Austin Announces Steps to Help Financially Struggling Service Members

September 23, 2022

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin offered a wide range of existing, new and forthcoming resources to help service members and military families trying to make ends meet.

“We remain profoundly committed to doing right by our military families, just as our military families remain profoundly committed to their loved ones and to the nation that they all do so much to defend,” Austin said in a press release.

Among the DOD actions Austin directed are:

  • Basic Needs Allowance supplemental payments for eligible service members with dependents
  • Automatic increases, effective Oct. 1, in the Basic Allowance for Housing for active duty service members in 28 military housing areas where prices have ballooned, listed here by state:
    • San Diego, California
    • Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base, California
    • Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
    • Dover Air Force Base and Rehoboth, Delaware
    • Fort Myers Beach, Florida
    • Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • Orlando, Florida
    • Patrick Air Force Base, Florida
    • Volusia County, Florida
    • West Palm Beach, Florida
    • Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and Brunswick, Georgia
    • Maui County, Hawaii
    • Chicago, Illinois
    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Cape Cod – Plymouth, Massachusetts
    • Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
    • Brunswick, Maine
    • Coastal Maine
    • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
    • Helena, Montana
    • Wilmington, North Carolina
    • Northern New Jersey
    • Newport, Rhode Island
    • Providence, Rhode Island
    • Beaufort and Parris Island, South Carolina
    • Knoxville, Tennessee
    • Houston, Texas
    • Marine Corps Base Quantico and Woodbridge, Virginia
  • Commissary price cuts
  • Expanded child care opportunities
  • Expedited development of seven more occupational licensure interstate compacts to help spouses transfer professional licenses or credentials when moving to new duty stations
  • Additional support for spouses who want to work in DOD or who are looking for other employment options

“We can buy all the planes, all the ships and everything that we want, but if we don’t have people, if we’re not taking care of our people, then we’re not going to be able to do anything else,” Gil Cisneros, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said at a Thursday press conference where he and other DOD leaders talked about the initiatives.

DOD photo from 2021 by Staff Sgt. Jackie Sanders

September 23, 2022

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