Download the full report (pdf)
Military personnel costs have nearly doubled since fiscal year 2001 and now consume one-third of the Pentagon’s base budget—about $180 billion per year. If military personnel benefits are not reformed, the increasing costs will eat up a growing share of the defense budget, likely diverting funds from other critical national security initiatives like training and modernization.
In its fiscal year 2013 budget request, the Department of Defense has proposed a series of adjustments to military pay, health care, and retirement benefits which aim to place the programs on a more sustainable footing. These changes—analyzed in a new Center for American Progress report by Lawrence Korb, Alex Rothman, and Max Hoffman—would include reducing the rate of increase for military base pay, introducing new fees and co-pays for Tricare services, and the creation of a Military Retirement Modernization Commission to oversee the overhaul of the current system.
Please join our panel of experts for a discussion of the Pentagon’s proposed changes and the new CAP report, and a debate of the proper cost-sharing balance between military service members, retirees, veterans, and taxpayers.
Vice Admiral Norbert R. Ryan Jr. (USNR), President, Military Officers Association of America
Major General Arnold L. Punaro (USMCR), CEO, Punaro Group, LLC; member, Defense Business Board
Michael J. Bayer, CEO, Dumbarton Strategies; former Chairman, Defense Business Board
Lawrence J. Korb (USNR), Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; former Assistant Secretary for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations, and Logistics, Department of Defense