Imminent Danger Pay has been a good deal for troops. They receive a tax-free $225 for every month – or part of every month – they are in war zones like Afghanistan or Iraq. Troops from headquarters outside such zones have been known to fly in for change of command ceremonies – which normally happen on the first of the month – a day early. That way, they can pocket $450 for their 48-hour stopover in Kabul or Baghdad.
Such hefty “sightseer pay” — as frontline troops derisively call it — is now kaput. Congress has ordered a stop to Imminent Danger Pay for a full month when troops are in war zones for only a few days. Military personnel will only be paid for the days that they actually spend in harm’s way. That means, as of Wednesday, that $450 pop in the paycheck became a $15 blip.