By Buddy Blouin
Don’t you hate it when you have the chance to receive extra money at your job? We didn’t think so, and for members of the U.S. military, there are several opportunities emerging thanks to the NDAA 2023 fiscal year. Thanks to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), troops can look forward to many potential ways to bring home more cash while serving.

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When Will Senate Vote on NDAA 2023?

It is expected that the Senate will vote on the NDAA 2023 after the midterm elections are complete. Georgia is having a runoff election for the U.S. Senate on December 6, 2022. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that this vote will not come before that time.

How Service Members Can Put More Cash in Their Pockets

It’s no secret that money just isn’t going as far as it used to. Troops are dealing with many hurdles that civilians aren't, but the battle against inflation is something we all understand all too well. This is why it’s important to understand that there are plenty of potential opportunities for earning more money in 2023 if you are a part of the U.S. military. Here are some of the top methods to keep an eye out for as the upcoming military defense budget looks to pass:

Higher Pay

Nothing too new here, as each defense budget aims to provide higher pay to troops. However, the 4.6% increase is much higher than the previous 2.7% increase seen for 2022. This could mean hundreds of extra dollars per month depending on your rank.

A Bonus for Inflation

As great as the 4.6% raise is, it’s nothing compared to the 7%-8% increase we’ve seen due to inflation, sadly. That’s why troops making under $45,000 in basic pay may receive a monthly bonus equal to 2.4% of their base pay. The bonus would stay for 2023 and would begin on the first of the year.

Bonuses for Watchdogs

Waste is an issue any organization looks to cut, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is no different. As much as $10,000, or 1% of the savings found, can be provided to troops that report fiscal malfeasance, mismanagement, or wasteful spending to officials.

Cash for the Gym

Need a reason to drop a few pounds? How about some cash? You can enjoy money for your monthly gym membership if you live over 10 miles from a military installation. How much you can get is still yet to be determined; however, it will be calculated by looking at the average cost of gym memberships in your area.

Pay for Freezing

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 may be willing to pay you to chill out. In what's being called “Arctic pay,” if you're operating in cold weather, you can be compensated for your discomfort in doing so. Troops can receive an extra $300 per month when in cold weather ops. This is important considering the DoD continues to shift its focus to cold-weather training due to the potential threats in such environments for future conflicts. But this is more than going to the North Pole on a mission. If you're assigned to live in Alaska, due to the coldness and darkness affecting your mental health, an extra $125 per month may also be provided to subsidize the high cost of broadband Internet in the state. Additionally, those stationed in Alaska can also enjoy a one-time travel allowance for visiting loved ones living in the Lower 48.

Pet Relocation Assistance

Having to move is stressful and comes with varying costs. If you’re going to be a part of the military, you’re going to have to get comfortable with the idea of being on the move. For homes with pets, this only adds to the things you’ll need to take care of. Fortunately, you can now possibly enjoy reimbursement for the trouble. The NDAA bill will look to provide reimbursement while PCSing out of or into the United States. Once the 2023 defense budget passes, the reimbursement should take place in 180 days, providing as much as $2,000 for pet relocation.

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The Allowance of Larger Bonuses

You may or may not know that the military is dealing with quite a problem finding and keeping service members. Like any organization, recruiting and maintaining top talent is important to the DoD, and the National Defense Authorization Act 2023 aims to help. This means Congress is looking to help the military by authorizing the American Armed Forces to provide bonuses and special pay for high-demand positions. Under normal circumstances, these enlistment bonuses stop at $50,000. Now, the proposal is to raise this limit to $75,000, as well as raise re-enlistment bonuses from $30,000 to $50,000. Other incentives would also increase, including for positions involving aviation. The defense budget 2023 would raise these caps from $1,000 to $1,500 and increase top-level aviation bonuses to $75,000 from its previous limit of $35,000. A good-sized increase would also be made to skill incentive pay and proficiency bonuses, from $1,000 to $1,750.

NDAA 2023 an Urgent Priority for Congress

Congress currently has four urgent must-do tasks, and the NDAA 2023 is one of them. Hopefully, there's more clarity sooner than later, and with it, great new ways for American troops to enjoy larger paychecks while preserving our nation’s freedom.

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