In recent years, US military personnel have felt the brutal sting of narrow appropriations for their salaries, despite having such a dangerous and brave job. In fact, they have experienced essentially no increase in their salary levels under the current Congress. That includes having their salaries frozen from 2011 through 2013. In an effort to right some wrongs these unjust past, President Barack Obama announced earlier in the year that US military personnel would be receiving a 1.3% pay increase, which goes into effect with the beginning of the new year.
While the number might not sound significant considering the average military salary is around $40,000 a year, it is in fact the largest increase in many years. It also exceeds the 1% increase given across the board to other federal employees. It’s worth noting that Congressional Democrats had originally asked for a 3.8% increase for all federal employees, including the military. However, the Republican held House of Representatives couldn’t see it’s way to approve such a number and only settled for what it finally approved after receiving much pressure from sources both outside and inside the government.
One of the primary complaints of the Republican’s current appropriations is towards the party’s willingness to give significant, often bloated, contracts to defense contractors, all the while, they ignore the efforts of federally employed soldiers who are doing a great service to heir country.
As a result of its apparent hated for the President and his policies, the GOP has been silent about the new pay increase, perhaps in hopes of denying President Obama the credit he deserves. Maybe, the GOP will someday learn that it doesn’t make sense to support wars in places without being fair to our soldiers.