first published on March 8, 2018 by Will
The four US Army service members killed in last October’s Niger ambush will now be back paid for imminent danger/hostile fire duty.
The military usually pays forward deployed troops an extra $225 a month, tax free, as an incentive for those in harm’s way. Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria are receiving the monthly entitlement.
As a result of an Islamic State propaganda video that has recently surfaced, showing the deaths of multiple US troops in Niger, it has been exposed that these soldiers, as well as many others operating in Niger, Mali, and Cameroon were not being compensated for operating in a high threat environment.
The Defense Department announced that those who have served in the region since last summer, including the deceased, will receive retroactive compensation for each month served. Moving forward, troops deploying to the region will be entitled to the stipend.
The decision raises questions as to whether the US intelligence apparatus was really that oblivious to the obvious threat level of the region, considering it’s flooded with jihadist terror groups, hence the US troops there in the first… or if the Defense Department was just being that ungratefully cheap. It also makes one wonder if American troops operating in Yemen, Somalia, and parts of the Philippines (among many other locations) are not getting the compensation they deserve.
While this “too little, too late” gesture seems like a slap in the face to the families of the fallen… it is hopefully a sign that our military will begin taking heightened measures to take care of our service members deployed into austere environments in regards to intelligence, survivable transportation, and close air support assets that are on close standby and willing to neutralize threats when requested.
Our condolences to the families of the fallen. These men were warriors and they died warrior deaths. They will never be forgotten. SSG Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; SSG Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; SSG Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga.; SGT La David Johnson.