Military Receives Largest Pay Increase in 8 Years

January 16, 2018 Updated: January 16, 2018

Members of the U.S. military this month will receive their largest pay increase in eight years.

President Donald Trump approved the pay raise of 2.4 percent for uniformed service members, and 1.9 percent for federal workers, in an executive order on Dec. 22.

The raise is more than the 2.1 percent increase the military service members received in 2017 and the biggest since 2010 when they received a 3.4 percent increase.

The pay increase was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Trump signed on Dec. 12.

U.S. soldiers lining up as they wait to bid farewell to wounded veterans during "Operation Proper Exit" at Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan's Logar Province on on May 28, 2014. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. soldiers lining up as they wait to bid farewell to wounded veterans during “Operation Proper Exit” at Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan’s Logar Province on on May 28, 2014. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The act saw an overall increase in military spending and the acquisition of new defense equipment. Among the budgeted expenses are F-35 Joint Strike fighters, ground combat vehicles, and Virginia-class submarines.

The bill will also increase the size of the American Armed Forces for the first time in seven years.

“History teaches us that when you weaken your defenses, you invite aggression,” Trump said at a ceremony signing the bill. “The best way to prevent conflict is to be prepared, and really be prepared. Only when the good are strong will peace prevail.”

The bill marks the beginning of an undoing of a series of budget cuts to the military in recent years.

Trump said those cuts had “severely impacted our readiness, shrunk our capabilities, and placed substantial burdens on our warfighters.”

Epoch Times Photo
US Army soldiers from 2-506 Infantry 101st Airborne Division and Afghan National Army soldiers take positions after racing off the back of a UH-47 Chinook helicopter during the launch of Operation Shir Pacha into the Derezda Valley in the rugged Spira mountains in Khost province, along the Afghan-Pakistan Border, directly across the border from Pakistan’s lawless Waziristan region, on Nov. 20, 2008. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images)

Defense Secretary James Mattis told Congress in June that “No enemy in the field has done more to harm the combat readiness of our military than sequestration.” Sequestration refers to automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to discretionary spending, which includes spending on the military.

The NDAA, however, has yet to receive funding from the appropriations committees in Congress.

Last month the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded to Jan. 22, 2018.

On Tuesday, the president said that the Democrats are seeking to shut down the government over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty they are seeking.

Trump and other Republican leaders have tried to negotiate a deal with Democrats that include a solution to DACA as well as the funding for a border wall, and changes to the immigration system, including limitations to chain-migration and an end to the diversity lottery program.

“The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all and Border Security,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever. We need a merit based system of immigration, and we need it now! No more dangerous Lottery.”

Trump has stressed the importance of increased security on the southern border to stem the influx of illegal aliens and opioids. He has demanded that any deal on DACA would include improved border protection, to prevent a new wave of illegal crossings.

“We must have Security at our VERY DANGEROUS SOUTHERN BORDER, and we must have a great WALL to help protect us, and to help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country!,” Trump wrote on Twitter.


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