Department of Homeland Security

Per Diem Allowance

Coast Guard reserves are paid a per diem allowance (lodging and meals and incidental expenses(M&IE)) when they volunteer for active duty at locations other than their local area. They are also paid basic allowance for housing (BAH) and basic allowance for subsistence (BAS). This is a major waste of money when a reservist is on extended active duty. They should only be allowed the per diem allowance for a limited time, say 30 - 60 days. This would save hundreds of thousands of dollars for just the Coast Guard reserve alone. Although reserve members may be leaving a job, home and family to accept long term active duty, they are choosing to do so. It has been my experience that many to most of the reservists on extended active duty are grossly overcompensated. Either they are provided with a hotel room at the local lodging rate for the duration of their active duty contract or they are provided with lodging paid for by the government. In addition, they are given a subsistence allowance (M&IE) based on the locale they are sent to. While this makes sense for those that are involuntarily recalled, if a reservist volunteers for active duty they should be entitled to only the allowances that active duty military members receive. The cost savings gained by limiting the duration of the extra allowances throughout the reserve could be immense.

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Idea No. 4128