The House passed the FY2012 Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 1540) earlier this week. As expected the final version of the House bill calls for a 1.6 percent military pay raise, the same amount the White House requested. This is a strong indicator that their will likely be little drama surrounding the 2012 military pay increase.
However, it is important to note that the DoD may push to freeze or reduce militaryin the future in order to meet the President’s demand that DoD cut their budget by $400 billion dollars over the next ten years.
Our friends at the Military Officers Association of America provided a quick list of the amendments that made it through the House version of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. I have highlighted the ones that affect pay and benefits here:
- Establish a registry of incidents in which servicemembers were exposed to occupational and chemical hazards during deployments.
- Require an assessment of health risks for personnel exposed to open-air burn pits.
- Allow members of the Individual Ready Reserve who have been called to active duty for at least one year since 9/11/01 to purchase premium-based TRICARE coverage on the same basis as members of the retired reserve.
Next is the Senate’s turn to take action on the defense bill. According to MOAA, the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to begin crafting its version of the bill in mid-June. After that the House and Senate leaders will form a conference committee to work out the differences between the two versions.