In addition to my above post - I’ll admit I abused the system as much as I could to get the troops more money in their pocket.
We were once flying from the states, landing in an area authorized combat pay to refuel and then continuing on to where we had some work to do.
One of our guys was due to reenlist with a sizable bonus. We did his reenlistment on the runway while the Aircraft was refueling. His bonus was then tax free - plus we, and the air crew all got combat pay for the month.
We felt it was a perk since the next 60 days really, really was the pits.
Neither of my boys are deployed right now, but I hope they have a CO like you when they are.
Is this recently, or way back when?
Speaking French and being an Intel Agent in Nam, when I reenlisted, I got a bonus (the highest one at the time, level 4) and it was also tax free.
I don't begrudge anyone serving in harms way from receiving combat pay, even if not on the so called "front lines" (which there has not been any since WWII to begin with) or out in the "boonies" as though not as dangerous, one can be exposed to the hazards of war no matter where you are stationed.
Though stationed in Saigon (and occasionally making trips out in the field and to different bases/towns/villages throughout Nam, Laos and Cambodia) and not officially serving in combat, I was shot at enough times, had grenades thrown in my jeep, subjected to mortar attacks, etc., to make me appreciate what those who are the "tip of the spear" endure and thank God (and wonder how?) I made it thru 18 months without a scratch...well, if you don't count getting my hands stepped on crawling out of some watering hole in Bangkok or Hong Kong? lol