SOFREP has just reported about the pay cuts for Air Force recruiters that amounts to $900 in losses in their annual salary. We have also extensively covered the marketing problem in the military’s recruitment and the massive challenge of different US military branches failing to hit recruitment numbers for years since the Iraq war. Still, we have learned that military recruitment woes are not stopping there.

According to the newly released 2023 Budget Estimates from the Department of the Air Force, they are cutting the pay of some of the most dangerous jobs in the department.

“The Military Personnel, Air Force Appropriate provides financial resources to compensate active military personnel…The budget activity structure and detailed justification demonstrate how the military personnel program is controlled.”

With their new budget, hundreds of active service members will see pay cuts to their Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP). The implementation starts as soon as Oct. 1. These monthly pay cuts range from $74 to $450, which totals $900 to $5400 in annual cuts. These extra incentives were reportedly set “to compensate enlisted service members who serve in extremely difficult duties.”

Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft kicking up a cloud of smoke from the engines before taking off from Boston Common (Source: Chris Devers/Flickr)

The budget documents also noted that the Air Force is asking the federal government for 30 845 airmen to receive about $90.2 million worth of Special Duty Assignment Pay; this figure is $1.5 million lower than the numbers they had two years ago.

“The FY 2023 budget reduces manpower commensurate with force structure reductions necessary to invest in capabilities required for a future in high-end fight. Tomorrow’s challenges require more Airmen trained and ready to fight utilizing F-35, B-21, KC-45, and Joint All Domain Command and Control.”

The Air Force is $3 million short when it comes to reaching the Special Duty Assignment Budget for 2023.

Here is a list of Air Force positions that would receive pay cuts starting Oct. 1:

  • Recruiters
  • Basic Military Training instructors
  • Human Intelligence debriefers
  • Combat Controllers
  • Pararescue operators
  • Command chief master sergeants
  • First sergeants
  • Defense Attaché Office (DAO) liaisons
  • Nuclear Enterprise airmen
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) agents
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) supervisors
  • Postal and National Defense Advisory Commission (NDAC) enablers
  • Tactical Air Command and Control Party (TACP) operators
  • Enlisted pilots and weapons directors
  • Parachute instructors and those with test parachute program
  • Flight attendants
  • Mission system specialists
  • Load masters
  • USAF Honor Guards
  • Special Reconnaissance operators
  • Phoenix Raven Security Forces defenders
  • Forward Area Refueling Point enablers
  • Flying crew chiefs
  • Defense couriers
  • Airmen who support various commands
  • Enlisted airmen who work with special government agencies
  • Public affairs airmen assigned to recruiting squadrons
  • Air transportation airmen
  • Airmen assigned to special classified Air Force projects.

Moreover, the document stated that they will continue to employ “a variety of monetary incentives to encourage the recruiting and retention of talented Airmen.”