Calling it the “Year of the Troops,” the House Armed Services Committee has rolled up good news for troops in its input to the fiscal 2005 National Defense Authorization Act. First, it would authorize a 3.5 percent across-the-board pay raise, which will shave the gap between military and private sector pay from 5.5 to 5.1 percent. Next, it hikes the limit on hardship duty pay from $300 to $750 per month. Also, it permanently raises imminent danger pay from $150 to $225 per month and more than doubles family separation allowance, from $100 to $250 per month. The Senate Armed Services Committee version parallels the HASC input except that it omits an increased limit on hardship duty pay.