Fact or Fiction: Sen. Roy Blunt Says the Military Pay Raise Is the Largest in Years

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Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) sent out a tweet on November 30 in which he claimed the military pay increase is the largest in nearly 10 years.

Question

Do military compensation records back up this claim? 

In Blunt’s tweet, he mentioned the resources, equipment, and training our service members will be receiving. We will break down the research to see if these claims are true.

Research

According to the NDAA Conference Report, this act supports a proposed budget of $639.1 billion, which includes expenses in certain departments. It includes $17.7 billion to start the restoration and replacement of worn-out military equipment, $69 billion to finance the Abroad Contingency Operations, $40.8 billion to produce more aircraft in the air to overcome the crisis in military aviation, $23.5 billion to rebuild disintegrated military buildings and $36.3 billion to reconstruct America’s strength at sea.

The bill was initially approved in August with the goal of providing proper preparation for our U.S. military forces. Another huge incentive outlined in this act was to supply a 2.6 percent pay increase for members currently serving and extended bonuses for those in fields of higher demand.

In order to compare the potential pay raise for service members in 2019, we went back to review previous years.

Records of the annual pay adjustment show that the last time service members received a pay raise greater than 2.6 percent was back in fiscal year 2010. Also, the data shows that the pay raise remained under 2 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Table 5-12 of National Defense Budget Estimates for the fiscal year 2019 showed records of military and civilian pay increases that include estimates up to 2023. This information was provided by Mark Cancian, a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) senior adviser on the International Security Program.

Todd Harrison, the director of defense budget analysis at CSIS, said that this act fully permits the level of total funding that the Department of Defense requested, according to Politifact.

Fact or Fiction?

Fact.

Blunt’s claim that the military would receive its biggest pay raise in nearly 10 years is true, according to the research highlighted and experts in defense analysis. Also, the service members’ compensation records show that the last substantial increase was in 2010.

What do you think?

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Rocky Drummond
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The basic pay raises since 2007:
1 January 2007: 2.2%
1 April 2007: 0.5%
1 January 2008: 3.5%
1 January 2009: 3.9%
1 January 2010: 3.4%
1 January 2011: 1.4%
1 January 2012: 1.6%
1 January 2013: 1.7%
1 January 2014: 1.0%
1 January 2015: 1.0%
1 January 2016: 1.3%
1 January 2017: 2.1%
1 January 2018: 2.4%

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