Military Pay and Benefits

Archive Report

Attacks on Compensation System

Marked Improvement Since End of Draft

Pay and benefits in the U.S. armed forces have improved markedly since military conscription ended five years ago.1 The days of $75-a-month recruit pay are only a distant memory. Today, fresh enlistees earn nearly $400 a month in basic pay. And it is calculated that housing and rations allowances and tax advantages are worth an additional $200 a month. The lowest ranking officers receive $12,450 in total compensation.

Manpower costs account for 57 per cent of the military budget in this fiscal year and 55 per cent of the $125.5 billion proposed budget for fiscal 1979. Those figures compare with the last year before the Vietnam buildup — fiscal 1964 — when manpower costs consumed about 48 ...

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