Congressman Kim Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Give Guard and Reserve Members Equal Hazard Pay

February 13, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Kim Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Give Guard and Reserve Members Equal Hazard Pay

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), Congressman Trent Kelly (MS-01), Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) introduced H.R. 5887, the Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act, which would create pay equity on hazard duty incentive pay for all Guard and Reserve service members. Representing tens of thousands of service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Congressman Kim has been a fierce advocate for members of the Reserves, Guard and their families. 

“Our service members who put themselves in harm’s way in defense of our nation deserve our full support, regardless if they’re active duty, or a member of the Reserves or National Guard,” said Congressman Kim. “For these members of the Reserves and Guard, including those serving at our Joint Base, this pay is important; it puts food on the table and pays bills. I’m proud to work this great bipartisan group to introduce this bill and look forward to getting this done for our men and women in uniform.”

Currently, Guard and Reserve Service Members are awarded 1/30th hazard-duty incentive pay of their active duty counterparts.  In context, a Private First Class, E-3, with two years of service who is jump qualified, makes $272 a drill period. The service member is required to maintain the same parachuting jumping requirements as his active duty counterpart, however, is only entitled to $12 versus $150 additional monthly compensation for the same level of risk.

Members of our National Guard and Reserve play a vital role in protecting the nation and their communities. Since 2001, utilization rates for members of our Reserve Forces have skyrocketed twenty-two fold; from less than half a percent (0.41%) from 1994-2000 to over 9% of the total reserve forces (9.3%) 2001- present.  As part of their service, qualified Soldiers are entitled to hazard-duty incentive pay for activities including but not limited to parachute jumping and the demolition of explosives.

The Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act has been endorsed by a number of organizations representing service members including the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), Reserve Officers Association (ROA) and Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

“I totally support the Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act,” said LTC McKinley Williams, USA (Retired), 1st Vice President, ROA Department of New Jersey, ROA dba Reserve Organization of America. “Having retired from the Army Reserve with 31 years of service, I have seen the transition of the Guard and Reserve from a strategic to an operational force. The transition has placed the expectation and necessity for the Guard and Reserve to be trained and ready to deploy on short notice. Given hazardous duty in of itself does not distinguish between an Active Duty, Guard or Reserve Component members, I believe there should not be a distinction in hazard pay among Component members. Additionally, equal HDIP for all three components would truly be an incentive to fill vacant airborne positions in the Guard and Reserve, where airborne assignments are more voluntary that the Active Duty Component.”

Last year, Congressman Kim worked to pass the bipartisan Patriotic Employer Protection Act, which would strengthen programs intended to protect small business owners whose employees are military Reservists deployed on active duty. The Congressman also served as a conferee to the bicameral conference committee on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, where he fought for a 3.1 percent increase in military pay for all military service members and increased access to job training and licensing for military spouses.

Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and as a Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.