Newsbytes May 24, 2024

In this issue:
NDAA Moves Forward with Big Active Duty Pay Raise
FRA Participates in VDNC Meeting 
Memorial Day Observances


NDAA Moves Forward with Big Active Duty Pay Raise
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC), after debating numerous amendments, approved the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 57-1. The bill provides the following:

  • Authorizing annual pay increases of 19.5% for E-1 through E-4, 13% for E-5, and 4.5% for other active duty personnel.
  • Increasing Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to 100% of regional housing costs and expanding eligibility for the military’s Basic Allowance for Subsistence stipend.
  • Providing members of the Guard and Reserve access to the TRICARE dental program at no cost.
  • Increasing the threshold for the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) to 200% from 150% of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Enhancing funds for barracks renovations.

Not including the salary hike, the cost of the quality-of-life reforms totals about $4.2 billion, a significant increase in the bill’s cost. But HASC members said the moves are needed now to ensure that the services can keep pace with recruiting and retention goals.

Earlier, the FRA submitted a statement for the record in conjunction with the markup asking for, among other items, concurrent receipt reform, opposing the proposed CBO TRICARE fee increases, USFSPA reform, improving active duty pay and housing, and restoring BAH to 100%. The bill now goes to the House floor for further consideration. The Senate is expected to start marking up its version of the FY 2025 NDAA in June. Members can weigh in on these changes through the FRA Action Center at: FRA Action Center.


FRA Participates in VDNC Meeting
On May 16th, NED Phillip Reid represented the FRA at the Veterans Day National Committee meeting at VA headquarters, attended by approximately 25 other VSO/MSO organizations. FRA will be the lead VSO at the November 11, 2024, Veterans Day observance taking place at Arlington National Cemetery.

The NED was asked to lead the attending VSO/MSO organizations in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs designates a VSO to lead Veterans Day activities. FRA received the honor this year in conjunction with our Centennial celebration on November 11, 2024. FRA will lead a procession of VSOs and MSOs honoring the sacrifice of America’s veterans at ANC ceremonies.

Additionally, FRA was given the honor of establishing the theme for Veterans Day 2024 – “A Legacy of Loyalty and Protection.” This theme will be used on VA posters and lapel pins for the remainder of 2024.

On Friday, the NED will review and choose the poster design that will carry our Veterans Day 2024 theme.


Memorial Day Observances
On Monday, May 27, FRA’s National President John S. Handzuk will represent the Association at a White House breakfast meeting and Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, where he will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in honor of the men and women who have died in service to their nation. NED Phillip Reid will attend an event at the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC. Shipmates and all Americans are reminded on Memorial Day that “freedom is not free.” In observance of Memorial Day, FRA National Headquarters will be closed on Monday, May 27.



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