Service Members and DoD Civilians will receive pay raises of 5.2% effective with the new year.

Congress Passes Pay Raise for Service Members, Civilian Employees

Both the House and Senate have passed the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which is expected to be signed by the president. Among other things, the bill authorizes a pay raise for both service members and civilian defense employees.

"This important legislation not only authorizes a 5.2% pay increase for service members and civilian employees ... but directly invests in America's national security and military power projection to meet the challenges of the 21st century," said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder during a December briefing.

The most recent National Defense Authorization Act supports $841.4 billion in funding for the Defense Department.

Included in the bill are provisions related to service members and their families. For instance, the bill increases family separation allowance to $400 per month.

Also included is language that excludes basic allowance for housing from the calculation of gross household income used to determine eligibility for the Basic Needs Allowance. That allowance is provided to service members with dependents who have a gross household income less than or equal to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Additionally, basic allowance for housing, or BAH, rates for 2024 will increase by an average of 5.4%. The new rates, which are paid to all U.S.-based active-duty members of the uniformed services when government quarters are unavailable, take effect Jan. 1. 

"The proposed 5.2% basic pay increase plus the 5.4% increase in the basic allowance for housing build upon DOD's support of military members and their families. These increases ensure the military compensation package remains strong and competitive with the private sector and supports the economic security of our service members and their families," said Jeri Busch, DOD's director of military compensation policy.  

BAH is a valuable component of the overall pay package and is designed to help offset the rental housing expenses service members may face when living off base in local communities. BAH rates are aligned with the housing costs of civilians with comparable incomes to each pay grade (with and without dependents) to ensure the military community can afford to rent adequate, suitable and available homes in safe neighborhoods, wherever and whenever they may be assigned," said Kevin Scott, a housing economist within DOD's Military Compensation Policy Directorate. 

By C. Todd Lopez and David Vergun, DOD News