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By Andrew TilghmanCopyright 2014 www.armytimes.com
The Pentagon on Monday proposed the deepest and most far-reaching cuts to military compensation in the 40-year history of the all-volunteer force, explaining that such cuts are necessary in order to pay for more modern gear and high-tech weaponry.
Some highlights of the Defense Department’s budget proposal for fiscal 2015 include the first-ever rollback in Basic Allowance for Housing; a military pay raise that would match last year’s 1 percent hike, the lowest in the volunteer era; massive cuts to commissary subsidies; and potentially increased health care fees for both active-duty families and retirees.
Together, the proposals signal an end to a decade-plus wartime era of rising pay and benefits for troops. Even after the proposed cuts, military compensation would remain comparatively more generous than it was in the 1980s and ’90s. But the Pentagon has never before sought to pare back existing benefits in the all-volunteer era.
Moreover, personnel costs would be slashed further by significant reductions to the size of the force, including the smallest Army since the before the Second World War.