Most Service Members Will See Pay Hikes in July
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 19, 2000 Most service members will see their pay increase in July as a result of the final leg of the compensation triad passed by Congress last year.
Pay table reform goes into effect in July with about 75 percent of service members receiving raises of one-half percent to 5.5 percent, said Navy Capt. Elliott Bloxom, director of DoD compensation. The other two legs of the triad DoD pushed last year were the overall 4.8 percent raise in January and retirement reform.
The increase in July is in addition to the January raise. "This is a permanent adjustment or correction to the pay table to reward performance over longevity," Bloxom said. "This restores some of the balance the pay table has lost over the last 50 years." He said the reform has two other effects: every promotion will be worth more in terms of absolute dollars, and the table still provides meaningful longevity raises.
The percentage hike that people see in July varies depending on where and how much the pay table was out of adjustment, Bloxom said. Members will see changes if the table was out of whack or none if the table was about right -- E-2 rates, for instance, don't change July 1, he said.
"The E-2 pay raise has historically been more than the E-3 or E- 4 pay raise in terms of dollar values," Bloxom said. "We put a lot of money into the E-3 and E-4, such that, with that promotion it brings more than the E-2."
Regardless how much their pay increases July 1, all service members will benefit from the reform as they continue to serve and are promoted. "That's why I call it an adjustment," Bloxom said. "People will still get the this raise one, two, three or four years from now."
The officer pay table will receive a bigger boost than the enlisted table because, Bloxom said, it was more out of whack. "We only get the officer pay table back to about 53 percent of a person's increases in pay due to promotion and 47 percent due to longevity," he said.
But, he said, overall more money went into the enlisted pay table. "So over the course of time enlisted personnel will receive more successive pay raises as a result of pay table reform," he said.
He said the 9th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation is now under way and the panel is looking at the enlisted pay table. He said Congress is also looking at pinpointed raises for mid-level NCOs.
"The 9th QRMC is looking at enlisted pay issues across the board from entry pay through the balance that's struck between senior level NCO pay vs. officer pay -- levels of responsibility, degress of education," he said. He said he hopes that when the panel finishes, DoD will see some concrete recommendations for what to do with enlisted pay.