Get paid for programming skills similar to foreign languages!
NDAA 2021 Section 241
D: Education and Workforce Development
241.Measuring and incentivizing programming proficiency
(a) In general Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall carry out the following activities:
(1) Leverage existing civilian software development and software architecture certification programs to implement coding language proficiency and artificial intelligence competency tests within the Department of Defense that— (A) Measure an individual’s competency in using machine learning tools, in a manner similar to the way the Defense Language Proficiency Test measures competency in foreign language skills; (B) Enable the identification of members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the Department of Defense who have varying levels of quantified coding comprehension and skills and a propensity to learn new programming paradigms, algorithms, and data analytics; and (C) Include hands-on coding demonstrations and challenges. (2) Update existing recordkeeping systems to track artificial intelligence and programming certification testing results in a manner that is comparable to the system used for tracking and documenting foreign language competency, and use that recordkeeping system to ensure that workforce coding and artificial intelligence comprehension and skills are taken into consideration when making assignments. (3) Implement a system of rewards, including appropriate incentive pay and retention incentives, for members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the Department of Defense who perform successfully on specific language coding proficiency and artificial intelligence competency tests and make their skills available to the Department. (b) Information sharing with other Federal agencies The Secretary of Defense shall share information on the activities carried out under subsection (a) with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of such other organizations of the intelligence community as the Secretary determines appropriate, for purposes of
(1) making information about the coding language proficiency and artificial intelligence competency tests developed under such subsection available to other Federal national security agencies; and (2) encouraging the heads of such agencies to implement tracking and reward systems that are comparable to those implemented by the Department of Defense pursuant to such subsection. (c) Special pay for programming language proficiency beneficial for national security interests (1) In general Chapter 81 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1596b the following new section:
1596c. Programming language proficiency: special pay for proficiency beneficial for national security interests (a) Authority The Secretary of Defense, under the sole and exclusive discretion of the Secretary, may pay special pay under this section to an employee of the Department of Defense who—
(1) has been certified by the Secretary to be proficient in a computer or digital programming language identified by the Secretary as being a language in which proficiency by civilian personnel of the Department is necessary because of national security interests; and (2) is assigned duties requiring proficiency in that programming language. (b) Rate The rate of special pay for an employee under this section shall be prescribed by the Secretary, but may not exceed 20 percent of the employee’s rate of basic pay.
(c) Relationship to other pay and allowances Special pay under this section is in addition to any other pay or allowances to which the employee is entitled.
(d) Regulations The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section.