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Pay in the U.S. Army depends on an officer’s rank, the number of years served and the type of duty assigned. Army officer ranks range between O-1 and O-10, with O-1 representing a second lieutenant and O-10 representing a four-star general. Anyone with a “special” officer rank is a five-star General of the Army, a rank only used during times of war in special situations.
Basic and Deployed Pay
When an officer is on active duty, he receives basic pay according to his rank and years of service. For example, an officer in 2011 who's served less than two years at the O-1 level receives a monthly basic salary of $2,748. On the other hand, a general at the O-10 level in with more than 40 years of experience in the Army receives a basic pay of $18,936.90 per month. When the Army deploys any officer into a combat zone, regardless of rank, the individual receives an “imminent danger pay/hostile fire pay” of $225 per month in addition to the basic pay. Depending on the combat zone, an officer’s earnings may not count as taxable income during the time he's deployed. In 2011, combat zones include countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.
Hardship Duty Pay
An Army officer can receive a hardship duty pay when deployed to certain locations around the world. The Department of Defense states that hardship duty pay is based on mission and location assignment rates, or a combination of the two. When an officer is deployed to a certain region to complete a mission, she receives an additional $150 per month, regardless of rank. When the Army simply deploys an officer to a hardship region, she can receive hardship duty pay of up to $150 monthly, depending on the location. In the event a deployment involves both situations, an officer can receive an additional monthly wage of up to $1,500. The DOD states that hardship duty areas in 2011 include Korea, Mali, Peru, Chad, some parts of Alaska and the Antarctic region below 60 degrees south latitude.
Savings Deposit Program
When deployed into a combat zone, an Army officer is eligible for the Savings Deposit Program. This program allows an officer to deposit up to $10,000 into a savings account that yields a guaranteed annual interest rate of 10 percent.
Special Bonuses and Allowances
Army officers can receive bonuses for taking on specific duties when deployed. These duties include parachuting, scuba diving, operating aircraft, performing demolitions or working at sea. The bonus paid depends on the officer’s rank and years of service. Deployed officers in every rank also receive a Family Separation Allowance of $250 per month if the officer is separated from his family for at least 30 consecutive days.
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