President Joe Biden has officially approved the annual defense authorization bill. This marks one of the most significant increases in military basic pay in decades. The 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) received Congress’s approval earlier this month, ensuring that they raise military pay for both active-duty service members, retired military personnel, and reservists.
Starting in January of 2024, current troops will experience a substantial boost in basic pay for the second consecutive year. Veterans can also expect an above-average increase. Common allowances will also be a part of the movement to raise military pay as part of these changes.
Historic Pay Raise for Military Personnel in 2024
In January, active-duty troops and reserve members will witness a substantial 5.2% increase in their pay. This marks the most significant raise since the 6.9% hike in 2002. This new pay raise for the military was a crucial component of President Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget proposal to Congress.
The 5.2% raise found its place in the House, Senate, and conference versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) before receiving the president’s official approval. The law to raise military pay has a notable impact, with a nearly $100 increase in monthly basic pay for an enlisted E-1 with less than two years of service, bringing it to $2,017.
For an officer holding the O-4 pay grade with over six years of service, the raise translates to an additional $380 per month. In total, this is approximately $7,681. Exact amounts, accurate to the dollar, will be disclosed by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in January.
When Will the Raise in the Military Take Effect?
Military pay goes up every January, automatically taking effect at the beginning of the calendar year. Service members notice the difference in their paychecks during the first pay period of the year.
In July 2022, the Army made an announcement that all Soldiers on long-term, active-duty orders would receive payment on a semi monthly basis. This occurs on the first and 15th of each month, starting from October 1, 2022. While the majority of Soldiers were already following this pay schedule, the adjustment impacted approximately 11,000 individuals.
What Factors Led to the Decision to Raise Military Pay?
The move was prompted by the need to address the rising costs of living and inflation. This law is also ensuring that active-duty personnel receive a substantial increase in their basic pay. This decision aligns with a broader strategy to enhance the financial well-being of military members. It also recognizes their dedicated service and the challenges they face in meeting day-to-day expenses.
The law that will raise military pay takes into account the broader economic context. It also acknowledges the importance of maintaining competitive and attractive compensation packages. This is to attract and retain skilled individuals in the military. President Biden aims to boost morale within the armed forces, acknowledging the sacrifices they made.
Basic Pay Raises and COLA for Military Personnel and Veterans in 2024
Military members will see a significant 5.2% increase in their basic pay in 2024. However, it’s not the only financial help that they will get. In addition to this pay raise for the military, retirees and veterans getting disability checks from the Department of Veterans Affairs will get a 3.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
This adjustment is meant to help them keep up with inflation and rising living expenses, providing extra financial support for those who served in the armed forces. While the 3.2% COLA might appear modest compared to the 5.9% adjustment in 2022 and the substantial 8.7% increase in 2023, it surpasses the average of 2.6% seen over the last two decades.
This consistent commitment to raise military pay and keep the COLA above the long-term average reflects a dedication to ensuring that military retirees and Veterans with disability benefits experience a reasonable increase in their financial support.
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