and others you might never qualify for. Many of these pays are to help induce service members into the types of duty involved.

Military Special Pays and Incentive Pays

Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay (HDIP)

These are entitlement pays, payable to enlisted members and officers.

  • Flying Duty, Crew Members 

For performing a hazardous duty that involves frequent and regular aerial flight as a crew member. $110 to $250 per month and is determined by grade.

  • Flying Duty, Non-Crew Members

For performing a hazardous duty that involves frequent and regular aerial flight as a non-crew member. $150 per month.

  • Parachute Duty Pay

For performing a hazardous duty which involves jumping and parachute duty. $150 a month, except for High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jumps which are $225 a month.

  • Pressure Chamber Duty Pay, Acceleration and Deceleration Duty Pay, and Thermal Stress Duty Pay

Hazardous duty pay that is related to participation as a human test subject in low and high pressure, acceleration or deceleration, or thermal stress chambers. $150 a month.

  • Flight Deck Duty Pay

For more than normal dangerous flight deck duty. $150 per month.

  • Toxic Pesticides Personal Exposure

Hazardous duty involving frequent and regular exposure to highly toxic pesticides. $150 a month.

  • Toxic Fuel/Propellants and Chemical Munitions Exposure Duty Pay

For more than normal dangerous duty which entails exposure to toxic fuels or propellants, or chemical munitions. $150 a month.

  • Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) – Maritime Interdiction Operations

Hazardous duty that involves regular participation as a member of a team conducting VBSS operations aboard vessels that are in support of maritime interdiction operations. Only Navy service members perform this time of duty. $150 a month.

Arduous Duty

  • Hardship Duty Pay

For those serving in areas that are designated as a hardship by the Secretary of Defence. There are two types; Quality of Life (QoL) Hardship Locations (HDP-L,) and for those in designated hardship missions (HDP-M.) Locations are designated as hardship duty locations if the QoL in the area is substantially below the standard most service members would generally experience in the United States. This is discretionary pay. The maximum payable by law is $1,500 a month. Monthly rates are $50, $100, and $150 for HDP-L, and $150 for HDP-M.

Assignment Pay

  • Assignment Incentive Pay

Incentive pay to service members that perform service, while entitled to basic pay, in an assignment designated by the Secretary concerned. For difficult-to-fill jobs or assignments in less desirable locations. This is discretionary pay. Monthly statutory maximum pay is $3,000.

  • Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Pay (OTEIP)

For service members that are in certain critical skill classifications that extend their tour overseas for the convenience of the Government. The law authorizes payment monthly, or pay up to $80 as well as an annual bonus not to exceed $2,000 per year.

Career Incentive Pay

  • Aviation Career Incentive Pay (ACIP)

Incentive pay for officers to serve as military aviators throughout a military career. This is entitlement pay. $125-$400 a month, depending on the years of aviation service as an officer.

  • Submarine Duty Incentive Pay (SUBPAY)

Incentive pay for submarine duty and to compensate for the more than normal arduous character of this type of duty. This is entitlement pay. The Secretary of the Navy may set the SUBPAY rates within a statutory cap of $1,000 a month. The current rates are $98-950 a month.

  • Diving Duty Pay

An incentive for diving duty and to compensate divers for the more than normal dangerous character of this type of duty. This is entitlement pay, and rates are set by Services with statutory caps. Up to $340 a month for enlisted, and $240 a month for officers.

  •  Career Sea Pay (CSP)

Career Sea Pay is for active duty enlisted service members or commissioned officers on sea duty. There is also Career Sea Pay Premium which is for those who have served more than 36 consecutive months of sea duty. This is entitlement pay. Between $50-$730 for the Navy, and other amounts for other branches. 

  • Career Enlisted Flyer Incentive Pay (CEFIP)

An incentive pay to serve throughout your military career as an enlisted flyer. This is discretionary pay, for only the Air Force and Navy. Monthly maximums are $150-$400 dependent on years of aviation service.

Accession Pay

  • Enlistment Bonus (EB)

When you enlist in the armed forces. This is a discretionary bonus. The maximum amount by law is $40,000.

  • Nuclear Officer Accession Bonus

To encourage people to join the Navy’s nuclear power officer community. This is for the Navy. The maximum amount by law is $30,000.

  • Accession Bonus for New Officers in Critical Skills

For an individual who agrees to accept a commission and serve on active duty in a designated critical skills for the period specified in the agreement. This is discretionary pay. Service Secretaries have the authority to offer up to $60,000.

This article describes 19 of the many different Special and Incentive pays. See if there are any that you would be interested in or could qualify for to earn even more money as a military service member.