Stripes.com Article – Military Pay Raise, 15,000 New Troops, Promotion Reforms: 5 Key Aspects of the 2019 Defense Budget
Here’s a link to the article, and here’s the most relevant sections for us:
With a 2.6 percent pay raise in place, which is slated to go into effect Jan. 1, servicemembers will see their wages increase at its highest level in nine years.
Servicemembers should see the increases in their first paychecks of the new year on Jan. 15, 2019.
“It clearly signals that Congress wants military pay to be competitive,” said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The pay increases still aren’t as high as ones in 2008, 2009 and 2010, when servicemembers saw hikes of 3.4 percent or more. Also, servicemembers’ pay raises will compete against rises in inflation. On Friday, the Department of Labor reported the cost of living rose 2.9 percent for the year ending in June 2018.
“Always tough to get it right, because we will not know the inflation rate for calendar year 2019 until January 2020,” said Andrew Sherbo, a University of Denver finance professor who has tracked government and defense budget issues.
Under the plan, an E-5 with 8 years of service could see their monthly basic pay rise $80.81 a month from $3,126.16 in 2018 to $3,206.97 in 2019, or an annual gain of $969.72, Sherbo estimated.
The legislation also directs benefit improvements and personnel reforms. For example, it enhances reforms of the Military Health System and installs the most widespread changes to the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act since it was enacted in 1980.
DOPMA, which standardized military promotions across the armed forces, will now let the services use civilian experience to establish new ranks for entering servicemembers, let certain officers promote faster and the expectation of retirement if a servicemember fails to promote twice could be removed.
In addition, servicemembers could also see higher per diem reimbursements in cases where they travel more than 30 days under the NDAA’s changes.