Pay raise for service members and support for families included in Senate subcommittee markup of 2019 Defense Budget

Posted at 10:02 AM, May 23, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate Armed Services Committee will take up the full committee markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019 beginning Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel held an open hearing on their markup, which was unanimously approved by the subcommittee.

“The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel is responsible for 50% of the defense budget and is responsible for personnel policies, military personnel compensation and benefits, and military health care. The FY2019 NDAA includes improvements to those areas, including the largest pay raise for servicemembers in 9 years, child abuse and domestic violence prevention measures, and opioid abuse prevention programs,” said Senator Thom Tillis, who chairs the subcommittee. “I want to thank Ranking Member Gillibrand for her work and commitment to bipartisanship in this year’s markup, and I applaud the subcommittee for coming together on behalf of servicemembers and their families.”

The committee released aspects of the markup:

  • Authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for members of the uniformed services.
  • Authorizes targeted increases in military end strength.
  • Introduces the most comprehensive reform of the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act since its inception in 1980, which includes key provisions to better align officer management with the objectives included in the National Defense Strategy.
  • Clarifies authorities of the Director, Defense Health Agency, to manage military medical treatment facilities with a focus on total force readiness and operational medical force readiness.
  • Requires a new organizational framework of the military health system to provide better support to combatant commanders.
  • Requires a 3-year pilot program to minimize early opioid exposure and to prevent opioid misuse/abuse.
  • Requires the TRICARE pharmacy program to share information with state prescription drug monitoring programs.
  • Authorizes $40 million in supplemental impact aid to local educational agencies with military dependent children and $10 million in impact aid for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities.
  • Establishes policies and procedures on sexual harassment in Department of Defense Education Activity schools.
  • Authorizes a pilot program on prevention of child abuse and training on safe childcare practices among military families.
  • Establishes multidisciplinary teams for military installations on child abuse and domestic violence.
  • Establishes a new punitive article in the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibiting domestic violence.
  • Authorizes provisional or interim security clearances for DOD childcare workers.
  • Expands authority for non-competitive appointments of military spouses by federal agencies.