Military retirees and those who receive disability checks and some other types of pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see a 2% pay raise in their monthly paychecks in 2018.
It is the biggest cost of living (COLA) increase since 2012, equaling as much as $310 a month for those at the top of the retirement pay charts.
Many monthly benefits going up
Thanks to the increase, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will go up by $46 a month, while an O-5 with the same time in uniform will see an $88 monthly increase.
Disabled veterans will also see a bump, with the average VA disability check going up about $3 per month for those with a 10 percent rating, and $58 for those rated at 100 percent.
Military retirees and VA beneficiaries aren't the only ones who benefit from the COLA increase. Civil service retirees will also see the 2% jump in their monthly checks.
And for Social Security recipients, the monthly increase will mean an extra $25 per month for the average beneficiary.
Biggest COLA bump in years
Most government payments see a COLA increase every year. The increase, which is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), makes sure payments keep up with inflation.
Recipients can thank a big jump in the cost of gasoline due to Hurricane Harvey for the jump in the CPI that caused this year's COLA boost.
The COLA affects benefits for more than 70 million U.S. residents, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, federal retirees, and retired military members. That's about one in every five Americans.
Last year, the COLA increase was 0.3%; in 2015, retirees saw their checks remain at 2014 levels.
Lower than the active-duty pay raise?
Congress is still hashing out the pay raise currently serving troops will receive for 2018.
Both a proposal passed by the Senate and a White House plan mandate a 2.1% increase. A measure passed by the House would instead give troops a 2.3% increase.
A decision on just what those troops will receive -- and whether what retirees and VA users will receive is lower -- has yet to be made. Lawmakers have recently started closed-door negotiations on the proposals.
Unlike that active-duty pay raise, the bump received by retirees and VA users does not require an act of Congress to go into effect. Those groups will see their pay raise in January regardless of what Congress does for current troops.
Never bring a knife to a gunfight. Unless you're John Wick, in which case you can bring whatever the fuck you want — a pencil, a katana, a stolen horse, a set of antique knives, a crotch rocket, or a pair of flak-jacketed war dogs.
Either way, the result's going to be the same: John Wick is the only one walking away from that fight.
Should your friend and humble Pentagon correspondent live for another 50 years, you can expect to read a Pentagon Run-Down in 2069 about how many U.S. troops President George P. Bush III plans to leave in Syria. (Assuming, of course, that Joe Biden doesn't run in 2068.)
Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that up to 1,000 U.S. troops could make up the residual force in Syria. The Pentagon pushed back on that story unusually hard, presumably because defense officials are terrified that Trump will think the military is trying to force him to commit more troops to Syria.
A Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber from the US Air Force Andersen Air Force Base in Guam performs a fly-over at the Singapore Airshow in Singapore February 14, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Chong)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Thursday complained that flights by U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers across the Baltic Sea near Russia's borders were creating tensions in the region, but Washington said they were needed to deter potential adversaries.
Netflix's new science fiction animated series, Love, Death & Robots, wasn't at the top of my list of military shows to check out when it premiered on March 15. But after watching most of the series' 18 episodes, I feel like it belongs on there now. Why? Because it has superstitious space Marines, and MARPAT-wearing werewolves in Afghanistan.