Service members would get a 5.2% pay raise next year under the House Armed Services Committee's draft of the annual defense policy bill, the committee confirmed Monday.
Including the raise in the committee's version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, puts troops on track to receive their highest pay raise in more than two decades.
The 5.2% pay bump matches what the Biden administration proposed in its fiscal 2024 budget request, which in turn matched a federal formula that ties annual military raises to growth in private-sector wages.
While the NDAA has months to go and multiple steps before it becomes law, lawmakers traditionally follow or exceed the administration's requested pay raise for troops.
A 5.2% raise in basic pay would mean anywhere from about $1,100 more per year for the most junior service members to more than $10,000 more per year for senior officers.
The raise would be the highest since service members got a 6.9% increase in 2002. It would also come on the heels of troops this year getting their highest pay bump in a decade with a 4.6% raise.
The pay raise would be on top of other efforts included in this year's NDAA meant to help service members' finances. Lawmakers have expressed concern that compensation in the military, particularly for junior enlisted personnel, is not keeping pace with the economy and could be contributing to recruiting struggles.
Other proposals in the House NDAA to better compensate troops include a bonus for E-6s and below if they're hurt by the economy, more flexibility to adjust the Basic Allowance for Housing to respond to market conditions, and excluding the housing allowance from income calculations for a stipend to help food insecure troops.
House Armed Services subcommittees are scheduled to debate their portions of the NDAA on Tuesday and Wednesday. The full committee will consider the bill June 21.
-- Rebecca Kheel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @reporterkheel.