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Imminent Danger Pay: What you need to know

Service members serving in dangerous locations receive Imminent Danger Pay as compensation. Now, according to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the stipulations for receiving IDP are now changing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder)

Service members serving in dangerous locations receive imminent danger pay as compensation. Now, according to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the stipulations for receiving special pay are now changing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder)

Before the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, service members received the full monthly amount of imminent danger pay for serving any time in a designated imminent danger area.

Effective Feb. 1, the Department of Defense began prorating the special pay to compensate service members $7.50 for each day they are in an imminent danger area.  If a member is there for the entire month, he or she will receive the full rate of $225 per month.

What is imminent danger pay?

Imminent Danger Pay is paid to a member on duty in an area designated as an imminent danger area.

What is an imminent danger area?

An imminent danger area is one in which a member is subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism, or wartime conditions.

How will this change affect me?

Some members may have been overpaid between the date the NDAA was signed on December 31, 2011, and February 1, 2012, when the pay systems began proration.

The military services are working to waive or remit debts for members who may have been overpaid for January. Members do not need to request or take any action for this to take place.

Furthermore, service members may see a difference in their paychecks as early as Feb. 15. If you have questions about this pay please contact your finance office.

For more information visit:

DOD Begins Prorating Imminent Danger Pay

Defense Finance and Accounting

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22 Responses

  1. Matt Vandenberg says:

    You all realize that they’re not getting paid 7.50 for the entire day right…that’s just an added bonus when they are in a dangerous combat zone. If combat troops got paid 7.50 a day I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be fighting.

    Most soldiers make between 2-4 thousand a month.

  2. PISC84 says:

    Hey, NJ, do you work at disbursing?  I have a few questions for you.  On point #1, since Marines are on duty 24 hours a day and you claim they are not making minimum wage, let me just use an example.  I will use a whopping $10 per hour.  While deployed we ARE on duty 24 hours a day so that is $240 per day and at the end of the month that is $7200 and in a year that is $86,400.  So you are telling me that the average man or woman serving makes this much in a year?  Let me answer that for you. No, they do not. #2 Makes no sense. #3 Not so. All hostile fire is not from IEDs. And even if it were so, then most would get $225 anyway because they come under fire quite frequently, so much in fact, it is not always recorded, so this comment is again, no sense.
    In summary: You did not do your homework. 0 for the day for you.

  3. PISC84 says:

    I dont see Marines on here bee-tching.  I see civilians and parents, so no, I would say not.  The point is that is is disgraceful that the little bit it is – in the grand budget of our nation – now it is being drawn back.  There are many, many ways that more money can be saved.   Here is one, how about Congress and Senate only gets paid on days they come to work?  That would save millions a year, not just thousands, oh it is the same principle; you’re not there, you don’t get the pay. Good Day.

  4. PISC84 says:

    Well now Devil Dog, I certainly am not ignorant of military pay, so let me rephrase what the good folks are trying to convey to those who are making decisions.  Yes, most Marines join the Corps for non monetary reasons, however, when you consider what they do 24/7 and 365, the pay is a joke.  Why do individuals who are living it up in DC, get sometimes 10 times the pay of a Lance Corporal even with your above calculations?  The point is, yes, they can survive, but it is unbelievable that the pay in our government employees is so skewed for what the job is.  I also would like to point out, as a Marine and spouse of a dployed Marine, that the extra pays are meant to assist the families left behind.  It does cost more when mommy or daddy are not around, so that whopping “extra” pay really doesn’t go that far.  Yes, there is that tax credit, but most Marines will only see a few thousand dollar difference over a year period and they get most of their paid taxes back anyway because many are right at poverty level to begin with. Now that you are a Warrant Officer, you get paid a little bit more, but 17 years is not so long that you can’t remember what a Corporal or Sergeant makes.  I personally find it revolting that a few hundred dollars are taken back from these young men and women when the (in my opinion) fat slobs in DC spend that much on a lunch most days, oh yea, when they decide to go to work. It would be nice to see some of their benefits get cut proportionately to our servicemembers! I am proud to have served and would do it again in a heartbeat if I could and my deployed spouse has been at it for 28 years and still going hard. Semper Fidelis.

  5. Av8bdriver says:

    Ignorant, really? I have flat out seen Commodores make the call to ‘tag’ in and out an IDP area to get pay and tax free for a month…was a real score if you could do the last day of one month and the first of the next to make two whole months……some actually felt this was taking care of the troops, I call it borderline criminal.

  6. az92 says:

    if pro is the opposite of con, is the opposite of progress congress?

  7. Shock troop says:

    We service members perform our jobs not for the money but for the love of our country and our buddies to the left and right. Take the damn 7.50, at the end of the day I have a job to do and will do that job without hazardous duty to ensure my Marines make it home in one piece.

  8. marinemom says:

    Oh yeah it’s extra….like they get paid that much to begin with, not….when 9/11 happened Bush gave all the families that lost loves ones thousands and thousands of dollars….what about all our marines and military that lost limbs or their lives, even the 225 for an entire month for danger pay is a disgrace

  9. SgtRader says:

    Im pretty sure thats still not enough for what we do in a danger area. Don’t defend it like it is some kind of reward. It is the equivalent of tipping your waitress one penny. And it is quite clear you have never worked hard a day in your life.

  10. asdf says:

    This is the most ignorant comment in this entire thread.

  11. Fieldy7745 says:

    I blame the damn Navy and MEU’s, sitting on the boat in a combat zone just long enough to get paid the whole month straight robbing the people who really work for it they should just constrict the combat zones not take pay from overworked Marines 

  12. Lordbryce says:

    im pretty sure that the $7.50 a day is in addition to there regular pays as a bonus because of the danger.

  13. Anonymous says:

     congress make thousands and they to, do NOTHING.  The way to get AMERICA on track is to pay Congress minimum wage, WITHOUT benes & retirement, until our economy is fixed.  Guaranteed, we;ll recover faster than ever…

  14. Paul Snyder says:

    We do what we do and did what we did not for money or recognition, being a Marine is a calling that few have the courage to answer, but this is a slap in the face to ever service man and woman. We joked about imminent danger pay, now they are laughing at us. If you break down the $7.50 a day thats about .31 cents an hour. Most fire fights are over in minutes. The Military should be compensated more not less. Make your cuts at the top, not the bottom.

  15. Mountainjohn1 says:

    NDAA is a slap in the face to the constitution and it’s believers but I do not think the government is worried about the lazy sheep at home. But who in their right mind would want to anger a jarhead? I think they have been underpayed from day one. oorah brothers you may not get the big bucks but you are the best of all of us.  hold your heads high and semper fi!

  16. Shellee Ruiz says:

    My son and other men and women put their lives on the line for less than the average minimum wage?!?! Is this a joke? Are you saying you’re doing them a favor? I know far too many Marines since my son has joined, not one of them w/their families throwing parties or living it up, to do what they do…protect and serve this counrty and you spit on that kind of dedication!!!! I’d give my lifes pay to see a president, congressman, a judge go do what they do…THAT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!! the military wasnt on my bucket list for things i wanted myself or my kids, but he chose that and i support him…this is a disgrace, and i find myself being a whole lot LESS moto…take care if our Marines…they sure as hell take care if us!!!

  17. Rsqguru says:

    Come on you spineless bean counters just wear the uniform can be consider hazardous duty let them have the full amount period.
    cut cost by having companies that supply services provide goods at real cost not $100 for a hammer I can get for $15.  

  18. Geraine says:

    I am embarrassed that our soldiers are only paid that little amount for defending our freedom.   And then for them to not even pay them for the entire month if they leave before the 30/31, is a slap in their faces. 

  19. Mtxe44 says:

    underpaid and overworked–

  20. Herpderp1234567 says:

    Only 7.50 a day? The kardadians make millions a day for doing nothing

  21. Synnoveah Cooke says:

    This is insane. 7.50 per day is ludicrous, It should be 750. per day. Lives and limbs aren’t cheap.

  22. Manymarks says:

    $7.50 a day to put your ass on the line for our country, What a crock of crap.