The leaders of the House Armed Services Committee’s military quality of life panel said this week they are considering recommendations on tax-exempt pay, extended parenthood leave and fewer PCS moves, reported. The panel is tasked with finding ways to improve quality of life, recruitment and retention.

“You’re competing with the civilian economy that has also figured out that the youngest generation wants very much to feel a purpose and sense of community, and they’ve met them where they are,” Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), the panel’s ranking member, said at a Wednesday event. “Those kids are going into those job opportunities without the obligation of PCSing every couple of years, without the obligation of living in dorms that are substandard, with pay that is significantly more in most cases.”

Chair Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said the panel is also looking at increasing pay raises for junior enlisted troops.

“We’ve both been struck by the fact that the leadership in DOD and in the services will tell us that the pay is adequate,” Bacon said. “Then how come one in eight people have to go to the food banks? You don’t get a good answer on that.”

The panel is expected to formally report on its recommendations early next year, in hopes of incorporating its ideas into the next National Defense Authorization Act.

Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Kevin Hynes