Troops could get their biggest pay raise since 2010 under DoD’s proposed fiscal 2020 budget

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President Donald Trump wants to give service members their biggest pay raise in a decade.

The Defense Department's proposed $718 billion budget for fiscal 2020 includes a 3.1 percent pay raise, according to the Office of Management and Budget. That compares with the 2.6 percent pay hike that troops received starting in January.


If the budget is approved by Congress, it would mark the largest pay increase for troops since 2010, when they received a 3.4 percent raise, according to the Defense Department.

After 2010, troops saw smaller pay raises under former President Barack Obama until the final two years of his administration. In both 2014 and 2015, the pay raise was 1 percent, before increasing to 1.3 percent in 2016 and 2.1 percent as of January 2017.

During a Dec. 26 visit with U.S. troops in Iraq, Trump inaccurately claimed that he had secured the first pay raise for troops in more than 10 years, as first reported by Military Times' Leo Shane. The president also suggested that he had favored giving service members a much higher increase in pay.

"They had plenty of people that came up," Trump said. "They said: 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.'

"I said: 'No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.' Because it's been a long time. It's been more than 10 years. It's been more than 10 years. That's a long time. And, you know, you really put yourselves out there, and you put your lives out there. So congratulations."

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Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) commanded the air campaign of Desert Storm (Task & Purpose photo illustration)

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Horner, who commanded the U.S. air campaign of that war, said the first reason is to commemorate those who died in the Gulf War. Then he pointed behind him, towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where the names of over 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam are etched in granite.

"These two monuments are inexorably linked together," Horner said. "Because we had in Desert Storm a president and a secretary of defense who did the smartest thing in the world: they gave the military a mission which could be accomplished by military force."

The Desert Storm Memorial "is a place every military person that's going to war should visit, and they learn to stand up when they have to, to avoid the stupidness that led to that disaster" in Vietnam, he added.

Now, 29 years after the operation that kicked Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army out of Kuwait began, the U.S. is stuck in multiple wars that Horner says resemble the one he and his fellow commanders tried to avoid while designing Desert Storm.

Horner shared his perspective on what went right in the Gulf War, and what's gone wrong since then, in an interview last week with Task & Purpose.

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Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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