Support our mission

ARLINGTON, Va. — U.S. soldiers can expect a 3 percent pay raise under the fiscal 2008 Army budget, Pentagon documents show.

Typically, pay raises are the same for all services across the board and become effective in January of the next calendar year.

The raise would come after this year’s 2.2 percent pay increase for troops, the lowest pay raise since 1994 and well below the average for the past decade.

When the raise was proposed last year, a Defense official explained the lower-than-usual increase by saying military pay increases were driven by the Department of Labor’s “Employment Cost Index,” which measures growth in annual pay in the private sector.

Looking ahead, soldiers also can expect a 3.4 percent pay increase in fiscal 2009, the Pentagon documents say.

As part of President Bush’s proposed budget, the Army has requested a total of $130.1 billion in spending for fiscal 2008 and $140.7 billion for fiscal 2009, compared with $111.8 billion for fiscal 2007, Pentagon documents say.

Of the proposed new spending, the Army has requested $46.2 billion for personnel in fiscal 2008 and $51 billion in fiscal 2009, compared with $42.6 billion this fiscal year, the documents show.

This spending reflects the Army’s plan to add a brigade combat team and combat support troops as part of the Army’s efforts to grow from roughly 507,000 to 547,000 soldiers over the next five years, the documents show.

The Army also has asked for $4.6 billion for military construction in fiscal 2008 and $5.7 billion in fiscal 2009, compared with $2.7 billion this fiscal year, the documents show.

The money would go toward a variety of projects including 1,892 barracks and other facilities in fiscal 2008 and 1,276 such facilities in fiscal 2009, the documents show.

The documents also show the Army has asked for $4.1 billion in Base Realignment and Closure funding for fiscal 2008 and $3.8 billion in fiscal 2009, compared with $3.7 billion in fiscal 2007.

The request comes shortly after the House passed a budget that would slash BRAC funding by about $3 billion for this fiscal year, and that could delay the Army’s plan to move soldiers from overseas back to the United States, Army officials said.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the loss of the BRAC funding would make it impossible for the department to meet its realignment deadlines.

“It stops the construction at the receiving end for units or organizations that are being moved as part of BRAC,” Gates said. “There’s a $300 million hit to housing allowances for our troops in there,” Gates said.

Still, Gates said he is confident that he and lawmakers can resolve the situation.


Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up