August 23, 2006:
For the second time in two years, an American combat unit is eligible for "involuntary extension incentive pay." The 172nd Stryker Brigade has been held over for at least three months, in order to reduce the sectarian violence in Baghdad. There are about 4,000 troops assigned to the 172nd, and each soldier will get an extra $1,000 a month for each month they are in Iraq past twelve months. Moreover, for most of them it will be tax free. Only officers in the higher pay brackets (those making about $65,000 a year and up, in effect Majors and above) will have to pay some tax on the bonus. Most troops in the 172nd would rather go home, but admit that the "incentive pay" does remove some of the aggravation for having to pull overtime in the sandbox.