|Defense secretary ash carter
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Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on
Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization
The Department of Defense commends the Military Compensation and Retirement
Modernization Commission for its 18-month independent review of the military
retirement and compensation programs administered both inside and outside DoD.
Their work confirmed many positive changes that we're making to uphold our
commitments to our people, and also pointed out areas where we can do better.
Last month I told members of Congress that many of the commission's proposals
would significantly affect our servicemembers and their families, and that DoD owes
them, President Obama, and the country our utmost diligence and most rigorous
analysis. And over the past three months, DoD has conducted a rapid yet
comprehensive review of the commission's recommendations, working closely with
both the commission and our interagency partners to adopt or refine the specific
proposals where possible.
As President Obama informed Congress earlier, we are now prepared to support
specific proposals for 10 of the commission's 15 recommendations, and, given the
complexities of four others, we will continue to conduct analysis and work with the
commission over the next few months. In some instances, the Defense Department
is already taking steps to implement these first 10 recommendations, but in areas
that will require legislative changes to do so, we will work quickly to submit
proposed legislative language to Congress as soon as possible.
However, while we agree with the commission that reforms to the military health
care system are needed, we also believe that the TRICARE proposals in President
Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget serve as a good first step by offering
servicemembers, military families, and retirees greater choice and control over their
health care decisions. DoD looks forward to working with the commission, our
interagency partners, and interested members of Congress over the course of this
year as we develop additional reform proposals to be considered for the
President's fiscal year 2017 budget.
The choices we face about military compensation are both vexing and critically
important. DoD will continue to work closely with the Congress and the commission to
achieve the goals we share: ensuring the long-term strength and vitality of our
all-volunteer force, and honoring all our servicemembers -- past, present, and future.