The Department of Defense announces immediate and long-term measures to strengthen economic security and stability for service members and their families
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III today announced immediate and long-term measures to strengthen the economic security and stability of service members and their families.
In recognition of the extraordinary pressures military families face, Secretary of State Austin has ordered the following actions in four key areas:
Help secure affordable basic needsthe secretary instructed the department:
- Review the projected Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) tables for 2023 to ensure the calculations reflect the unusually dynamic fluctuations in the housing market.
- Introduce automatic BAH increases for active-duty members in the 28 Military Housing Areas (MHAs), which this year have seen rental housing costs rise more than 20 percent above this year’s BAH rates. These automatic increases will take effect in October 2022.
- The 28 military housing areas are: Vandenberg AFB, CA; Twenty Nine Palms MCB, CA; San Diego, CA; Dover AFB/Rehoboth, DE; Patrick AFB, FL; Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL; Orlando, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Volusia County, FL; Fort Myers Beach, FL; Kings Bay/Brunswick, GA; County of Maui, HI; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; Cape Cod – Plymouth, Massachusetts; Martha’s Vineyard, MA; Brunswick, ME; Coast of Maine, ME; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Helena, MT; Wilmington, NC; Northern New Jersey, NJ; Newport, RI; Providence, RI; Beaufort/Parris Island, SC; Knoxville, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; Quantico/Woodbridge, VA.
- Fully fund our commissaries to reduce prices at the checkout, aiming to achieve at least 25 percent savings on grocery bills compared to the local market.
- Eligible service members will pay Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) beginning January 2023. The BNA is an additional allowance for service members with dependents who apply and qualify based on their gross household income.
- Additionally, the President’s budget includes a 4.6 percent pay increase for service members beginning January 1, 2023
Continue Facilitate the process of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) movesthe secretary instructed the department:
- Permanently increasing standard maximum TLE coverage from 10 to 14 days for CONUS relocations and granting up to 60 days TLE when a service member is in a specific housing-deprived military housing area to take effect in October 2022.
- Increase Dislocation Allowance (DLA) for E-1 through E-6 service members to further offset personal PCS relocation expenses. DLA payments for all service members are automatically paid one month prior to their move date to prevent expenses. This will come into force in October 2022.
- Further improvements to Military OneSource’s online relocation and housing tools.
Continue Increase family supportthe secretary headed the department:
- Significant investment in Child Development Program (CDP) facilities and infrastructure to further expand our capacity to provide quality child care.
- Standardize a minimum 50 percent discount for the first child of CDP caregivers to attract more talented staff and increase capacity. This will come into force in October 2022.
- Increase access to child care programs and resources such as Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood and expand the Home Child Care Assistance pilot program to additional states to provide more opportunities for military families.
- Military Child Development Center hours have already been extended to better accommodate service members’ differing schedules. The Department has also reached out to other high-quality, community-based childcare providers who agree to care for military families using the Department of Defense’s fee support program.
- The Department also previously expanded parental leave policies to cover non-creditable leave following the birth or adoption of a child for active duty and eligible members of the Reserve Component Service. established a new parent support program; and updated guidelines on reimbursement for nursing service members for shipping breast milk on mandatory temporary duty travel.
Continue Improving Employment Opportunities for Military Spousesthe secretary headed the department:
- Accelerate development of seven additional interstate professional licensing covenants with organizations representing multiple professions, relieving spouses of having to transfer professional licensing or credentials with every move.
- Increase the use of non-competitive, direct military spousal hiring agencies at the Department of Defense and further expand remote work and telecommuting options to help military spouses build viable careers.
- Launch a new career acceleration pilot initiative that will match military spouses with paid private sector grants in a variety of career paths. This will come into force in January 2023.
- Increase the number of partners in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) by 10 percent before January 2023. MSEP is critical to connecting DoD spouses with organizations that have committed to hire them.
The memorandum for the care of our service members and families can be found here here.
For more information about caring for members and families of our service, visit Defense.gov’s Caring for People Spotlight page here.