House NDAA Offers Nearly 20% Pay Hike for Junior Members, Plus More Upgrades

House NDAA Offers Nearly 20% Pay Hike for Junior Members, Plus More Upgrades
Sailors heave line aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64) during a replenishment-at-sea in the Red Sea on March 21. (Navy photo)

The main legislative driver for sustaining the all-volunteer force, and for protecting the benefits and quality of life of those who serve and have served, will approach major benchmarks in the coming weeks, and MOAA members can help ensure the bill reflects our priorities by continuing to engage with their legislators.


The House version of the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will be marked up May 22, while the Senate version will be considered by subcommittees June 11-12 before a full markup that could run through June 14. While the legislation won’t be in a final form after these markups, the way forward for major MOAA initiatives will be easier if they enter the process earlier.


A Strong Start

This is one reason why MOAA celebrated the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement Act, a bill which will serve as the base for the House NDAA and includes a number of proposals from the House Armed Services Committee’s Quality of Life Panel. Among the key improvements in that legislation, which are also reflected in the Chairman’s Mark of the House bill:

  • Reforms to the basic pay table, which will result in a 15% pay raise for junior enlisted servicemembers on top of the 4.5% raise earmarked for all in uniform.

  • Expansion of the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) to military families making 200% of federal poverty income levels for their region, up from the current 150%.

  • A series of programs designed to improve the military child care system, to include better pay and benefits for child care providers, along with required briefings from DoD to Congress on waiting lists, shortages, and capacity issues.

  • Changes to the TRICARE referral process designed to increase access to care, with an emphasis on behavioral health care.

  • Expansion of benefits for military spouses that will combat spouse unemployment and provide more resources for those making PCS moves.


[RELATED: Spouse Employment: Meaningful Change Will Require Real Commitment]


More to Come

Markups in both chambers will allow lawmakers to expand on the above concerns and tackle other issues important to the uniformed services committee. You can help MOAA by engaging with your legislators in the coming days to ensure they are aware of key legislation which could be included in the NDAA during this process.


Click the links below to send these messages, then share the links with your network:


Learn more about these and other MOAA priorities for the NDAA at this link, and stay up to date on the process by visiting MOAA’s Advocacy News page.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley