Trump Boasted 10% Raises to the Troops He Visited. The Actual Raise Is Much Lower (Time Magazine link): For years, sitting U.S. Presidents have shared the tradition of visiting military members around the holidays in order to boost morale. Former President Barack Obama visited the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii throughout his two terms, former President George W. Bush visited injured troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2008 and President Donald Trump visited Walter Reed in 2017.
“You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, because you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received,” he said. “You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one.
However, figures from the Department of Defense indicate military personnel have received at least a 1% raise each year since 2007, adjusted to resemble pay increases in the private sector.
“They said: ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%. We could make it 2%. We could make it 4%.’ I said: ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.’”
But recent raises are nowhere near 10%. In fact, the increase in 2018 was just 2.4%, according to the Department of Defense figures. In 2019, it will be 2.6%, thanks to the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
Although the raises offered under Trump’s administration are higher than those from 2011 through 2016 — which averaged at 1.3% per year — neither 2018’s or 2019’s represent the highest in the last decade.
Troops received a 3.9% boost in 2009.