The Department of Defense announced today the implementation of a new special pay to recognize members assigned to areas with extraordinarily arduous quality-of-life conditions. The new Hardship Duty Pay for designated locations (HDP-L) will replace the Certain Places Pay (CPP) that has been in effect since 1949. CPP, which is restricted to enlisted persons serving in specific locations outside the continental United States (CONUS), currently provides $8 to $22.50 per month. Those rates have not been updated for many years.
The new HDP-L will be paid beginning Jan. 1, 2001, to active and reserve officers and enlisted servicemembers serving in 110 countries at rates of $50, $100, or $150 a month, depending upon the severity of conditions in the area. Although most members will not see this new pay until the Feb. 1, 2001, payday, the pay will be retroactive to Jan. 1. Other areas qualifying for the new pay may be designated in the future based on requests submitted by unified and component commanders.
Not all areas currently designated for CPP meet the criteria for HDP-L. Servicemembers assigned to these areas will be grandfathered through Dec. 31, 2001, to allow time for their unit commanders to review the new HDP-L criteria and apply for it by submitting a DoD Hardship Duty Location Assessment Questionnaire. If the area is approved for HDP-L, personnel will begin receiving the new pay within one month of approval. If not, these members will continue to receive CPP until reassigned from the area. Moreover, commanders may resubmit a hardship questionnaire at any time if conditions change in their area or if they disagree with the level of HDP-L they have been awarded.
HDP-L will provide meaningful financial recognition to members assigned to areas where living conditions are substantially below the standard most service persons would generally experience in CONUS. The most significant boost in pay is aimed at members serving under the most arduous of conditions. For example, $150 per month will be paid to members serving in South Korea's DMZ (Area 1), Diego Garcia, Johnston Island, and Antarctica. To qualify, members must be assigned to the areas permanently, or on a temporary basis for more than 30 consecutive days.
In determining whether an area qualifies for HDP-L, three broad categories of factors are considered within the assessment questionnaire: physical environment (physical isolation, climate, social isolation), living conditions (sanitation, disease, medical facilities, housing, food, recreational and community facilities); and personal security (political violence, harassment, crime).