USA — Department to Study Compensation, Incentives

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2010 — Defense Depart­ment offi­cials today announced the start of the con­gres­sion­al­ly man­dat­ed 11th Qua­dren­ni­al Review of Mil­i­tary Com­pen­sa­tion.

The review’s focus, offi­cials said, will be on com­bat pay, com­pen­sa­tion for reserve-com­po­nent ser­vice­mem­bers, care­givers and sur­vivors and pay incen­tives for crit­i­cal career fields.

Thomas L. Bush, a recent­ly retired senior exec­u­tive who worked in the office of the under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel and readi­ness and as the prin­ci­pal direc­tor for man­pow­er and per­son­nel in the office of the assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for reserve affairs, was tapped to lead the review. He will report to Clif­ford Stan­ley, under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel and readi­ness.

The last review, released in two vol­umes in 2008, focused on hous­ing allowance, retire­ment pay, Tri­care health sys­tem pre­mi­ums, pay incen­tives for health care pro­fes­sion­als and qual­i­ty of life.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jan D. “Den­ny” Eak­le chaired the 10th review and said upon its release that the first ques­tion for any qua­dren­ni­al review of com­pen­sa­tion is whether mil­i­tary pay is com­pa­ra­ble to that in the pri­vate sec­tor. The sec­ond is whether mil­i­tary pay is ade­quate to main­tain the force.

William J. Carr, deputy under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel pol­i­cy, tes­ti­fied April 28 before a Sen­ate sub­com­mit­tee that mil­i­tary pay is com­pet­ing well against the pri­vate sec­tor, as evi­denced by the high rate of recruit­ment and reten­tion.

Using reg­u­lar mil­i­tary com­pen­sa­tion – basic pay with hous­ing and food allowances and fed­er­al tax advan­tages – as a com­par­i­son, mil­i­tary mem­bers are paid high­er than 70 per­cent of their pri­vate-sec­tor peers of sim­i­lar edu­ca­tion and expe­ri­ence, Carr told the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Committee’s per­son­nel sub­com­mit­tee. Carr also called spe­cial­ty and incen­tive pays essen­tial to main­tain­ing the force, espe­cial­ly for spe­cial oper­a­tions forces and peo­ple with med­ical, den­tistry, men­tal health, avi­a­tion and nuclear back­grounds.

The 11th review, which will take about two years to com­plete, will focus on:

— Com­pen­sa­tion for ser­vice per­formed in a com­bat zone, com­bat oper­a­tion, or hos­tile fire area, or while exposed to a hos­tile fire event;
— Reserve and Nation­al Guard com­pen­sa­tion and ben­e­fits for con­sis­ten­cy with their cur­rent and planned uti­liza­tion;
— Com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits avail­able to wound­ed war­riors, care­givers, and sur­vivors of fall­en ser­vice­mem­bers; and
— Pay incen­tives for crit­i­cal career fields such as men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als, lin­guists and trans­la­tors, remote­ly pilot­ed vehi­cle oper­a­tors and spe­cial oper­a­tions per­son­nel.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)