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Foreign Language Proficiency Pay / Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus

Foreign Language Proficiency Pay/Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPP) is available to Officers and enlisted service members who are certified as proficient in a foreign language. Certification is renewed and paid annually and is based upon a both qualifications and training. FLPP was established to ensure that the military has a trained group of language experts on staff at all times. Language skills take time and effort to learn and must be maintained to remain useful.

A service member is eligible to receive FLPP as long as he or she has an assignment or duty where a foreign language is considered critical or required for the fulfillment of duties. FLPP can be paid in addition to other pay allowances.

FLPP rates are divided into a two grades: FLPP I (Career Linguist) and FLPP II (non-career). Service members can receive more than one FLPP payment per language but they cannot qualify for FLPP I & II in the same language. Members can earn FLPP pay up to $1000.00 a month for active duty and $500.00 a month for Reserve and Guard members. If a language is deemed to be common among military members, language proficiency FLPP payments in a non-career capacity may be denied.

In order to receive FLPP, military members must be tested annually using the current version of the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) or another test designated by the Commander of the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center. FLPP is paid according to test scores with level 4 being the highest score. If an individual does not pass the DLPT, they can retest again after six months. Because FLPP is paid and tested annually, timing the first DLPT test early in the year is a good idea. You still then have time to retest and avoid losing your FLPP if you not pass the test the first time. The DLPT is a notoriously difficult test and service members should take time to prepare and study for this exam regardless of how fluent they are in the foreign language.

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