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4.6 Percent Military Pay Raise for 2023?

First 2023 Military Pay Raise Indicator Released

Written by
Published: October 29, 2021
Updated: December 8, 2021

Due to an unprecedented delay in President Biden’s initial release of his budget proposal, this year’s process is lagging behind previous years. So far, only the House of Representatives has passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2022 (NDAA). The Senate’s version remains on the table and appears to be shelved for the time being. Both versions of the bill, however, support President Biden’s initial budget proposal of a 2.7 percent military pay raise for 2022.

Once the full Senate finishes their bill markup and approves it, both Houses must then reconcile their differences. Once that process is complete, the finalized bill will be forwarded to the President for his signature. The delays in this years process should be overcome, and the President should be able to approve a finalized bill with enough time for Servicemembers to see the benefits of the raise effective January 1, 2022 (in paycheck of January 15th — delivered January 14th because the 15th is a Saturday).

Basic military pay raises are tied to Title 37 of the United States Code, and based on the section of the law that mandates the raise process, today is vitally important for 2023.

This morning at 0830 EST, the United States Employment Cost Index (ECI) was released by the United States Bureau of Labor. Per United States Code Title 37, the specific ECI stat used is “wages and salaries, for private industry workers for the period ending September 2021”; this morning’s number is 4.6. So, unless the President decides to propose a different figure in the coming Spring when he delivers his budget proposal, or if Congress decides to write as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 a different amount, then the statutorily driven pay raise for 2023 will be 4.6 percent. Varying from the ECI figure has happened in the past, but it is a relatively rare occurrence.

A 4.6 percent military pay raise for 2023 will be the largest raise since 2007 for many mid-level enlisted and warrant officers, and since 2002 for most of the other uniformed Servicemembers (during the first years of this millennium, many pay grades experienced targeted raises).

Add the 4.6 percent figure to 2022 Basic Pay, and you get what the military pay chart for 2023 would look like. Military basic pay for O-7 through O-10 is limited by the Level II of the Executive Schedule (ES), and basic pay for pay grades O-6 and below is limited to the rate of basic pay for Level V of the ES. Those figures for 2023 will be released separately at a much later date.

The 2023 pay charts will be immediately updated if/when the raise percentage changes via either Presidential proposal or Congressional action.

And, now we wait for the President’s next budget release, expected sometime in the Spring of 2022.



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Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

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