How are operational soldiers paid

Assignments abroad : From pay to allowance

Berlin - is Afghanistan more dangerous than Uzbekistan? Are there more mines in Kosovo than in Bosnia-Herzegovina? The representatives from four ministries - interior, finance, defense and foreign - who sit together before German missions abroad argue about this because they have to decide which level should apply. The level means money, it is a bonus for soldiers and officials such as police officers. As compensation for their work in war and crisis areas. Depending on the country, civil servants receive between 25 and 92 euros extra per day (see graphic). Regardless of whether you are serving as a cook or a commanding officer. A German soldier in Afghanistan receives an additional 92.03 euros per day, one in Uzbekistan only 53.69 euros. "The negotiations are always a mixture of horse trading and discussion," says Hans-Dieter Schell from the German Armed Forces Association (DBwV).

The actual payment of the soldiers depends on the salaries of the civil servants. A young sergeant major in the Bundeswehr earns around 2,500 euros a month, a colonel up to 6,000 euros. And it is precisely the topic of salary for the troops that drives Lieutenant Colonel a. D. currently at. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) wants to change the pay of soldiers with the reform of the civil service law. In future, all civil servants are to be paid more according to performance, according to "experience". The criticism: According to the current plans, soldiers would have to gain 18 months more experience than officials of the same salary level before being promoted. "That is absolutely unacceptable for soldiers who risk their lives for their country," says Schell. And defense politicians agree with the DBwV criticism: "Angela Merkel cannot on the one hand praise soldiers for their services in dangerous areas such as Afghanistan and at the same time cut their wages," says SPD defense expert Rainer Arnold. A working group made up of CDU / CSU and SPD is currently discussing a draft bill that should go to the cabinet at the end of September.

Damage to health or the loss of life cannot be made up for with money. Nevertheless, there is a form of compensation in Germany: the state helps its servants if they are injured or killed during an assignment abroad. And much more generously than in work-related accidents in this country. If, for example, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan becomes incapacitated or incapacitated, the “Deployment Supply Act” provides financial support. If he loses his lower leg and is only semi-employable, he receives a pension equal to 80 percent of his last monthly salary. As compensation for death, the state pays a one-off EUR 60,000 to the partner who has stayed behind. In addition, there is a widow's pension of 60 percent of the money that the soldier would have been entitled to upon retirement. The state supports the surviving dependents of a sergeant with around 1200 euros a month. However, other rules apply to temporary soldiers: In the event of occupational disability, as they are not entitled to a pension, they receive a compensation payment of 15,000 euros. This increases by 3,000 euros per year of service.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page