Morale: Overtime Pay For Combat Duty


March 10, 2007: The U.S. Department of Defense is now paying troops an extra thousand dollars a month for every month, over a year, that they are in a combat zone. This has made a lot of U.S. Army personnel happy, or at least less unhappy, when their tours in Iraq or Afghanistan get extended beyond a year. But the U.S. Marine Corps has a problem because its normal tours are seven months long, and sometimes marines get held over for several months beyond that. The marines are trying to scrape up the money to pay their troops an extra $250 a month for each month over seven, that they serve in a combat zone.

These additional payments for troops in a combat zone are also a way to reduce the envy the troops have for former soldiers who are making big bucks as civilians security contractors in Iraq. As a practical matter, most troops know they could not get one of these jobs, since the contractors seek out those with more time in uniform, and especially elite types (Special Forces and SEALs). But the envy is still there, and the extra money makes a difference.


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