Foreign Language Proficiency Pay
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Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) is a special pay given to members of the United States Military who demonstrate proficiency in one or more foreign languages and is regulated by 37 United States Code Section 316 and DoD Instruction 7280.03. Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) is sometimes abbreviated as FLPP or FLP Pay, but FLPP for military was changed to FLPB in 2006; it is usually pronounced "Flip Pay." If referring to FLPP after 2006, one is referring to DoD Civilian FLPP, not the military FLPB. By receiving FLPB, a member agrees that they are available wherever and whenever they are needed by the military for the purpose of their language skills.
FLPB is usually paid on a monthly, bonus basis (installments), but may be paid an annual, lump sum bonuses. The amount of bonus varies based on the category (payment list) of the language, the level of demonstrated proficiency, and possibly the member's occupation (Army or Marine Corps MOS, Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) or Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) Code]). The lowest payment is $100 per month. By law (37 USC Sections 316 (current authority) and 353 (future authority)), the Services are authorized to pay up to $1,000 per month per member for FLPB, depending on the number of languages proficient at, and the skill level demonstrated on the DLPT. However, the individual services are each making their own plans for implementation. They are also authorized to pay out an annual lump sum (max $12,000) instead of monthly payments, but not required.
National Guard Service Members who are mobilized must be coded for FLPB on a monthly basis through their home state USPFO office.
Eligible Languages and Ratings
Eligible languages are updated annually in a memo put out by U.S. government. These languages are listed on the Strategic Languages List (SLL) and categorized by payment list A (Immediate Investment languages), payment list B (SLL Stronghold languages), and payment list C. Languages that are considered "dominant in the force" are not eligible for FLPP unless the servicemember is in a linguist-position job (as with French, Spanish, Portuguese - Brazilian and Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and German). Many other languages are eligible for FLPP regardless of the member's job or language use in their job.
Proficiency is demonstrated via the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). Typically, a score of 2/2 (2 in listening and a 2 in reading) is the minimum to receive the payment. The member must retest each year to continue receiving the payment.
To be paid FLPP a service member's orders must state the service members's eligibility for this entitlement.
- MILPER MESSAGE NUMBER : 06-233, AHRC-PLP-I, FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY PAY (FLPP) REVISION Issued: [08/23/2006]