The Administration’s contention that military pay has drastically increased is accurate, but there is much more to the story. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, military pay was capped by Congress below private-sector wage growth which resulted in a 13.5% gap between military and civilian pay and was a serious retention and recruiting crisis by the early 2000s. Why would good soldiers remain in uniform if they were earning less that comparable jobs in the civilian sector? Over the last decade, Congress has worked hard to fix the pay gap, ensuring it kept pace with the private sector. But now, history is repeating itself. The Fiscal Year 2015 administration budget submission keeps pay caps in place for not just a second straight year, but for six straight years! Therefore pay would remain stagnant for military jobs that often require, long hours, hazardous duty, and overseas deployment.
It has taken Congress 10 years to make military pay competitive with the civilian sector again. It would be a travesty to undo that.