Air Force approves special duty assignment pay

Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

 "JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" - Special duty assignment pay levels for a handful of career fields changed effective Oct. 1, following the most recent Air Force annual review resulting in 14 career fields or assignment areas being modified or added.

The annual review focused on identifying Airmen in extremely demanding positions with unusually challenging responsibilities that differ from their normal job demands. During the review, one Air Force specialty was evaluated for the first time and was added to the SDAP-eligible list.


Recruiters, military training instructors, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency Airmen saw pay adjustments, while cyber warfare operations Airmen were added to the special duty assignment pay list.

The purpose of SDAP is to compensate Airmen who work in a particular job, career field or special assignment where the scope of responsibility, deviation from specialty responsibilities and skills, and prerequisites or education requirements exceed those expected of other Airmen in the same specialty and rank as the member.

"We use this program to ensure the Air Force is attracting the right people for these high-demand specialties and appropriately compensate them based on the complexity, difficulty and degree of responsibility required of their duties," said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, Director of Military Force Management Policy. 

To be considered for SDAP the specialty and individual assignment should meet one or more of the following criteria: 

- Duties require extremely demanding personal effort to ensure successful mission accomplishment. 

- Duties are extremely demanding or demand an unusual degree of responsibility over and above what would reasonably be expected in a military assignment for members with the same grade and experience. 

- The special duty assignment is different from the normal career progression and job description for the Air Force specialty code.

- Duties requiring special qualifications that are met through rigorous screening and or special schooling above the normal qualifications of the skill or grade to maintain proficiency.

Members currently serving in an SDAP field that has been removed from the list will continue to receive special duty pay at a rate of one-half their original SDAP for the 12 months following the termination date. Those whose SDAP will be reduced will receive 1/2 differential pay for the first 12 months following the reduction date.

The full special duty assignment pay list and program updates can be reviewed on the myPers enlisted retention page.