The Bayonet

Thursday, Jan. 09, 2014

Obama signs defense act, 1 percent military pay raise

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President Barack Obama signed into law the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act Dec. 26, a key mechanism to provide necessary authorization and funding for America’s military.

As part of signing the act, Obama used his executive order authority to set the military pay increase at 1 percent. The NDAA confirms combat pay and other benefits promised to troops, according to a Dec. 9 fact sheet released by the House Armed Services Committee.

In addition to the pay increase, the fact sheet also states that the NDAA contains no provisions for increased Tricare fees or the creation of new Tricare fees.

While some Pentagon officials have called for another round of base realignment and closure in recent months, the fact sheet states that the NDAA prohibits the Department of Defense from initiating another BRAC round.

The 2014 NDAA also includes more than 30 provisions or reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, all aimed at combating sexual assault in the military.

These reforms would strip commanders of their authority to dismiss a finding by a court-martial and would prohibit commanders from reducing guilty findings to guilty of a lesser offense.

The 2014 NDAA also establishes minimum sentencing guidelines for sexual assault-related offenses, and now requires personnel records to include information on sex-related offenses. In addition, the act allows victims of sexual assault to apply for a permanent change of station or unit transfer.

This year’s NDAA marks the 52nd consecutive time the act has been passed without interrupting military funding.

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