NDAA 2018 Signed into Law – $700B and a Pay Raise for Troops

By Faye Higbee

The $700 Billion NDAA 2018 was signed into law on Tuesday by President Trump, and with it comes a 2.4% pay increase for the military. Though it sounds wonderful, until the Congress sorts out the actual funding, no one can start doing anything.

The appropriations bill has a deadline of December 22. In the past, Congressional stonewalling has either caused a government shutdown or stop-gap measures across the board.

Within this year’s NDAA- National Defense Authorization Act- are monies for a 2.4% pay raise, 20000 more troops, new aircraft, ground combat vehicles and ships, $66 Billion for overseas operations, and upgrading US missile defense systems.

“This bill demonstrates our unwavering commitment to men and women in uniform. They are the greatest fighting force in the world, and we’re making it ever better than that.” President Trump

Now to get Congress to play ball with the plan. Which is like pulling teeth out of a lion’s mouth without anesthetic.

The Marine Corps Times wrote,

“Congress must follow this authorization with a matching appropriation bill if we are to really rebuild our military,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, in a statement after the signing. “There is more work to do.”

The 2.4 percent pay raise is the largest for the military in eight years. It matches the expected growth in private-sector wages for next year, despite initial White House and Pentagon plans for a smaller paycheck boost.

It translates into about a $680 annual boost from 2017 pay for younger enlisted ranks, and about $1,080 a year for more senior enlisted and junior officers. A mid-career officer will see almost $2,000 a year extra under the plan.

The President took the opportunity to speak about the bill called HR 2810, and its implications as he was flanked by James Mattis, Joseph Dunford, and other members of the  military, as well as the Vice President:

“In recent years, our military has undergone a series of deep budget cuts that have severely impacted our readiness, shrunk our capabilities, and placed substantial burdens on our warfighters. And great warfighters they are.

History teaches us that when you weaken your defenses, you invite aggression. The best way to prevent conflict or be — of any kind — is to be prepared, and really be prepared. Only when the good are strong will peace prevail.”