Targeted Benefits, Perhaps

The Senate Armed Services Committee is talking about whether to continue raising servicemembers’ salaries faster than the rate of inflation or advocate “targeted” increases instead, said Sen. James Webb (D-Va.). Webb, who chairs the SASC personnel panel, said committee members recognize that military pay is eating into the funds available for buying new equipment, but he declined to say whether the 10-year run-up in overall pay is over. During his meeting with defense reporters in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Webb said he’s looking at pay increases for “the most in-demand” specialties, but was vague about whether that would mean higher base pay in some specialties or bonuses. (For more from Webb’s roundtable, see Webb Not Happy with Pentagon’s Transparency and Cutting Back.)