President Donald Trump on Thursday set the military pay raise at 2.1 percent and the civilian pay raise at 1.9 percent for 2018.
The change to monthly basic pay is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2018.
The levels are consistent with the president's federal budget request for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, though they're less than troops and federal employees were expecting based on the formula called for under federal statute.
By law, military pay hikes are supposed to track wage growth in the private sector as measured by the government's Employment Cost Index (ECI).
In a release from April, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics noted, "Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.4 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2017."
In his letter to House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, Trump noted his "alternative plan" for the pay raises.
"I am transmitting an alternative plan for monthly basic pay increases for members of the uniformed services for 2018," he wrote.
"I strongly support our men and women in uniform, who are the greatest fighting force in the world and the guardians of American freedom," the president added. "As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, we must work to rebuild our military's readiness and capabilities."
Trump said, "Accordingly, I have determined it is appropriate to exercise my authority under section 1009(e) of Title 37, United States Code, to set the 2018 monthly basic pay increase at 2.1 percent. This decision is consistent with my fiscal year 2018 Budget and it will not materially affect the Federal Government's ability to attract and retain well-qualified members for the uniformed services."
Congress can still override the levels for troop pay, which is set to match the current year's raise. However, lawmakers have struggled to come to an agreement on many aspects of the federal budget, so whether they will do so isn't clear.
House Republican leaders have proposed giving service members a 2.4 percent pay raise in the next calendar year, while some Democrats have pushed for a 2.9 percent boost.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.
Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)
YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.
His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.
But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.