$60.6B in Army Budget for Personnel Costs
The 2019 Army budget seeks the biggest pay raise in almost a decade and assumes troops will also get an average 3.4 percent increase in subsistence allowances and a 2.9 percent average increase in their housing allowance.
Combined, the Regular, Guard and Reserve personnel costs for the Army total $60.6 billion, about $2.6 billion more than the 2018 budget.
The increases are part of a fiscal 2019 budget unveiled Feb. 12 by the Department of the Army that assumes the Regular Army will grow to 487,500 soldiers by Sept. 30, 2020, in a burst that will require recruiting 69,000 soldiers this year and 66,400 next year.
“The military personnel accounts also include funding for recruiting and retention incentives, education benefits, permanent change-of-station moves and training days in the reserve components,” said Maj. Gen. Paul A. Chamberlain, Army budget director. He described the 2019 budget as restoring troop strength, improving readiness and “investing appreciably in the Army’s modernization efforts.”
About $46 billion of the Army’s $180 billion 2019 budget would go to cover Regular Army military personnel costs. The 2.6 percent raise accounts for about $400 million of the budget, the housing allowance increase costs about $142 million and the subsistence allowance increase costs about $40 million.
“In order to obtain the higher end strength in fiscal year 2019, the Army requires timely funding within the military personnel accounts and the operation and maintenance accounts, to support advertising, recruiting and retention efforts,” Chamberlain said.
If things go as planned, there would be almost 91,000 officers, 392,000 enlisted soldiers and 4,552 cadets in the Regular Army at the end of fiscal 2019.