The military saw a pay raise that matched the rise in private sector wages for the first time in six years and many feel that Trump is the one to thank for that. Prior to the election Obama and congress seemed to be in a deadlock about how much of a raise the military would receive in 2017. Congress wanted to give the troops a raise that matched the projected growth in private sector wages, while President Obama had proposed a budget reducing the raise to 1.6% or a half a percent behind private sector wage growth. This has been his strategy as a way to save on the budget for some time and many veterans and veteran groups have been upset with the Commander and Chief trying to save money on the backs of the US men and women in uniform who are readily sent into harm’s way.
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act submitted by the Obama administration also called for cutting 20k troops from the active duty Army alone. However after the election this was removed from the act and troop levels are to be maintained at their 2016 levels. One might presume that there actually may be a buildup in troops during the Trump administration.
President Trump has touted his support of the United States Armed Forces and its veterans throughout his entire campaign. He has made the terrible state of Veterans Affairs a focal point while gaining the support of veterans across the country. If you follow the link below he can even be seen giving a job interview to a veteran who questioned him during a press conference. He calls the woman up to the podium and gives her an on the spot interview after the woman asked if Trump Towers would be part of the Veteran hiring initiative. Needless to say I think he got that veterans support when she went to the polls on Election Day.
Pair all of this with the fact that President Trump selected one of the most respected Marine Corps generals in history as his Secretary of Defense and it sounds like this administration may be a major shift from the previous administration that saw the reducing of troop levels, buying power eroded, education benefits cut, and a crumbling of the VA system.
Even if President Trump is completely hands off from this day forward the Department of Defense can still look to General Mattis as the Secretary of Defense and feel a sense of security in an organization that can only be described as the largest band of brothers you could ever assemble. The military and its veterans are a family through thick and thin. We may have our fights, we may joke around with each other, we may even knock each other around but that’s ok because we are family. If anyone outside the family were to do it we would end their world. I for one am starting to feel very secure with the direction that that family will be heading in for the next 4 years.