DOD Considering Removing Some Countries From Hazard Pay List

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Thousands of troops could see smaller paychecks if the Department of Defense agrees on a plan to remove several countries off the danger pay roster.

Currently, more than two dozen countries are considered dangerous enough to warrant hazard pay for the men and women serving there. Until early last year, troops received the full stipend of $225 a month for any partial or complete month served in one of those countries; that changed to $7.50 a day in February 2012.

Now, 18 countries and five waterways on the list are being considered for removal, the rationale being that they are no longer perilous enough for hazard pay. According to the Associated Press, Bahrain, Jordan, Liberia, Haiti and several former Soviet republics are among the places that may be dropped from the danger pay roster.

Officials have argued that if service members are allowed to bring their families with them for assignments in places like Bahrain, then it is difficult to argue that they should receive danger pay.

The plan would save $120 million a year, but would also affect the salaries of the 56,000 service members serving in those places.

Troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, the Sinai Peninsula and--if troops ever were deployed there--Iran would still receive hazard pay if the plan is approved.

Senior defense and military officials are meeting in the coming days to review the proposal.