The Pentagon has authorized additional hazard pay for U.S. troops serving in Ukraine, a defense official confirmed Thursday.
The bonus, known as imminent danger pay, is offered to troops who serve in areas where they could be harmed by hostile fire or mines, insurrection, civil war or terrorism.
Service members in Ukraine can now earn an extra $7.50 per day, capped at $225 per month, in addition to their base salary and other bonuses. Troops who qualify will get back pay dating as far back as April 24, 2022, the official said.
Grier Martin, who is temporarily serving as the Pentagon’s top personnel official, approved the change in a July 13 memo, which was posted to the unofficial “Air Force amn/nco/snco” Facebook page on Thursday. Military Times confirmed the memo’s authenticity.
U.S. forces could already receive a separate $150 allowance, known as hardship duty pay, for working in Ukraine. That amount will drop to $100 each month when combined with the new bonus, the memo said, meaning troops can earn $325 in total monthly hazard pay.
The pay is retroactive to align with the State Department’s parallel decision to offer danger pay to employees in Ukraine in April 2022.
The Pentagon has said a small number of U.S. troops are stationed at the American embassy in Kyiv, working as its security detail and accounting for billions of dollars of military equipment the U.S. is sending to Ukraine.
A small U.S. special operations team working out of the embassy helps Ukrainian troops with intelligence operations and provides security for high-level visitors, but is not fighting alongside Ukrainian troops on the battlefield, ABC News reported in April.
A former U.S. official told ABC the team has helped Ukrainians plan operations that have led to “hundreds, if not thousands, of Russian military casualties.” The group arrived shortly after Russia launched a major invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Pentagon officials have emphasized that U.S. forces are not conducting combat operations inside the country.
Military Times reporter Jonathan Lehrfeld contributed to this article.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.