NGAUS Talks Pay With New Commission

NGAUS Washington Report

(Oct. 29, 2013) NGAUS discussed future pay, allowances and benefits with senior staff of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission at the National Guard Memorial, the association's headquarters in Washington, D.C., Oct. 25.

Established by the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the commission will review the military compensation and retirement programs and make recommendations for their modernization to the president and Congress next spring.

The commission's stated goal is to ensure the long-term health of the all-volunteer force, provide for a high quality-of-life for service members and their families, and make sure the compensation and retirement programs are financially sustainable.

Of great interest to NGAUS is a 2012 recommendation by the Pentagon's Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation to cut drill pay in half. It would make drill pay one-day's pay for each day drilled, instead of the historic two-day's pay for each drill day.

Retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the association president, and Pete Duffy, the legislative director, told commission staff that the QRMC recommendation ignores that Guard service involves more than a two-day-a-month commitment, especially for officers and NCOs.

NGAUS, however, welcomes a fresh look at the current Guard and Reserve retirement program, which requires most part-time recipients to wait until age 60 to begin drawing their retirement pay. It has gone largely unchanged since its establishment in 1947.

The association will testify to the full commission Nov. 13.

The commission invites all NGAUS members to share their thoughts on military pay and retirement, quality of life, and health care through the public comments section at the upper right corner of its website at www.mcrmc.gov.