The Department of Defense released today the Ninth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, or QRMC, which assesses the effectiveness of military pay and benefits in recruiting and retaining a high-quality force.
Today's force is more educated than in the past, according to the report, which concluded that current pay does not include a premium high enough to retain this more educated force.
The Ninth QRMC found that compensation, particularly for mid-grade enlisted members and junior officers, has not kept pace with the earnings of comparably educated workers in the private sector. The 2002 pay raise, the largest in two decades, was based on the QRMC findings and did much to remedy the situation.
The QRMC also recommends that military pay compensate for the special demands associated with military life. To do so, the report says, pay should be set above average levels in the private sector, at around the 70th percentile of comparably educated civilians. To meet this goal in retaining high quality servicemembers, additional targeted pay raises will be needed. These targeted pay raises are included in the Department's proposed budget for fiscal 2003.
The Ninth QRMC also examined special pays and bonuses and the financial well being of certain segments of the military population. These included:
- Junior enlisted family income (including eligibility for food stamps)
- Earnings of military spouses
- Allowances for members assigned overseas
- Veterans' educational benefits
- Military retiree post-service earnings
The Ninth QRMC is on the Web at http://dod.mil/prhome/qrmc/.