Troops could see hazardous duty pay increase by $25 next year under a provision added Wednesday to the House national defense authorization bill.
The proposal would increase the monthly pay, awarded to some personnel stationed in certain locations and those who work under hazardous conditions as part of their military duties, from $250 to $275.
Mississippi Rep. Trent Kelly, an Army Reserve brigadier general and ranking member of the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee, introduced the measure, which was passed unanimously by the House Armed Services Committee and will be forwarded to the entire House for a vote.
"We ask our warfighters to deploy in harm's way, and this minimal increase is a step in the right direction to show them that we support them as they fight in defense of this nation and our allies while separated from their friends and family," Kelly said during bill deliberations.
The measure will have to clear the House and be agreed to in the Senate before it could become law, however.
The increase would not apply to service members in combat zones, who receive up to $450 a month in special pays.
Kelly attributed the decision to increase the money to Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., who also has asked that the House consider expanding the parameters for personnel to receive the pay, also known as hazardous duty incentive pay.
Kelly said he plans to ask the subcommittee to review hazard and other incentive pays for personnel, "especially those in the special operations community."
The Senate’s defense policy bill contains no similar measure on hazardous duty pay. It does, however, include a proposal from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, to provide hazardous duty pay to military personnel responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.