MILITARY PERSONNEL ACTIVE AND RESERVE FORCES
These appropriations finance the personnel costs of the Active, Reserve, and Guard forces of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. They include pay and allowances of officers, enlisted personnel, cadets and midshipmen, permanent change of station travel, inactive duty and active duty training, accruing retirement and health benefits, enlistment, reenlistment and affiliation bonuses, special and incentive pays, and other personnel costs. Over the past several years, significant pay increases, coupled with new requirements to accrue funds for future health benefits, have significantly increased the requirements of these appropriations.
Included in these accounts is funding for a 1.7 percent acrossthe-board pay raise. With this and other compensation increases, military salaries, as defined by Regular Military Compensation, which includes basic pay, a tax-free allowance for housing or the value of in-kind housing, a tax-free allowance for subsistence (food) and the tax savings because these allowances are tax free, will average more than $55,000 for enlisted personnel and more than $103,000 for officers. Many military personnel also receive one-time or yearly bonuses, monthly special pays, other allowances, and significant non-cash benefits, including comprehensive health care. Also included in these appropriations are the amounts required to implement items contained in the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) proposed 2013 Authorization Act, which will be submitted in support of the 2013 President’s Budget.
The Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (P.L. 108–375) provided permanent, indefinite appropriations to finance the cost of accruing TRICARE benefits of uniformed servicemembers. These costs are included in the DOD discretionary total.
The Budget includes a proposal to adjust the prescription pharmacy co-payments for active duty families and all retirees. Also included is a TRICARE-for-Life (TFL) proposal to charge age 65 and older, military retirees and their families a modest annual premium for TFL coverage. In addition to discretionary savings in the Defense Health Program, the proposal reduces future accrual costs, resulting in reduced Services’ discretionary contributions to the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund.
The following summary table reflects the actual base and supplemental 2012 amounts and the base 2013 military personnel appropriation request and the additional amounts for TRICARE accrual funded from permanent, indefinite authority. Total base 2013 military personnel requirements are $135,112 million.