THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
In consultation with my Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I have decided to make significant improvements in pay and other compensation for our men and women in uniform. The Defense budget I will submit to Congress for next year will include a pay raise of 4.4% for 2000, a restructuring of pay to reward performance as well as length of service, and an increase in retirement benefits.
These improvements will enhance the quality of life for our men and women in uniform, will encourage long-term service by the most talented servicemen and women, and will increase the Armed Forces' military readiness to engage fully, at any time, in order to protect the security and interests of the United States.
The sacrifices of our men and women in the Armed Forces are most vivid during the holidays while those of us at home are celebrating a time of peace with loved ones and family. As events in the Gulf showed us only days ago, our servicemen and women are asked by their nation to travel far from home and to put their lives on the line to defend our interests.
I am proud of the men and women of our military, and I am pleased that they will receive the pay and retirement increases they richly deserve. Coupled with recent quality of life initiatives in housing, child care and other areas, these improvements will continue to enhance the quality of life for American servicemen and women.