Musadeq Sadeq/AP

Musadeq Sadeq/AP A U.S. soldier stand guard at the site of a bomb blast outside of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

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Defense asks Congress to improve civilian danger-zone benefits

Request is included in the annual Defense Authorization legislation.

The Defense Department wants federal employees to head into foreign combat zones and other prickly situations with better benefits.

The department is pushing Congress to standardize and improve the benefits package for federal civilian employees assigned to dangerous overseas areas, The Washington Post reported Friday. The request, which is not a new one, comes as part of the recommendations for the annual Defense authorization bill, which Congress will hash out in the coming weeks.

In the new proposal, the Defense and State departments would together determine whether overseas areas where feds are stationed can be classified as a “zone of armed conflict” for benefits purposes, according to the Post. Employees working in these danger zones would receive perks including health assessments before and after assignments, personal travel, home leave and recuperation leave during assignments, readjustment leave after returning and compensation in the event of injury or death.

The Post story points to a Government Accountability Office report made public in February which estimates that 41,000 have been deployed worldwide since 2001 to combat zones, disaster relief efforts and other similar endeavors.

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