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Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission

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January 10, 2014

The Military Compensation Reform and Modernization Committee has launched a new website where stakeholders can comment. To make sure your voice is heard, click here today.

The FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established a 9 member independent commission to review all military compensation, benefits and retirement. Its findings and final recommendations could have a major impact on future decisions regarding military compensation, benefits and retirement. 

The commission has been instructed by President Obama to not alter the current retirement system for those already serving, retired or in the process of retiring.  Along with a review of military compensation, the President asked that the commission look at the “interrelationship of the military’s current promotion system…as well as associated force shaping tools.” 

The president has stated that the commission must review “the full breadth of the systems,” including healthcare, military family support, and any federal programs that could influence the decision of current or future servicemembers to stay in uniform or leave the service. 

The commission is tasked with studying and making recommendations on a wide range of topics, including:  

  • manpower and compensation
  • living standards
  • pay
  • effectiveness
  • flexibility
  • motivation to advance

The members of the Commission are:  

The chairman of the Commission is the Honorable Alphonso Maldon, Jr., a retired Army officer, and the Founder and President/CEO of Partnership Strategies Consulting.  He is also a founding partner of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. During the Clinton administration, he was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management and Policy, responsible for policies, plans and programs for all military and civilian personnel management and oversaw the Department’s commissaries/stores and Department of Defense schools.   

  • Senator Larry Pressler:  Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran (1966-1968). Former Republican U.S. Senator (1979-1997) and Congressman (1975-1979) from South Dakota.
  • Senator Bob Kerrey: U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran, Medal of Honor Recipient. Former Democratic U.S. Senator from Nebraska (1989-2001) and Governor of Nebraska (1983-1987).
  • Honorable Dov Zakheim: Former Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) (2001-2004).
  • Mr. Mike Higgins: Retired U.S. Air Force officer, former professional staff member, House Armed Services Committee (1990-2013) and MOAA Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award recipient in 2005.
  • General Peter W. Chiarelli, USA (Ret): Former U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff (2008-2012).
  • Congressman Chris Carney: A currently serving naval reserve officer, Carney is a former Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania (2007-2011). 
  • Congressman Stephen Buyer: Retired U.S. Army Reserve officer. Former Republican Representative from Indiana and former Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs.
  • Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, Jr., USN (Ret). Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2005-2007).

Before making their final recommendations to the President, the Commission must examine the impacts of proposed recommendations on currently serving members, retirees, spouses, children and survivors; DoD-specific programs such as pay and retirement, MWR, commissaries, exchanges, housing, dependent schools; DoD and VA programs such as health care, disability, survivor, education, dependent support; Department of Education Impact Aid; and support/funding to states, territories, colleges and universities. 


The commission’s report was originally due May 14, 2014, but the FY2014 Defense Authorization Act delayed the final report until February 2015.