Armed Forces News

Service members would receive a 3-percent raise in basic pay Jan. 1, under the 2021 defense-spending bill proposed by the House Armed Services Military Personnel subcommittee June 22. Other personnel related provisions include:

* Providing a basic-needs allowance to any service member who qualifies for it.


* Extending critical recruitment and retention programs by one year.

* Generating a report that would outline force-structure plans for the Space Force. This would include: the number of personnel; their paygrades and specialties; civilian-personnel requirements; determination if any changes in medical or physical standards should be adopted; a timeline with specific milestones for force-structure actions; resource allocation; and transfers.

* Allowing the Defense Language Institute to award bachelor’s degrees.

* Addressing the Defense Department-wide uniformity of determination of medical accession waivers. This would include: how frequently DoD solicits best-practices data from civilian health-care providers; the potential impact of decentralizing the medical-waivers process to a lower level of the chain of command; and the number of times potential recruits are denied entry because of ADHD medication and mental health conditions that are considered stable.

* Providing annual summations of the gender and race of each officer recommended for promotion to the grades of 0-4 and above.

* Establishing a domestic violence task force, consisting of service members and civilian employees. They would work closely with experts from the Justice and Health and Human Service departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and civilian experts. It also would require collecting information about the prevalence of domestic violence among service members, their intimate partners, and immediate family members.

* Standardization of the Exceptional Family Member program across the armed services.

* Clear definition of the terms “military family readiness” and “military family resiliency,” with a plan to communicate these meanings clearly to military families.

* Assessing the performance of DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) Schools, with a focus on how the curriculum addresses health, nutrition, r3siliency, and student performance.

* Providing child-care services to service members and civilian employees who work rotating shifts on military installations.

* Granting priority for military housing to any service member whose spouse agrees to provide family home daycare services.

* Establishing a program to provide grants for Junior ROTC programs to use in fostering STEM education.

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