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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission Report

On behalf of the Department of Defense, I thank the members of the independent, bipartisan Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission for their hard work over the last year and a half. They have developed a wide-ranging set of recommendations on reforming and modernizing the package of benefits we provide to America's men and women in uniform and their families, and DoD will analyze the commission's proposals in full detail. While the recommendations released today will not affect the budget request that the president will submit to Congress next week, they will inform discussions that DoD will have with Congress over the course of this year.

I appreciate that the commission gathered input from over 150,000 service members and veterans across the country before formulating its recommendations. I also appreciate the commission's support for grandfathering current servicemembers and retirees with its recommended changes on retirement pay; its focus on protecting future recruitment and retention; and its attempt to propose savings to ensure our military will be able to field a ready, agile, and modern force capable of meeting present and future threats.

At the Pentagon, in Congress, and at bases around the world, these recommendations will be the subject of much discussion and debate. They should be. And as we decide how to move forward, we have to remember the two highest and most solemn obligations this country has to its military: to ensure our troops and their families are fairly and appropriately compensated and cared for during and after their time in uniform, and to provide our troops with the best training and equipment possible -- so that whenever America calls on them, they are prepared to accomplish the mission and return home safely to their families.