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W.Va. National Guard addresses pay issues for Operation Lone Star Deployment

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia National Guard is an organization that takes great pride in the care of our servicemembers for their dedicated service to our State and Nation.

When members of the West Virginia National Guard serve in a State Active Duty status, which is the status our troops are in while supporting Operation Lone Star, WV Code requires a minimum daily pay of $100. This means even the lowest ranking member of any activation receives a minimum of $100 a day pay compensation during their time on SAD orders.

For Operation Lone Star, our lowest-ranking soldiers are receiving $140.00 per day in base pay and benefits. For the full 37-day activation of the complete order set, that equals $5,180.00 in compensation for even our lowest-ranking Soldier. Some of our higher-ranking enlisted Soldiers are making up to $254.73 per day, or an equivalent of $9,425.01, and our highest-ranking officers are making $377.53 per day, or an equivalent of $13,968.61.

According to U.S. Census data, the average yearly income for West Virginians is $28,761.00, or, $2,396.75 per month. Our lowest ranking Soldier deployed in support of Operation Lone Star is making an equivalent $5,180.00 per month, a yearly equivalent of $62,160.00, while also being provided free meals and lodging. 

In addition to their base pay and lodging and meal benefits while in Texas, soldiers and airmen deployed to Operation Lone Star will receive per diem compensation for seven days (6 days full per diem, 1 day partial), and travel mileage from and to home of record.

“While the total compensation package being provided to some of our Soldiers and Airmen may not equal that of some other state Guard units deployed in support of Operation Lone Star, we are providing everything we can for our troops within the limitations of the State Code of West Virginia and applicable DoD pay and allowance regulations,” stated Adjutant General Bill Crane. “We are incredibly proud of the men and women of our One Guard family who stepped up and volunteered for this critical mission, and we know they are serving and representing our state with honor and valor.”  

Servicemembers who volunteered for the Operation Lone Star assignment were given written and verbal instruction prior to deployment to Texas as a part of their Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration (JRSOI) briefings on pay and benefits they would receive while on SAD status for this mission. This included data that their first paycheck for the mission would be administered on August 25, 2023 (initial two-week service window, plus one week for processing through the state pay system), and that no member deploying would receive less than $100 per day compensation. Additional pay and benefits information is being provided to all deployed members to individually address any issues or concerns they may have prior to their return to West Virginia in early September.