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General Topic Areas

Putting troops in danger (11)
Pay and benefits
Recruiting (0)
Priorities (2)
Deaths due to Pentagon's negligence (3)
Mistreatment of troops (2)

Specific Issues and Cases

lightly armored vehicles (8)
Body armor (2)
Pentagon cuts to IDP and FSA (3)
Klamath Basin Fish Kill (1)
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Treatment of US troops

 
  

Project: Bush administration's treatment of US troops

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(January 2003)

       The Bush administration's proposed 2004 defense budget would cap raises for E-1s, E-2s and O-1s at 2 percent, which is significantly below the average raise for military personnel of 4.1 percent. [The Army Times, 6/30/2003]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration
          

(Summer 2003)

       Pentagon officials indicate that they will not ask Congress to renew a temporary increase in monthly Imminent-Danger Pay (IDP) (from $150 to $225) and Family-Separation Allowance (FSA) (from $100 to $250) to US soldiers stationed in combat zones. The temporary IDP and FSA increases, which were put into effect retroactively in April, are set to expire on September 30. In August, when a journalist asks the White House about its views on the plan not to renew the pay increases, a spokesperson refers the reporter to a June Pentagon budget report which warned that the DoD budget can't sustain the higher payments. [The Army Times, 6/30/2003; San Francisco Chronicle, 8/14/2003] But after the planned rollback of the benefits becomes a public controversy, the Pentagon issues a statement on August 14 saying that it intends to ensure that those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan “continue to receive this compensation at least at the current levels.” The statement says nothing about troops deployed on dangerous missions in other regions. [Department of Defense, 8/14/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, US Department of Defense
          

(June 2003)

       The White House complains that certain pay-and-benefits incentives for US soldiers that Congress added to the 2004 defense budget are wasteful and unnecessary—including a proposal to double the $6,000 gratuity paid to the families of soldiers who are killed in action. [The Army Times, 6/30/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Bush administration
          

September 25, 2003

       Department of Defense officials ask Congress not to renew a temporary increase in the Family Separation Allowance (FSA) and Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) for deployed forces that had been enacted in April. Instead, Defense suggests raising the Hardship Duty Pay for troops deployed only in Iraq and Afghanistan. David Chu, the department's top personnel official, says that the April raises were like “using a sledgehammer to hit a small nail.” The Pentagon's intent to rollback the FSA and IDP reignites a controversy that had sprung up during the summer (see (Summer 2003)) when it was first revealed that the White House supported the Defense Department's plan to save money by cutting back on the two programs. [Stars and Stripes, 10/4/2003] The final National Defense Authorization bill, which is passed by Congress in November, rejects the Pentagon's recommendations and renews the pay increases. [Sun Herald, 11/8/2003]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, US Department of Defense, David Chu
          

January 16, 2004

       The Department of Veterans Affairs announces that it is immediately cutting health care benefits to Category 8 veterans. The agency says that the decision to cut the benefits, which will affect an estimated 164,000 US veterans, is made because there is a growing backlog of veterans still waiting to receive their first treatment from a VA health care facility. Veterans classified as Category 8 are veterans who do not suffer from military service-related disabilities or health problems and who make $30,000 to $35,000 or more per year. [The Washington Post, 1/17/2003]
People and organizations involved: Department of Veterans Affairs
          


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