By Troy Torres
President Trump signed into law the largest pay increase for the military in modern times. The 3.1 percent pay increase will go into effect January 1. The signing of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act also paves the way for another 3.1 percent pay increase in Fiscal Year 2021.
According to Military Times, the raise translates to roughly $815 a year for junior enlisted troops. It means $1,500 or more for senior enlisted and junior officers. "An O-4 with 12 years service would see more than $2,800 extra next year under the increase," according to the Military Times story Biggest military pay raise in years takes effect January 1; check out the complete chart by Leo Shane III.
House Democratic leadership horse traded the military pay issue with a provision granting federal employees paid family leave for the first time. The federal government now offers 12 weeks of paid parental and family leave.
The compromise, which was endorsed by Mr. Trump, sailed through the Senate last week with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The NDAA also authorizes more than $57 billion for the President's Space Force - a new military service to provide global space defense.
The U.S. Department of Defense now has funding to purchase 78 F-35 jets and 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Billions more will be spent on the purchase and development of attack helicopters, Super Hornet Fighters, and a new long-range stealth B-21 bomber.
Crucial to maritime security and the chances of Jones Act repeal or reform is the $34.7 billion authorization for Defense to build new ships and to grow and modernize the Naval fleet.