A pay raise for local military service members could be a big deal

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Less than a week after the Army dropped their high school diploma and GED requirements, they say those spots are all filled up.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are working to get a four-point-six percent wage increase across the board for service members.

We spoke with local military families and Senator Jon Ossoff Friday on how much this could help military families right now.

According to Ossoff, the increase is backed by both sides, and while he’s pushing to make it permanent in the Falls National Defense Authorization Act, some active military families are saying they should go back to the drawing board.

“When inflation is going up, it’s literally still paycheck to paycheck and catching up. In this sense, it’s one of those it’s better than nothing kind of situation,” said an anonymous military spouse.

Ossoff’s push for a four-point-six percent pay increase across the military is the most in more than 14 years.

“It’s difficult to make ends meet the high cost of housing, on and around installations across Georgia, and the low pay really make it difficult, and these are folks who are making sacrifices in our national defense,” said Ossoff.

A check, families say, is long over-due.

The spouse said: “We’re supposed to be protecting freedom. We don’t really get anything out of it other than stress and anxiety and like the thought of well, so how are we going to make you know, next week’s or next month’s pay?”

But more in the pocket could mean more in the military.

Ossoff said: “Raising military pay will both enhance and improve quality of life for service members and military families, and also make a career in the military more attractive and more sustainable for folks who are considering joining.”

The increase would be an added incentive.

Captain Edward L. Littrell said: “We have up to $50,000 to join. They beat combined multiple different bonuses from quick ships, which is shipping within 45 days, we have a prior service bonus that we offer, we offer a reserve bonus at this time.”

At the end of the work week, stability is key.

“A consistent pay first and 15th or at least the first of every month, that’s something everybody wants,” said Littrell.

Throughout the five recruiting stations in the CSRA, over this past year more than 120 high school seniors have enlisted.

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