Combat Pay

A small article in the Courier Mail highlights combat pay rates for Aussies overseas (no link)
The federal Government will review the pay and conditions of Commandos serving in Afghanistan who are paid $28,000 less a year than their SAS comrades. Their skill levels are about 90% of those of an SAS soldier but they are paid a Special Operation Allowance of only #12,880 a year or $247 a week. SAS troops receive a Special Actions Forces Allowance of $40,979 a year of $788 a week.
Travel overseas for free, get given uniforms and a huge range of Ultimate Boy's Toys to play with and then meet lots of interesting people and get to shoot at some of them. Tons of fun plus receive an allowance of near $800 a week over and above your salary all with serious tax concessions. Great job...can't understand why recruiting is down. As an historical point, I seem to recall everyone in Vietnam got the same combat pay although base pay rates varied and that combat pay would buy 4 packets of cigarettes a week in todays shops. And for those readers who never understand when I'm being flippant, they all deserve every penny they get....I'm just jealous. I wonder what our allies are getting? Does any reader know?


  • I was married at the time Kev and you are right about the pay….$75 per fortnight. We probably have the right to be envious about todays rates of pay. Good on em.

  • A British squaddie gets two thirds of a policeman’s pay apparently, and they pay tax when they are deployed on operations. Mind you, an Australian private probably doesn’t do as well as a policeman either, but the tax thing makes a difference. Here’s a couple of articles that popped up in the British papers recently. Must have been a bit of a push on to increase their pay:

    A man’s job on a boy’s salary,,1056-2353083,00.html

    British soldiers risk death for less than the minimum wage

  • FM I know where you are coming from. Having served in the armed forces and a police force over a twenty year period of my life, I have learned one thing…..if you are at the pointy end of the stick you receive less remuneration for your efforts and sacrifice. It seems that the more expendable you are the less any one wants to pay you. The lower the risk the more pay you get.

  • Cannot help but comment. Enlisted in 88 and still serve, and over the time have seen an insidious and mercenary attitude creep in to the forces (yes unfortunately even the Battalions). In Somalia in 93 we were given a ‘freebie’ bonus (cannot remember how much it was), but it was also tax free. Also got the ICB thrown in, so it was like all our Christmases come at once.

    Timor in 99 saw the govt announce the conditions before we even went ($125 per day. Plus no tax), plus ICBs for nearly everybody – don’t worry about the 90 days normally required. This allowance continued until 2004, you may have heard some of the angst created when the last rotations of Timor had to be content with normal pay.

    Iraq. It’s tax free. Plus $150 per day.

    Timor 2006. Tax free if you serve over 90 days. $120 per day. You may recall Gilly from Timor complaining about the ‘non warlike nature’. That’s cash related. (By the way, I am one of the 1 RAR blokes he refers to).

    The Brits in Iraq (who I went with) get paid less than barracks. Because they are not in barracks they are therefore not entitled to the allowances that come with a posting location (Germany, London etc). They do have an allowance that kicks in if you do 90 days ‘away from home location’ but it’s only about5 quid per day.

    I remain of the opinion that we are becoming the spoilt children of military forces. It’s embarrassing to hear diggers complain that they should get more money. In my opinion, remove the daily allowances. Reinstate DFRDB (the pension). And make everybody re-read the two words at the bottom of the skippy badge.

  • And make everybody re-read the two words at the bottom of the skippy badge. DUTY FIRST.
    Good call. I have no problem with soldiers getting combat pay and I presume there is a direct correlation between my $75.00 a fortnight and todays $150 per diem and our respective salaries. I also have no problem with tax free pay but I would like to think soldiers go on ops for more noble reasons than dollars…mercenary attitudes tend to make a joke of “DUTY FIRST” and that denigrates the service of our forefathers.