When it comes to pay, Congress cannot be trusted to have the Six of our uniformed services. Ever since sequestration hit the budget Congress has been looking for ways to cut personnel costs. It is like the military has to give up pay raises, allowances, and benefits to fund the bombs, bullets and systems that the Pentagon needs for national defense.The military will fall behind the private sector by 3%. The housing allowance will decrease, and future dependents will have to pay an annual fee for medical benefits. The retirement system has already gone in the toilet by all accounts. This is not the way to run an all-volunteer force.
As Written By Leo Shane III, Patricia Kime and Karen Jowers, Military Times:
Congress is squeezing troops’ pay and benefits. How several small cuts could wreak havoc on military families’ finances.
The military pay raise is shrinking.
The military housing stipend is shrinking.
The military commissary benefit is under fire.
And now Congress may start charging active-duty families for medical care.
If lawmakers follow through with the least generous pay-and-benefits proposals under consideration as part of the federal government’s 2017 budget process, next year could be one of the toughest in recent memory for military families’ finances. Even advocates accustomed to the political fights over service members’ quality-of-life issues say they’re surprised at just how much lawmakers seem to be targeting military benefits. And they worry it won’t hit troops’ wallets alone, but their morale too.
It’s a stunning turnaround for those who provided troops and their families with generous incentives throughout much of the post-9/11 era. Since 2013, when Washington first fought to curtail defense spending, annual pay raises have averaged just 1.1 percent. Retention bonuses — worth tens of thousands of dollars during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — have dropped off as combat deployments slowed and the services were forced to reprioritize their funding.