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.”
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:
- 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.”
“Recognizing Air Force historic retention, targeted Retention Bonuses will be offered to both officers (Officer Retention Bonus) and enlisted Airmen (Selective Retention Bonus) in specialties with low manning or poor retention and high replacement training costs.”
“These bonuses take aim at enlisted Airmen who reenlist/extend their current enlistment or officers who agree to continue serving on active duty for at least one additional year in specialties such as cyber, maintenance, nuclear, battlefield airmen, explosive ordinance, intelligence and pilots.”
Losing pay is a blow to recruiter’s morale as well as for those who are on active duty. Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, head of the Air Force Recruiting Service, said he promises to push for extra pay to be reinstated next fiscal year.
Service spokeswoman Laurel Falls also said in an interview that they received reduced funding levels, which is why their budget is restricted for the Fiscal Year 2023.
“The Air Force saw an overall reduction of over $3 million to the FY23 SDAP budget based on fiscal constraints. Due to the reduced funding levels, SDAP rates for 44 functional communities saw reductions.”
However, pay cuts can reportedly be avoided if lawmakers would reinstate the Special Duty Assignment Pay difference in the 2023 budget proposal before it is pushed to congress. However, the department only has a few months to propose this to congress before the budget is finalized this year.
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