Army offers pay to extend war tours
BAMBERG, Germany — The U.S. Army is offering soldiers in certain jobs up to $500 extra a month if they are willing to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan beyond their 12-month deployments.
The incentive pay voluntary extensions program offers $300 a month to soldiers who agree to serve up to three additional months, and $500 a month to those to are willing to extend for more than three months, according to an Army Human Resources Command message.
This program, however, comes with several stipulations.
Soldiers eligible for the extra pay are those serving on temporary change of station orders in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are soldiers who are assigned to units to fill a specific slot. Additionally, these soldiers must be assigned to units above the brigade level and not subject to unit rotations.
It also applies to soldiers serving in the Army’s Worldwide Individual Augmentee System or those assigned to Training Transition Teams that help train Iraq and Afghan security forces, according to the Army message.
Currently 20,000 soldiers are eligible for the extra pay, according to Lt. Col. Mike Moose, spokesman for the Army Human Resources Command, but he notes that number changes daily.
Eligible soldiers need to submit their request via DA Form 4187 through their assigned unit. Those forms will then be routed through the appropriate human resource commands at the theater level, the message reads.
The Army also offers the incentive to soldiers serving in South Korea. Starting in 2004, soldiers were offered $300 a month for a one-year extension and $400 a month if the soldier agreed to stay in South Korea for an additional two years. Nearly 25 percent of the soldiers who were eligible for the program in 2004 took the extra cash, Stars and Stripes reported at the time.
The Marines and Navy also have run similar programs in recent years.