Army chief calls for 3.6 percent raise next year

Army chief calls for 3.6 percent raise next year

Members of the military would receive a 3.6 percent pay raise for fiscal 2000 and 4.4 percent the following year as part of an overall proposal to increase defense spending, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis Reimer said Thursday at meeting of defense writers.

President Clinton, who has not yet approved the proposal, met with Reimer and other senior military chiefs earlier this week to discuss a possible $112 billion increase in military spending over the next six years.

The White House is currently working on its budget for fiscal 2000, which begins next Oct. 1. In the last budget, Clinton asked Congress for a military raise of 3.1 percent, but Congress raised it to 3.6 percent.

Reimer told the Associated Press that his top priority is a pay increase and an overhaul of the military retirement system.

"Send a signal out there to those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that we really understand the sacrifice in their service, and we appreciate that," he said.

In addition to the increases in fiscal 2000 and 2001, Reimer said the Army would seek 3.9 percent increases for each of the following four years.

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