In a letter sent to Congress on Friday, President Obama recommends a 1.0% raise for military servicemembers in 2014. This is not the final step for this to become law. Congress has the ability to override this decision, and the House has already passed a 1.8% increase as part of it its Defense Appropriations bill. We will still have to wait and see what the actual pay increase will be, but at least we now know the President’s intentions.
1.8% is the amount calculated under the Federal Pay Comparability Act to keep pace with private-sector wages. However, with a tight federal budget and other federal employees receiving no pay increase for the last three years, some people are pushing for the military to receive a smaller increase. The 1.0% increase is the same as included in the President’s proposed 2014 budget.
With overall annual inflation of 2% as of July 2013, a 1% increase in pay will mean a decrease in the real value of military pay. However, in today’s economy, having a job with a steady paycheck is a good thing. I’m going to try to look at the positive side of the situation, be thankful that we’re likely to get any raise at all, and be glad for the relative security of a military paycheck coming into my house.