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Senator Duckworth Calls for Increase in Pay for Guardsmen and Reservists



Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, is reportedly very frustrated with the slow progress in ensuring that National Guardsmen and reservists receive equal incentive pay for their special skills compared to their active-duty counterparts.

In an interview with Military.com, Duckworth indicated that she is prepared to take action if the Pentagon does not address this issue by mid-June, when the Senate Armed Services Committee discusses the annual defense policy bill.

“I am absolutely fed up,” said Duckworth, a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel. “I know when I’m being delayed, and I’m being delayed on this because the active duty personnel are reluctant to provide the same benefits to our Guard and reserve troops.”

The issue revolves around a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that Congress passed in December 2021, which could potentially increase a service member’s paycheck by hundreds of dollars per month, as reported by Military.com.

However, Duckworth highlighted a discrepancy. While active-duty and reserve paratroopers are required to maintain their skills with regular jumps, reservists only receive $5 per month compared to the $150 provided to active-duty members.

“They are essentially shortchanging our reserve forces, which could result in the loss of personnel from the reserves,” Duckworth expressed to Military.com.

Increasing incentive pay for reserve components may cost approximately $546 million annually and impact around 84,601 Guardsmen and reservists, according to the report. Additionally, some active-duty members may also receive increased bonuses under the law, adding $57.7 million to the total cost.

The Department of Defense is currently conducting a new study to assess the implications of raising incentive pay for reserve forces, Military.com disclosed.

“When one individual may receive significantly less pay for the same duties performed by another, there is no need for a study,” Duckworth emphasized. “Certain adjustments can be made immediately, especially for jump pay or flight pay.”

At the very least, Duckworth insisted that the Pentagon must provide a clear timeline for completing the new study.

“I will not back down on this issue,” she declared. “The current situation is completely unacceptable, and our service members deserve fair treatment. I will continue to advocate until every reservist is compensated appropriately.”


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