Quality of Life Panel Report Includes Several Key MOAA Advocacy Priorities

Quality of Life Panel Report Includes Several Key MOAA Advocacy Priorities
MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), speaks during an April 11 press event announcing the publication of the House Armed Services Committee's Quality of Life Panel Report in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mike Morones/MOAA).

By MOAA Staff


MOAA’s fight to restore a 100% housing allowance for military families received a significant boost April 11, with a new, bipartisan House panel championing the cause as part of its recommendations for the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act.




The House Armed Services Committee’s Quality of Life Panel Report echoes a significant number of MOAA priorities for the all-volunteer force beyond the Basic Housing Allowance (BAH), to include:

  • Increased support for servicemembers who need it most, including pay raises for junior enlisted and increases in the Basic Needs Allowance, which targets military families at or near the federal poverty line.
  • Programs designed to combat persistent quality-of-life concerns, to include child care shortages, spouse employment, and health care access.
  • Full funding for Facilities Sustainment Restoration and Modernization (FSRM), a critical first step to addressing headline-making issues with the barracks that could derail any gains made by recruiting and retention efforts.



MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), took part in an April 11 media event announcing the report, which included panel leaders Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), along with other lawmakers and representatives from military advocacy organizations.


“I certainly want to express my deepest appreciation for Reps. Bacon and Houlahan and all of the lawmakers, and panelists and staff, who developed this report that outlines so many ways to improve the lives of servicemembers and their families,” Kelly said, adding that MOAA believes “it is the people that make a strong national defense possible, and it's the people who deserve our support the most.”


The panel, formed in 2023 by committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), provided extra attention to our junior enlisted members and families who need support the most,” Kelly said. 




(Restoring BAH is one of three issues that make up Advocacy in Action 2024, MOAA's signature annual advocacy effort. Learn more about that issue, and how you can participate in this year's event remotely, at MOAA.org/AiA.)


Items covered by the panel's report include:


Pay and Compensation

  • Increasing basic pay for servicemembers in paygrades E-1 to E-4 by 15%.
  • Increasing the Basic Allowance for Housing to 100% of the calculated rate.
  • Improving the calculation methods for Basic Allowance for Subsistence and creating a location- and dependents-based calculation.
  • Setting the Basic Needs Allowance threshold at 200% of the federal poverty level.
  • Improving Cost-of-Living Allowances for within and outside of the continental U.S. to be more inclusive of location-specific costs.


[RELATED: MOAA’s To-Do List for the FY 2025 NDAA]


Child Care

  • Standardizing benefits for child care staff across the services.
  • Ensuring competitive pay for DoD child care providers and improving transferability of benefits for providers moving between centers.
  • Enhancing oversight of child development program staffing shortages, facilities requirements, and community child care partnerships.
  • Eliminating child care fee assistance wait lists across the services.


[RELATED: Housing, Child Care, Good Schools Help Military Readiness, Advocates Contend During Defense Summit]



  • Full funding of Facilities Sustainment Restoration and Modernization (FSMR) requirements of unaccompanied housing.
  • The development and implementation of a system to increase transparency for FSRM funding.
  • Studying the life-cycle costs of unaccompanied housing for servicemembers in comparison to BAH costs.
  • Report on the future of unaccompanied housing privatization.
  • Expand internet connectivity to unaccompanied housing facilities.


[RELATED: Senior Enlisted Leaders Sound Alarms at House Quality of Life Hearing]


Health Care

  • Evaluation of access to care standards in meeting health care needs, including role of telemedicine and technology in delivering health care.
  • Oversight of access to care data reporting at the military treatment facility (MTF) level for MTFs with inpatient capabilities.
  • Establish an access to care standard for urgent behavioral health specialty care referrals.
  • For servicemembers, expand referral-free access to the following specialty care: physical therapy, nutrition, audiology, optometry, podiatry, and women’s health.
  • Evaluation of DoD hiring authorities for civilian health care providers and the potential productivity impact of addressing administrative staff shortages at MTFs.
  • Survey of medical providers in critical wartime specialties, and specialties experiencing significant shortages, to determine why military providers choose to remain in service or separate.


[RELATED: Good News for TRICARE in President’s FY 2025 Budget Request]


Spouse Support

  • Authorizing the Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot permanently.
  • Granting permanent authority to DoD to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governments to develop interstate licensure compacts.
  • Expanding child care access for military spouses seeking employment from 90 to 180 days.



“The investments cited here today in compensation, housing, child care, and health care have provided the potential to truly make an immediate impact,” Kelly said, “But we all understand that there is much more work to be done. And I want to ensure all the members of Congress that MOAA and our members are committed to supporting you in this important and imperative mission.”


Ensuring a high quality of life for our military members and their families is not only a moral obligation but also a strategic imperative for maintaining a strong and capable fighting force. MOAA continues to work to ensure our nation honors its commitment to those who sacrifice so much in service to our nation.


MOAA members can keep up with progress on all of the above issues by visiting MOAA’s Advocacy News page and by joining our Legislative Action Center.


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