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Enlisted Base Pay for FY 2006

The House of Representatives has approved their version of the FY 2006 Military Authorization Act (HR 1815). The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved the Senate version (S 1042), but floor debate has been delayed because of Senate politics.

Once the full Senate approves the senate version of the bill, the differences in the two bills will be worked out in a House/Senate conference committee. Then the compromised bills are voted on by the full House and full Senate, and -- if approved -- go to the President for signature.

One factor which is not in contention is the annual raise amount for military base pay. Both versions of the bill authorize an across-the-board base pay increase of 3.1 percent, which makes it pretty much a "done deal."

Even if the FY 2006 Military Authorizaton Act is not signed into law before January 1, the raise in base pay will still take effect. This is because of a law passed four years ago which regulates military pay raises through FY 2006. Under this law, if Congress does not approve a different amount, the military base pay raise is automatically set

at one percent below the CPI. Coincidently, this just happens to be 3.1 percent, which is the same amount contained in both versions of the bill. In short, the 3.1 percent raise in military base pay will happen on January 1, whether or not Congress passes the Authorization Act before then.

This is the second year in a row that Congress did not "target" the pay raise by giving some ranks a higher raise percentage than other ranks. In FY 2004, the average pay raise was 4.1 percent, but some members received as little as 3.7 percent, while others received as much as 6.25 percent. In 2005, all members will receive a base pay raise of 3.5 percent.

Active duty military members are paid twice per month, on the 1st and the 15th of each month. If "payday" falls on a weekend or holiday, they are paid on the duty day preceeding the weekend or holiday. For example, if the 15th of the month falls on Sunday, the member would be paid on Friday. Because the below chart shows MONTHLY pay, the member would receive 1/2 of this on each payday.

FY 2006 Military base pay is based upon grade (rank) and years of service:

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