Military pay always held hostage to the whims of politicians.
The 1 percent basic pay raise proposed for soldiers in the 2015 federal budget serves as an example of the bottom line for calculating military salaries. For all the studies of making military pay competitive with private-sector wages and comparable with what soldiers could earn if they weren’t in uniform, the decision about the raise often comes down to a gut call in response to a simple question: How low can you go?
Effective January 1, 2015, the proposed raise is the same percentage amount as the 2014 pay increase, which DoD and the Obama administration sold to a reluctant Congress as a modest bit of belt-tightening needed to make sure there was enough money to pay for other military priorities. Senior military officials are making the same case again, with an added ingredient to make the sacrifice of a smaller raise seem more…
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