A U.S. Army Special Forces weapons sergeant inspects a Nigerien service member’s weapon prior to entering a range as part of Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, February 25, 2017
Service members deployed to Niger, Mali and northern Cameroon qualify for imminent danger pay/hostile fire pay, retroactive to June 7, 2017, Defense Department announced Thursday.
The retroactive date allows the families of Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Sgt. La David Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright to get an additional $225 30 days for the time the soldiers were assigned there. The four soldiers were killed in the October 2017 ambush that is still the subject of a continuous investigation.
Imminent danger pay can be a flat payment of $225 to troops on duty outside of the U.S. and subject to physical harm or imminent danger as a result of wartime conditions, terrorism, civil insurrection or civil war.
Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command, told House lawmakers Tuesday that his command had requested imminent danger buy Niger some time ago, nonetheless it had not yet been approved. But DoD spokesman Maj. Sheryll Klinkel said the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness actually approved IDP to the three countries Monday.
“DoD policy provides that a service member that’s involved in a hostile fire incident will receive hostile fire pay for the month when the incident occurred, even if the location isn’t authorized for IDP,” Klinkel said. “Service members might not concurrently receive hostile fire pay and IDP for your same month.
“The Army posthumously authorized hostile fire pay for that four soldiers killed in October 2017.”
“Hostile fire pay and [imminent danger pay] owed to your service member at their death, including any retroactive IDP, will likely be included in the final settlement of pay accounts designed to survivors. This would sign up for payments from the survivors of several soldiers killed in Niger,” Klinkel said.
The northern regions of Cameroon will be eligible for a IDP, DoD said in the statement.
To provide IDP, DoD reduced the quantity of hardship duty purchase those three locations to $100 monthly, down through the previous $150 per month.
Hardship duty pay-location, or HDP-L, compensates service members allotted to areas with extraordinarily arduous quality-of-life conditions.