MOAA Says Military Pay Cap Could harm All-Volunteer Force

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“Pay raises for the military, just like those of average Americans, are important for retention. It’s a fundamental principle of sustaining the all-volunteer force,” MOAA president Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said.

We are still at war in Afghanistan and contemplating operations in Syria,” Ryan said. “This is a very poor message to send to our men and women in uniform.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) says with sequestration facing the Pentagon, military pay caps are again being touted as the answer to DOD’s budget woes.

“Pay raises for the military, just like those of average Americans, are important for retention. It’s a fundamental principle of sustaining the all-volunteer force,” MOAA president Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said.

“Military families and those who support the all-volunteer force should care,” Ryan continued. “History has shown that once Congress starts accepting proposals to cap military pay below private sector growth, those caps continue until retention and readiness are compromised.”

Congress has closed the gap between private sector and military pay over the last 13 years. It put military pay raises into law in 2003 and tied those raises to private sector pay growth while keeping military personnel costs to one-third of the DOD budget, the same as it’s been for the past 30 years.

On August 30, President Obama and the Pentagon sent a letter to Congress asking for a 1% pay cap for uniformed service members and federal civilian employees. This pay cap is .8% lower than that of private sector growth.

The House of Representatives rejected the President’s proposal, suggesting a raise of 1.8%. The Senate supported the President’s cap of 1%.

“We are still at war in Afghanistan and contemplating operations in Syria,” Ryan said. “This is a very poor message to send to our men and women in uniform. Tying pay raises to private sector growth cannot work to sustain the all-volunteer force unless it’s sustained through good and bad budget times."

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