What Is TDY in the US Army?

It’s not uncommon for Army soldiers to receive a TDY during their service. Based on the name alone, it’s difficult to surmise what exactly a TDY is, let alone what it entitles. An acronym for “Temporary Duty Assignment,” a TDY is an official duty given to an Army soldier that doesn’t involve permanent duty stationing. When a soldier is deployed, he or she is assigned to a station for a specific operation. In comparison, a TDY is a temporary duty assignment that’s generally not part of combat operations. To learn more about TDY in the U.S. Army and how it works, keep reading.

TDY vs Permanent Duty Assignment

There are several key differences between TDY and permanent duty assignment, one of which is the length of deployment. A permanent duty assignment may require soldiers to be deployed and stationed for one to two years, whereas a TDY may require soldiers to be deployed for just a few months. Because of this, many soldiers prefer TDY assignments over permanent duty assignments.

Although there are exceptions, most TDY assignments involve trainings or meetings. A soldier may be deployed to a base, for example, where he or she receives additional specialized training. The training may last for just a few months — sometimes even less — during which the soldier will learn skills that he or she can use to excel in their current position. Specialized training such as this is considered TDY because it’s a temporary assignment that requires the soldier to travel to an offsite location. It’s not considered a permanent duty assignment, so it’s treated differently by the Army.

TDYs may also include regularly scheduled exercises. It’s not uncommon for the Army to arrange exercises in which dozens or even hundreds of soldiers participate. It’s not an actual combat operation. Rather, it’s a form of group-based training, so it’s classified as TDY.

TDY Compensation: What You Should Know

You might be wondering how Army soldiers are compensated for TDYs. In most cases, the Army pays for their lodging, transportation, foods and other expenses associated with the temporary assignment. The Army will provide a Government Travel Charge Card for soldiers during their TDY, which provides money to be used for these and other related expenses.

To recap, TDY is a temporary assignment given to Army soldiers. There are other forms of temporary assignments used in other branches of the U.S. military. Only TDY, however, refers to temporary assignments in the Army.