Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has announced the Department of Defense’s proposal for a 5.2% pay increase for military personnel in the fiscal year 2024. This increase is part of a broader effort to retain service members amid recruitment challenges, with the military services missing their FY 2023 goals. The DOD is also focusing on childcare, spousal employment, and food security to enhance the appeal and stability of military careers.
- The proposed 5.2% pay raise for FY 2024 would represent a significant increase, totaling around a 10% salary rise over two years if implemented.
- Recruitment has been difficult for the armed forces, with the Army, Navy, and Air Force not meeting their targets and the Marine Corps barely meeting its goal amid concerns about future recruitment.
- To address retention and appeal, the DOD is introducing measures such as full-day pre-kindergarten in DOD schools and addressing issues of childcare, spousal employment, and food security.
- Political challenges, such as holds on military confirmations by Senator Tommy Tuberville and potential government shutdowns, are creating uncertainties that may affect military personnel’s decisions to stay in the force.