Army approves incentive pay for incoming Alaska soldiers

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) The Army has approved a major initiative to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and families stationed in Alaska. To encourage Soldiers to volunteer for difficult-to-fill assignments and offset the costs of an initial assignment to Alaska, the Army has authorized Remote and Austere Conditions Assignment Incentive Pay for Soldiers reporting to Fort Wainwright, Fort Greely or Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson after Dec. 1, 2019.

(Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)

The Alaska Quality of Life Task Force – made up of a cross-functional group of subject matter experts from Army Sustainment Command, Installation Management Command, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of the Army traveled to Alaska in October 2019 to make an on-the-ground assessment and return with proposals for actions to be taken within their areas of expertise, including resourcing and policy changes as needed.

Assignment Incentive Pay for incoming Soldiers and families was one of the changes the Task Force recommended. In his request to the Army G-1, Maj. Gen. Peter Andrysiak Jr., USARAK commanding general, noted that, “Preparation for the Arctic winter includes car winterization, sub-zero rated outdoor clothing, and insulated winter boots. These necessities are critical but expensive. The required winter gear and car winterization will facilitate outdoor activities increasing the emotional and physical wellbeing of our assigned Soldiers and Families.

The General added “Approval of AIP will drastically improve the quality of life for our Arctic Warriors and their families stationed in Alaska through acknowledgment of the challenging conditions, and provide additional financial support while serving in the harsh and remote Arctic environment.”

Soldiers permanently assigned to Alaska may request RAC-AIP provided they meet the following eligibility criteria.

a. Must be serving on active duty.

b. Must be in the grade of colonel or below.

c. Must be permanently assigned to Alaska from a previous duty station outside of the State of Alaska.

d. Must be within the first 90 days of arrival to Alaska.

e. Must agree to serve the prescribed tour length (36, 24, or 12 months).

f. Must have not previously received RAC-AIP during the current tour or a previous tour within the last six years (Soldiers who extend their tour or agree to serve a consecutive overseas tour in a subsequent RAC-AIP assignment are not eligible).

g. Must be in good standing and not under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice process (to include Article 15 or courts-martial proceedings), investigations, and must meet Army standards for retention (to include Army Physical Fitness Test and Army Body Composition Program) at the time of approval and must remain in good standing throughout the AIP tour; and

h. Must not be permanently non-deployable.

RAC-AIP will be paid in a lump sum payment, and is taxable, with payments based on the Soldier’s duty location. Incoming Soldiers without Command Sponsored Dependents at Forts Wainwright and Greely will receive a $2,000 lump sum. Those at JBER will receive $1,000.

Incoming Soldiers with Command Sponsored Dependents at Forts Wainwright and Greely will receive $4,000, and those at JBER will receive $2,000.

RAC-AIP will not be paid retroactively beyond the 90-day limit, meaning only those soldiers who reported to Alaska on or after Dec. 1, 2019 will receive the extra money.

The USARAK G-1 will identify eligible Soldiers and publicize the information necessary to begin the payment process.

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