Panel Focuses on Better Soldier Pay

Panel Focuses on Better Soldier Pay

US Capitol
Photo by: Architect of the Capitol

A House subcommittee working on the 2024 defense policy bill has allowed a 5.2% across-the-board military pay raise in addition to several other improvements in pay and compensation.

The military personnel subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee proposes recalculating Basic Allowance for Housing payments for junior enlisted members and wants to increase the Basic Needs Allowance established last year by slightly changing how it is calculated.

The Basic Needs Allowance for active-duty soldiers with dependents is paid to those whose gross income falls below 130% of federal poverty guidelines. The subcommittee proposes excluding Basic Allowance for Housing from counting as income, a change that would help service members who live in areas that have larger than average housing allowances.

In other big compensation moves, the panel proposes monthly bonus pay for some junior service members, expanding locations where cold weather pay would be provided and allowing temporary increases in housing allowances for military personnel in areas where there has been a major disaster or a sudden increase in military personnel. This temporary housing allowance is currently available, but payment authority expires Dec. 31. The panel would expand it for another year.

The subcommittee action marks the beginning of a long legislative process that ultimately requires policy and funding measures to be approved by Congress and signed by the president.

The subcommittee accepts the Army’s request for 452,000 Regular Army, 325,000 Army National Guard and 174,800 Army Reserve troops.