September 24, 2006:
The 1,200 or so new U.S. Marine SOF (Special Operations Forces) have received a retroactive (to last June) pay raise. NCOs (enlisted pay grades E4-E9) now get monthly special-duty assignment pay of $150 to $375, depending on rank. Bonuses for SOF personnel is becoming more common, as these troops increasingly take the lead in counter-terror operations. While recruiting by civilian security firms is a problem, it's not the major one. The big problem is the increased time away from home, and the strain that places on families. The extra money doesn't solve either of these problems, but it helps.