National Guard are posted near the front of the main entrance to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Sunday Jan. 17, 2021 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma) Capitol Breach Pennsylvania
National Guard are posted near the front of the main entrance to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Sunday Jan. 17, 2021 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Typically working 12-hour shifts, Pennsylvania National Guard members are deployed every year to assist with domestic missions and emergencies, and are only paid $100 per day for their important work.

The Pennsylvania National Guard is tasked with providing protection and support to the residents of the commonwealth. And for this job, they get paid only $8.33 an hour.

“Our National Guard is one of the largest and most highly-skilled guards in the entire world and they provide invaluable critical assistance to our communities,” state Sen. Katie Muth (D-Berks) said. “The current minimum pay rate has not been updated in six years and it is entirely inadequate as we have seen the cost-of-living skyrocket and disaster incidents that require National Guard assistance multiply.”

Muth recently introduced Senate Bill 1242 which would increase the minimum daily special state duty and state active duty pay rate for members of the National Guard from the current $100 per day rate to $180 per day.

Pennsylvania National Guard personnel are entitled to “special state duty” or “state active duty” pay whenever they are ordered on active duty for service by the Governor for in-state community events, activities, missions or disasters and emergencies. The last time the legislature enacted an increase to the minimum state active duty pay was in 2016, when it was increased from $75 to $100.

Based on a typical 12-hour shift, National Guard members are making $8.33 per hour at the current $100 per day rate. Increasing state active duty pay to a minimum of $180 per day would increase the hourly rate based on a 12-hour shift to at least $15 per hour. 

In 2021, 4,200 Pennsylvania National Guard members were deployed to assist local authorities with the presidential inauguration, COVID-19 pandemic response, civil unrest, and natural disasters. They also supported COVID vaccination efforts, personally administering 85,000 doses and supporting sites that administered hundreds of thousands more.

Over 2,100 Pennsylvania National Guard members were deployed in support of ongoing contingency and force protection operations in Kuwait, Egypt, Poland, Germany, and Africa, among other locations, last year as well.