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Proposed 2025 Defense Budget Includes 4.5% Military Pay Raise

On Monday, March 11, 2024, the White House released its 2025 federal budget request, which includes approximately $895 billion in national defense spending. The Pentagon would receive $850 billion of that budget.

These numbers are lower than the 2024 defense budget numbers, which multiple sources report are due to a deal reached in fiscal year 2024 to avoid a “government default.”

4.5 % Military Pay Raise in the 2025 Defense Budget

The proposed 2025 defense budget, as currently proposed, includes a 4.5% military pay raise and a 2% federal employee pay increase. According to Defense.gov, federal employee pay raises are not tied to those for the military, hence the differing numbers above.

>> Click here to see the Proposed 2025 Military Pay Charts

BAH and BAS in 2025

Rate increases for the Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance For Subsistence accompany these pay raises. At press time, the actual increases were not spelled out in the proposed budget.

What Else Is In the 2025 Proposed Defense Budget?

The proposed 2025 defense spending budget addresses many areas. But the most significant to those reading this now isn’t what the Pentagon wants to do with force modernization, artificial intelligence, or strengthening the U.S. supply chain.

What most want to know is how the federal budget affects the financial bottom line of military families and how the military plans to deal with growing issues in the ranks related to suicide, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.

The White House and the federal government are taking various actions via this new budget to address the issues above and the DoD’s technical and staffing needs.

Other important items in the proposed budget include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • More eligibility for the Basic Needs Allowance; the proposed budget would raise the “income eligibility threshold” for the Basic Needs Allowance to 200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • More emphasis on military family programs, including the Secretary of Defense’s Taking Care of People initiatives.
  • Emphasis on providing “access to behavioral health providers, continue access to employment opportunities for military spouses, and increase access to high-quality child care for military families.”
  • Increased funding for mental health care.
  • Support for the military’s Suicide Prevention and Response efforts including “addressing stigma and other barriers to care, revising suicide prevention training…”
  • Funding to support Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs and other efforts “to increase awareness, provide support mechanisms to victims, and significantly reduce the environment for, tolerance of, and occurrence of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence in the Joint Force.”

Items in the defense budget unrelated to military families, quality of life, and other people-centric issues include the following:

  • Army, Navy, and Air Force modernization
  • Biodefense and pandemic preparedness
  • Strengthening the U.S. supply chain and industrial base
  • Research and Design
  • “Space resilience”
  • Investment in Artificial Intelligence

The proposed budget did not include dollar amounts for the items in the list above, but lists the overall proposed budget at “$850 billion in discretionary budget authority for 2025, a $34 billion or 4.1-percent increase from the 2023 enacted level.”

The information above is a proposal only and has not been ratified in the House or the Senate at press time. Proposed budgets typically change over time. Congress modifies them, and the numbers proposed often aren’t the same ones signed into law at the end of the process. This is an ongoing story.

About the author


Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.