By Story by Téa Sambuco, Fort Riley Public AffairsDecember 28, 2018
Editor's note: Amounts below are subject to change. Always check with Military Pay or the financial counselors at Army Community Service for updates to financial regulations and how they affect deployment entitlements.
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- When Soldiers deploy, financial rules can vary based on where they go and if they leave family behind. There is help navigating those changes and understanding how they affect the bottom line. Sometimes added pay isn't what is expected when balanced with costs of living away from home.
It can be more expensive to have two households, even if one of those households is a tent in an austere environment.
"It's a hardship on them," said Ronald Aylor, Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program financial counselor. "They're being put in a situation that they're normally not in and they have extra expenses."
Aylor explained the entitlements Soldiers receive vary by location. These include Assignment Incentive Pay, Hardship Duty Pay and Family Separation Allowance.
Assignment Incentive Pay is for Soldiers who are in an austere environment such as field duty. They are given an additional $195 a month if their status remains in a field duty position.
Hardship Duty Pay also depends on duty location. If a Soldier in Atlantic Resolve goes to a place such as Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria or Romania, they are given up to an extra $50 a month based on quality of life. Those in Atlantic Resolve going to Poland do not receive Hardship Duty Pay. Soldiers going to areas within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility also receive Hardship Duty Pay.
Family Separation Allowance is for Soldiers who lived with dependents prior to deploying. The amount for Separation Pay is $250 per month or a prorated amount of $8.33 a day.
A quality review technician for the Defense Military Pay Office, Roger Vanderlinde, said deploying Soldiers are also authorized special leave accrual. This means they won't lose leave in excess of 60 days and can carry it over into the next fiscal year.
The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 1st Combat Aviation Brigade are part of Atlantic Resolve. 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade is headed to CENTCOM.
The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Vanderlinde said, is in essential unit messing because they have no other access to meals than those provided. This means they will receive Basic Allowance for Subsistence, but the reduced rate for meals will be deducted from each Soldier and reflected on their Leave and Earning Statement. They will also receive AIP and, if applicable, Family Separation Allowance. Hardship Duty Pay depends on location.
Soldiers from the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade are also going to a location with essential unit messing. Depending on the location, Soldiers may also receive Hardship Duty Pay. They will receive AIP. Soldiers with dependents will receive Family Separation Pay after the first 30 days.
Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade will keep BAS and receive Hardship Duty Pay, Imminent Danger Pay, Family Separation Allowance -- if applicable -- and they will be in a tax-exempt status. They will not receive AIP.
Vanderlinde said there are resources for Soldiers and spouses to gain more information on entitlements.
"Most every organization deploying has town hall meetings in the evening," he said.
During these meetings, members of the 9th Financial Management Support Unit give information on entitlements specific to their tour of duty.
In addition to the briefings, 9th FMSU commander, Col. Frank Tortella, said he is willing talk to any family readiness group about entitlements.
Additional Information on entitlements includes:
The rates for essential unit messing as of Oct. 1 can be found at https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/rates/fy2019/2019_g.pdf
Financial counselors are available through Army Community Service at 785-239-9435.
The Fort Riley Military Pay Office is also available to answer specifics about entitlements. They can be reached by calling 785-239-6104.