This means a greater emphasis on getting the right Marines in the right positions, and this year manpower officials are trying something new.
In August, M&RA announced a voluntary submission period for Marines to put in for an SDA by Dec. 15, d etailed in Marine administrative message 415/16.
Eligible Marines who step up will be given assignment preference once the normal selection process begins in January, according to Col. Rudy Janiczek, head of the Enlisted Assignments Branch at M&RA.
"The reason that we did that is we like to see the Marines that want to do these duties come forward with more clarity to us as we look to make these assignments with what they would like to do," he said. "We felt that we needed to be more deliberate about it and give them an opportunity to step forward before we begin the annual selection process in earnest."
Giving Marines the chance for first priority in the billets of choice rather than being "voluntold" will go a long way towards front-loading the future force.
"The fact is if a Marine volunteers for a special duty assignment then he can request what he is interested in. After that period, when we start looking for individuals if we find them qualified, we will start making those assignments and we would rather a Marine go to a place they wanted to go," Brilakis said.
The period runs until Dec. 15, but Marines can still volunteer after that.
"This was just an opportunity that we put out to kind of remind them, 'hey, if you would like, tell us what your desires are and see,' said Sgt. Maj. Grant VanOostrom with M&RA. "It's about requirements and demands and how we can best fit your desires with what the Marine Corps needs."
If you are an enlisted member who is entitled to basic pay and are performing duties which have been designated as extremely difficult or involving an unusual degree of responsibility in a military skill, you may, in addition to other pay or allowances to which you are entitled, be paid special duty assignment pay. Examples of these jobs include parachuting instructors, fuel specialists and combat controllers.
The following table reflects the most recent DOD changes to SDAP:
Enlisted members serving in pay grade E-3 or higher are eligible for Special Duty Assignment Pay. Officers/Warrant Officers are not eligible for Special Duty Assignment Pay. Eligibility is contingent on meeting the basic requirements and those provided by specific service regulations. Special Duty Assignment Pay replaces Proficiency Pay; therefore, only one or the other may be paid to a member for a given period.
- Enlisted members of the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force are authorized to receive SDAP when on a second or subsequent enlisted term of service; and first term person who is serving in an enlistment, an enlistment is extended, or an extension of an enlistment that will total 6 or more years of service.
- Enlisted members of the Navy are authorized SDAP when on second or subsequent terms of active duty enlisted service and first term personnel who are serving in an enlistment, an enlistment as extended, or an extension of enlistment that will total 7 or more years of active service.
- Enlisted members of the Reserve Components must be assigned to a duty position characterized by extremely demanding duties or duties demanding an unusual degree of responsibility. Appropriate authorities must annually review the enlisted member’s eligibility to receive either proficiency pay or special duty assignment pay.
Special Duty Assignment Pay is broken into six pay rates ranging from $55.00 to $375.00 per month. Each military branch assigns those rates to specific duty specialties and assignments.
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