In a recently presented report to Congress, the Department of Defense presented information that supports the position that current military compensation is fairly comparable to similar civilian pay. According to their calculations, the total military compensation package, including base pay, housing and food allowances, and tax advantages, places military pay higher than 70% of civilian positions that require similar education and experience. With this background, the DOD suggests that additional pay funding be put towards bonuses, specialty pay and incentive pays instead of larger overall pay raises.
I’m sure there will be much disagreement about the accuracy of that information, and there is plenty of specific cases which can support or refute it, but those are the statistics as they are presented.
For more information, see the press release.