NDAA 2019 Update

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On Monday the House and Senate came out of committee having reconciled their two versions of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 19) into a combined bill that will be voted on. Oh, and if I got any of that wrong so be it. It’s been a while since my last social studies or civics class, but that is basically what happened.

What emerged and is now contained in the NDAA 19? Here are the highlights, which can be found in the FY19 NDAA Conference Summary (Note that I highlighted the parts that were relevant to my readership):

  • A 2.6% pay raise, the highest in nine years.
  • It makes the Career Intermission Program permanent.
  • No medical treatment facilities are allowed to be closed or downgraded until they are all transitioned to the Defense Health Agency.
  • Mandates retention of a Navy hospital ship capability.

Whether you knew it or not, prior to this committee work there were provisions that would have:

  • Disestablished BUMED (and the equivalent Army and Air Force medical commands).
  • Changed service obligations for training, requiring them to be served consecutively rather than concurrently.

These things were removed and are not in the unified version that emerged from committee. That’s probably a good thing since the last one probably would not have improved morale, accession, or retention (other than forced retention).

If you’re really interested, here are some other very long PDFs that tell you everything that was debated and the result:

Joint Explanatory Statement (651 pages long)

Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5515 (2552 pages long)

Searching for “medicine” or “medical” will probably get you to the most relevant medical portions. There are also some significant changes to promotions that I have not had the time to deep dive on. You can find them by searching for “promotion.”

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