Service members have had a pay rise of at least 1 percent a year for more than 30 years, although the 2018 raise was the highest for eight years.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday encouraging federal agencies to hire more military spouses, a population whose employment lags behind the rest of the United States. "Some of them are much longer than you ever bargained for, and you routinely move your families around the country and all over the world", the president said.
The hiring authority allows military spouses to be appointed to certain jobs without having to go through the usual hiring process.
However, Trump errred in his remarks about an issue dear to the families in the attendance - military pay. "While the order promotes the use of noncompetitive hiring authority for military spouses, it does not require the hiring of a military spouse for an open position over other applicants" and does not override hiring preferences for veterans, according to a White House fact sheet.
Mr. Trump also touted his administration's efforts in increasing spending levels for USA military efforts by $700 billion. "I don't know", he said. Military spouse hiring was also a focus of the Obama administration through a program known as Joining Forces. He claimed troops were getting their first pay rise in 10 years. That was the year Congress began starting pay raises on January 1 of the new year, rather than the first day of the government's fiscal year in October. That is true, and sort of renders impossible the president's "first pay raise in 10 years" statement this week - but, again, only according to the data.
The White House's version of the fiscal year 2019 NDAA, which would set military policy for the coming year, includes a 2.6 percent pay raise as part of a total $716 billion for national defense.
It was the second gaffe in recent weeks that Trump has made about the military.
"It is really important that the commander in chief not only have the backs of our servicemembers but also have the backs of our military spouses", Korn said. Korn said at the listening session past year.