Deployment Combat Zone
Military Pay Entitlements
Military Pay entitlements change when Service Members deploy. For more Military Pay information check out our Military Pay section. The following information is provided to help Service Members arrange their finances in preparation for deployment:
a. Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). Soldiers will deploy in a TCS status. All deploying Soldiers will receive BAS / Separate Rations. BAS will continue for Soldiers who are receiving it at the time of deployment and will be started for Soldiers who are on meal cards.
b. Per Diem. All deployed Service Members who are in a Temporary Change of Station (TCS) or TDY status are entitled to OCONUS incidental per diem at $3.50 a day or $105 a month. Most contingency areas have check cashing functions, but no ATMs; so take your checkbook and/or a cash advance on your government travel card, before you depart.
c. Hostile Fire Pay (HFP)/Imminent Danger Pay (IDP). HFP/IDP is payable to all Service Members in the total land and air space of Iraq. Service Members receive $225.00 a month for each month, or part of a month, in which the Service Member is present in the HFP/IDP area. Entitlement starts upon arrival to the authorized location and terminates upon departure.
d. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CZTE). Public Law authorizes CZTE for all Service Members receiving HFP in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Service Member who is present, however brief, in this area, including airspace, and is on official duty qualifies for CZTE for that month. All pay for both enlisted personnel and warrant officers is tax exempt for the months spent in the CZTE area.
All enlisted pay, allowances, andleave, earned in a TDY location, designated for ‘Combat Zone Tax Exemption’ (CZTE), are tax free. Bonuses are paid, based on rank when earned. Bonus money remains tax free, even if paid in installments over the next several years. When tax exempt leave is taken, taxable wages are reduced on W-2 wage & tax statements at end of tax year, based on the number of days members earned while in combat zone. Commissioned officer pay is tax exempt at an amount equal to the Sergeant Major of the Army’s Basic Pay plus HFP. For calendar year 2004, this is equal to $6,315.90 per month (6,090.90 + 225.00).
Combat zones and the applicable dates are determined by Presidential Executive Order. Currently, members assigned to the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea that is north of 10o N latitude and west of 68o E longitude, Gulf of Aden, total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan are in a designated combat zone.
e. Hardship Duty Pay-Location (HDP-L). Indicated as Save Pay on the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), is payable to all Service Members on a monthly basis according to location and living conditions. HDP-L is for service members serving in areas located in 150 countries designated by the Secretary of Defense as arduous.
HDP-L pay is designated for service members who serve over 30 days in these designated areas. They receive an amount varying from $50 to $150 month depending on the designated area of service. Those service members serving in areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq qualify for both Imminent Danger Pay and Hardship Duty Pay and can earn up to $325 per month in additional compensation. HDP-L is prorated if you are in the AOR for a partial month. (ref: DOD FMR Vol 7 Table 17-1).
Currently, HDP-L is payable at a rate of $150 per month for all Service Members assigned to Area-I in Korea. Deployed Service Members will continue to receive HDP-L.
f. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). Service Members drawing BAH at their permanent duty station (PDS) will continue to draw BAH during the deployment.
g. Family Separation Allowance (FSA). FSA is paid when a Service Member is involuntarily separated from his/her dependents or active duty spouse for more than 30 days. It is payable at $250.00 per month, or $8.33 per day. Service Members currently drawing FSA will continue to do so upon deployment. Service Members who reside with their Command Sponsored or Non Command Sponsored Family members will receive FSA the day they depart for the OIF Theater. Stay in touch with your family with cheap voice or video phone calls over the internet.
The purpose of Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is to defray minor costs incurred due to enforced separation over 30 days. Separation must begin with a continuous 30 day separation. Temporary visits are authorized after the member is separated from the Permanent Durty Station (PDS). The supporting document for payment of FSA is DD Form 1561 (Statement to Substantiate Payment of Family Separation Allowance). Ensure the certifying officer signs this form before submission. Reference: DoD 7000.14-R Volume 7A, Chaper 27.
h. Selective Re-enlistment Bonus (SRB). The SRB is entirely tax-exempt when a Service Member re-enlists in a CZTE area. Accrued leave sold by enlisted Service Members while in a CZTE area, whether earned in that area or not, is tax exempt. Leave accrued by any Service Member
while serving in the CZTE area, which remains unused at separation, is tax exempt.
i. Savings Deposit Program (SDP). All Service Members deployed at least 30 consecutive days may contribute to this risk free program. Service Members may make any number of deposits in any amount each month, provided the total deposited in a one month period does not exceed the Service Member’s monthly net pay and allowances. Interest is paid at the guaranteed rate of 10 percent per annum, compounded quarterly (calendar quarter). Contributions are limited to $10,000, so the most someone could earn is $500 in interest over a six-month deployment or $1,000 for a one-year deployment. The money must be withdrawn within 90 days of returning from the deployment region. This is a great opportunity for service members to accrue at a higher interest rate than at an average interest rate of two or three percent.
Service members use the program by making deposits with their deployed finance unit. Service members may begin making deposits on their 31st consecutive day in the designated area. Eligibility to make deposits terminates on the date of departure from theater. Active duty members may make deposits by cash, personal check, traveler’s check, money order or allotment. Reserve component members may make deposits by cash, personal check or money order only. Standing policies regarding personal check acceptance and regulatory restrictions regarding number and type of allotments apply.
k. Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs). LESs and Mid-month Net Pay Advice forms will be sent to the Service Members at their deployed locations. In addition, Service Members with access to the Internet will be able to access their LESs through “myPay” online at www.dod.mil/dfas.j. Special-Leave Accrual (SLA). SLA accrues when a Service Member
serves in an area in which he or she was entitled to Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay for at least 120 continuous days. Special Leave Accrual authorizes Service Members to carry up to 90 days of leave at the end of a Fiscal Year. Accrued Special Leave must be used before the end of the third fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the qualifying service ended.
With a general power of attorney, Service Members can grant their spouse access to their LES. Spouses with power of attorney should request the LES from the unit’s rear detachment commander or NCOIC. By law, spouses are not authorized to have Service Members “myPay” PIN.
l. Power of Attorney (POA). With a special power of attorney, the Service Member can grant their spouse the right to establish, change, or stop an allotment. The special power of attorney must specifically state the authority to establish, change, or stop allotments. In addition, a special power of attorney can be used to establish, change, or stop transactions involving the Thrift Savings Plan and the Savings Deposit Program.
m. Dependent Support. Service Members must ensure their families have access to adequate financial support in their absence. This may include access to checking and/or savings accounts or establishment of allotments. Checking accounts are generally preferred in order to maximize access to funds by both the Service Member and their dependent(s).
n. Pay Adjustments. The manifest will be used to start, stop and adjust numerous pay entitlements. It is critical that Service Members returning prior to the main body (ie. emergency leave, etc.) are reported to finance and are followed up on by the rear detachment commander to ensure the necessary adjustments are made. Failure to make the adjustments will result in overpayments and cause unnecessary and extreme hardships on the Service Member.
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KUWAIT: Hardship Duty Pay -$100, Hostile Fire Pay, Savings Deposit Program, CZTE, FSH-II, BAS, Per Diem, SLA
SAUDI ARABIA: Hardship Duty Pay – $100 (Ar’ar Airport & Tabuk Air Base only), Hostile Fire Pay, Savings Deposit Program, CZTE, FSH-II, BAS, Per Diem, SLA
AFGHANISTAN: Hardship Duty Pay – $100, Hostile Fire Pay, Savings Deposit Program, CZTE, FSH-II, BAS, Per Diem, SLA
UZBEKISTAN: Hardship Duty Pay – $100, Hostile Fire Pay, Savings Deposit Program, CZTE, FSH-II, BAS, Per Diem, SLA
PAKISTAN: Hardship Duty Pay – $100, Hostile Fire Pay, Savings Deposit Program, CZTE, FSH-II, BAS, Per Diem, SLA
IRAQ: Hardship Duty Pay – $100, Hostile Fire Pay, Savings Deposit Program, CZTE, FSH-II, BAS, Per Diem, SLA
p. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion Zones. Combat zones are designated by an Executive Order from the President as areas in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. There are currently three such combat zones (including the airspace above each):
Arabian Peninsula Areas, beginning Jan. 17, 1991 — the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, the part of the Arabian Sea north of 10° North latitude and west of 68° East longitude, the Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Kosovo area, beginning Mar. 24, 1999 — Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Albania, the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea north of the 39th Parallel.
Afghanistan, beginning Sept. 19, 2001.
Public Law 104-117 designates three parts of the former Yugoslavia as a Qualified Hazardous Duty Area, to be treated as if it were a combat zone, beginning Nov. 21, 1995 — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Macedonia.
In support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan combat zone):
Pakistan, Tajikistan and Jordan – Sept. 19, 2001
Incirlik Air Base, Turkey – Sept. 21, 2001 through Dec. 31, 2005
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan – Oct. 1, 2001
Philippines (only troops with orders referencing Operation Enduring Freedom) – Jan. 9, 2002
Yemen – Apr. 10, 2002
Djibouti – July 1, 2002
Somalia – Jan. 1, 2004
In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Arabian Peninsula Areas combat zone):
Turkey – Jan. 1, 2003 through Dec. 31, 2005
Israel – Jan. 1 through July 31, 2003
the Mediterranean Sea east of 30° East longitude – Mar. 19 through July 31, 2003
Jordan – Mar. 19, 2003
Egypt – Mar. 19 through Apr. 20, 2003
CZTE information from IRS Website
q. Other Reimburseable Expenses for TDY Travel. When submitting TDY travel vouchers, claim conference fees, lodging costs, taxes on lodging, CTO airfare and service fees (charged to GTC), and rental car amounts in the “Reimbursable Expenses” column. Attach original and one copy of receipts for these items. Military members and “disabled” civilian employees may claim personal baggage handling tips at the airport. All personnel may claim taxi fares (no receipt required if under $75); ATM fees ($2.00 or 3% of ATM withdrawal-whichever is greatest), and baggage handling for “government property”.
It is always a good idea to save money for “a rainy day.” Take a look at our Military Emergency Savings Plan article for advice on setting money aside for emergencies and contingencies that come up – an especially good idea to accomplish before a service member deploys.
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