The Military Just Got the Biggest Pay Raise They've Gotten in Years

Combined Shape

In keeping with an executive order signed in December 2017 by President Donald Trump, the effects of a 2.4 percent pay raise for members of the military are now being seen.

The increase for uniformed service members is the largest one since 2010, when the administration of former President Barack Obama approved a 3.4 percent pay bump, according to Fox Business.

And, several weeks after the change was mandated by Trump, paychecks are beginning to reflect the benefits of the increase.

“Service members should see the (2.4 percent) raise in the first payday in January,” which is normally Jan. 15 for service members on active duty, said Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa.

Further estimates reveal that the increase would amount to an annual raise of nearly $680 for a younger enlisted serviceman or woman and around $1,080 per year for both senior enlisted and junior officers, with mid-career officers receiving something close to $2,000 annually.

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The raise equaled the amount “nominally mandated under federal law in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index,” according to Military.com, yet many in Congress have allegedly been ignoring it in exchange for other budget priorities.

The notice was given to Congress last year detailing changes to certain pay rates, where the president had announced his intentions regarding the raise.

Around that same time, the House and Senate suggested it be bumped up from the 2.1 percent originally proposed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Federal workers are also said to have been given some good news, as they will be receiving a raise of 1.9 percent.

The generous raise for military servicemen is reportedly in line with private sector wage growth.

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump highlighted the plan for the raise, which the current administration suggests is part of making America’s military stronger.

“I strongly support our men and women in uniform, who are the greatest fighting force in the world and the guardians of American freedom,” the president wrote in his letter.

“As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, we must work to rebuild our military’s readiness and capabilities,” he added.

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It’s a readiness, the president and numerous officials suggest, that should be at the forefront of America’s agenda, particularly as the government operates under a continuing resolution, or CR — a temporary spending measure that prevents the government from being shut down.

“Nothing’s had a greater impact on combat readiness than CRs,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said at a Dec. 7 news briefing.

White also noted that the Department of Defense has operated under multiple CRs for a total of 1,081 days over the course of nine years.

“At a time where security threats are high, we really do need the predictability in the budget — certainly that we don’t have with CRs,” she said.

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ASU grad who loves all things reading and writing.
Becky is an ASU grad who uses her spare time to read, write and play with her dog, Tasha. Her interests include politics, religion, and all things science. Her work has been published with ASU's Normal Noise, Phoenix Sister Cities, and "Dramatica," a university-run publication in Romania.
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Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing
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