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Mattis supports 2.6-percent pay raise for troops next year

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis meets with His Excellency Prawit Wongsuwon, Minister of Defence for the Kingdom of Thailand at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., April 23, 2018. (DoD photo by Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)
April 26, 2018

A 2.6-percent pay raise for troops would help continue to modernize the U.S. military and increase its lethality, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Wednesday, reported.

This would be the largest pay raise for troops since 2010.

President Donald Trump in February released the country’s proposed 2019 fiscal year budget, which includes a $716 billion defense budget – plus the largest raise the military would see in nine years.

The President also recently signed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds fiscal year 2018 and avoided another government shutdown. That budget included a 2.4-percent pay increase for troops.

The 2019 budget would provide service members with a 2.6-percent pay raise, and it calls for an additional 20,000 troops, roughly, to increase the strengths of the service branches, according to documents.

The 2.6-percent pay increase would be the largest pay increase for service members since 2010. The raise would also be a slight improvement from the 2.4-percent increase in the 2018 budget.

The Department of Defense “expects moderate and manageable increases in pay will continue in the near term and will match the growth in private sector wages,” according to budget documents.

The budget would also increase the strengths of the services, especially to the U.S. Navy.

The proposed budget calls for the Navy to have an additional 7,500 active duty forces, which would bolster the force to 335,400 sailors.

The Marine Corps would add 1,100 active duty forces, growing to 186,100.

The Air Force would gain an additional 4,000 active duty forces to grow to 329,100 airmen.

And the Army’s active duty forces would also grow to 487,500.

The Army, Air Force and Navy reserves would add an additional 800 forces in total, while the Army and Air National Guard would each add 500 forces.

Trump’s defense budget for fiscal year 2019 totals $716 billion, with $686 billion going to the Department of Defense. This includes a base budget of $597 billion and $89 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.

“The Budget requests the resources [the Defense Department] needs to defend the homeland, remain the predominant military power in the world, maintain a world order that reflects America’s values, support America’s allies and partners, promote America’s prosperity, and advance America’s security interests,” the document said, pointing out the “re-emergence of great power competition with China and Russia.”

“Over the 10-year budget window, funding for [the Defense Department] is $1 trillion above projections from the previous administration, dramatically improving the war-fighting ability of the joint force,” the document added.