A New Approach to Reserve Compensation

Can the US military maintain the size of its reserve forces and cut costs? It can, according to a new study by RAND. Every four years, federal law calls on the Defense Secretary to assess military compensation. The 11th quadrennial review, released in June, proposes compensating Reserve Component members like their Active Duty counterparts, including regular military compensation based on days of reserve service, regardless of duty status, according to RAND. “Using this new approach, the service branches also can use various incentive pay categories to improve retention in jobs with particular skill sets or high-demand categories,” said Michael Mattock, the study’s lead author. Rand’s verdict: “We conclude that the approach is not only cost-effective but also fairer vis-à-vis the compensation for AC members, and it improves the transparency and simplicity of the overall military compensation system,” reads the study’s summary. The study is dated June 28.