The Pentagon is giving strong consideration to hazardous duty pay for the more than 55,000 National Guard, Reserve and active duty troops called up or deployed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday.

The Defense Department is also looking into the possibility of individual and unit awards for those supporting the coronavirus response effort, Milley said in response to questions in a virtual town hall meeting from the Pentagon.

Milley said he expected guidance to come from DoD in the next 30 days on hazardous duty pay and awards.

"All of that stuff is absolutely under consideration," he said. "And we will recognize those appropriately in due course, but I would expect some guidance to come out here shortly."

Hazardous duty pay for service members involved in the COVID-19 relief effort also has support in Congress.

On May 6, Senate Republican Joni Ernst, a retired member of the Iowa National Guard, announced that she was introducing legislation to provide a monthly bonus to service members supporting COVID-19 response that would be retroactive to their deployment date.

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