Financial Changes in the Proposed 2019 National Defense Authorization Act
The House just passed the reconciled version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA19). In it are a lot of changes that will affect the personal finances of military members and veterans.
There have been a lot of articles about the changes, so I wanted to take the time to review them and point you to articles that will offer you additional details if you’re interested. Here is a summary of the financial changes (and lack of changes, in some cases) in NDAA19:
- A 2.6 percent pay raise.
- No reduction in Basic Allowance for Housing.
- No new TRICARE fees.
- A lot of changes to the officer promotion system, which include:
- Officers will continue to be considered for promotion as part of the same year group in which they were promoted to their current rank.
- Congress is required to annually authorize the number of officers allowed to serve in the ranks of O4 through O6 across all the services.
- It repeals a requirement that candidates for regular commissions not be older than 42, or at least have enough service years to complete 20 years by age 62.
- It enhances the services’ authority to award constructive service credit for special private sector training or experience to allow active or reserve officer appointments up to the rank of O6 in critically needed fields.
- Authorizing each service to award temporary promotions to the ranks O3 through O6 for specified positions. Only Navy has such authority today so this change would standardize it across all branches.
- Authorizing promotion boards to recommend that “officers of particular merit” be placed higher on promotion lists than peers.
- Allowing officers, when deemed in the best interest of the service, to have their names removed from consideration by a selection board for promotion to the next higher grade, and authorizing officers in certain military specialties to remain on active duty until reaching 40 years active service.
- Authorizing use of an alternative promotion processes for officers in certain secretary designated competitive categories, to include a term based continuation process when certain officers are not selected for promotion. This would selectively end the traditional up or out requirement for officer management.
- Former prisoners of war, Purple Heart recipients, certain disabled veterans and caregivers for veterans will be allowed to shop at commissaries and exchanges, and other retail facilities on military bases, such as military lodging.
The House passed the bill, and now it is moving to the Senate, where it is expected to pass as well.