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January 17, 2016

Dear Sir or Maam:

Summary of Points:
1) Commanders forced to choose between making mission and feeding their Soldiers.
2) Money being taken from Soldiers for meals regardless of whether they eat the meals.
3) Untenable plan to feed Soldiers at government facilities.
4) Soldiers will still need to buy food for missed meals, without money to do so.
5) Money being deducted that Soldiers have planned on to budget for two households.
6) Disparity between Permanent Party Soldiers and Temporary Duty Soldiers in Korea.

Our unit, the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade
(CAB) is a tenant unit at Fort Drum, NY. Since September 2015, we have been deployed to
Camp Humphreys, Korea on a 9 month long temporary duty (TDY) rotational assignment. We
were collectively informed on January 15, 2016 that, because we are a rotational unit, we would
begin receiving a reduced paycheck beginning in February of the same year. This policy
decision has from our understanding been made at the Department of the Army (DA) level.
Before we begin to discuss the details of said reduction, it is worth pointing out that many of the
official memos (which are attached for your review) that have been furnished to us as the
documents that put this policy into effect are dated several months previous - the
October/November 2015 timeframe to be specific. They are just now being made available to
us; two weeks before they go into effect and reduce our pay.
There are essentially two major changes to our pay outlined in these memos. First, we
will begin being charged for meals at the dining facility (DFAC) by automatic payroll deduction,
regardless of whether or not we go there to eat. Second, we will also lose our daily allowance
for meals (referred to as the government meal rate). This is a nominal sum of money provided
to Soldiers to help defray the cost of food that they must buy when they are sent away from their
family and homes of residence on a TDY assignment. We have been receiving this entitlement
as compensation due the lack of appropriate access to a DFAC.
While there may be legal policy to back up this fiscal decision, there is a major oversight
being made. We are an aviation unit. Without going into great detail, our typical day to day
operations require our personnel to work odd hours. Often times we will have personnel
working in two shifts - day and night. The hours each shift works varies widely, often times the
later shift will arrive early in the evening and work past midnight. In short this is not the kind of
Army unit that operates from 6:00AM until 5:00PM every day and these are the working hours
that a DFAC operates to support. Our Soldiers would not all be able to make it to the DFAC to
eat the meals they are being charged for which is why our Soldiers were receiving the

Government Meal Rate allowance to procure their own meals. Furthermore, sending our entire
unit away from their place of work, three times a day to eat meals at a DFAC, would disrupt
operations to the point of mission failure.
An additional factor which we would like to point out is the difference between a Soldier
that is assigned to Korea as part of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) unit and our unit
which is here as part of the previously mentioned TDY assignment. The first fact is that they are
only here for 3 months longer than we are and they are afforded the option to take 30 days of
leave, which means that they are in Korea for potentially only 2 months longer than we would
be. For their 2 additional months of service a Soldier who PCSs to Korea is afforded several
monetary allowances/entitlements and personal conveniences that we are not. They are given
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) which can range from $200 - $800 per month (as it depends
on several factors). They are given their own private living quarters rather than a shared
barracks room like we have. They are allowed to own a car for personal transportation while we
are relegated to using a shuttle bus, a bike, a taxi or our feet to transport ourselves around post
- of which only the shuttle bus and walking are free of cost. This is another reason that the
requirement that we eat at the DFAC is untenable, as transportation to and from the DFAC
would take at best approximately 40 minutes each way by bus, not including time actually spent
eating. It is safe to assume that a Soldier would be away from their place of duty for
approximately two and a half hours, each meal, in a twelve hour work day.
The bottom line is that each month the average Soldier in our unit is losing two sums of
money. First, is the money we will be charged for the meals - in the amount of $313.50 per
month. Second, is the loss of the allotment we are currently receiving as the government meal
rate - in the amount of 415.50. So, for each month we are here, we will be receiving $729.00
less than we have been getting. Considering that because of daily operational timelines,
Soldiers will still have to procure their own food for many of their meals, it is our feeling that this
reduction is not fiscally feasible for us. Our Soldiers who have been sent 10,000 miles from
their families and homes and have planned their budgets out to provide for two households over
the course of our 9 month tour. A Soldier who PCSs here is different only in the paperwork that
brought them over here and 2 extra months, yet they receive far more in the way of entitlements
than we do to begin with and there is no pending reduction in their compensation.
This attempt by the Army leadership to save money by taking it out of the pockets of
their own Soldiers who are deployed is not only unfair it is plainly unacceptable. And for many
of the Soldiers in our unit it is fiscally impossible to reconcile.

Comparison of a CW2 deployed to Camp Humphreys, Korea; away from family; living in the
barracks
Entitlements

TDY - Before
Reduction

TDY - After Reduction

PCS - Current

Family Separation Pay

250

250

250

Hazardous Duty Pay

50

50

50

COLA

322.56

none

none

30 days

415.50

Incidental Expenses

105

105

POV owner

No

No

Yes

shared room

shared room

private unit

313.50

820.50

92.00

622.56

Leave Allowed
Government Meal Rate

Housing
EUM Meal Deduction
Total Additional
Monthly Allotments

Sincerely,

The Soldiers of 6-6 CAV