February 6th, 2013
10:16 AM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Panetta to recommend pay cut for military

By Barbara Starr

Just days before he leaves office, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is recommending military pay be limited, effectively decreasing troop salaries next year.

Panetta will recommend to Congress that military salaries be limited to a 1% increase in 2014. The Pentagon has calculated that the Labor Department's 2014 Employment Cost Index is expected to be above 1% but wants to still cut back on pay because of "budget uncertainties," a department official told CNN. In 2013, a 1.7% increase was approved, based on the index, which has been the basis for military pay for the last several years.

Three Pentagon officials have confirmed details of the plan to CNN. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have also agreed to Panetta's proposed pay plan. Final approval for the pay would come from Congress in the form of the 2014 budget.

The recommendation is tied to the Defense Department's 2014 budget recommendation, which was expected to be sent to Congress this month, one of the officials said. But the officials acknowledge it is going to be seen as an effort to push Congress to stop the automatic budget cuts that could go into effect if no deal is reached on spending reductions.

ALSO:  Panetta warns spending cuts will degrade military readiness

The decision comes as the secretary is stepping up the rhetoric about dire cuts at the Pentagon if sequestration goes into effect. President Obama in 2012 walled off military pay from cuts, so if this current pay plan goes into effect, it's widely seen as "cutting our pay," one military officer familiar with the plan told CNN. "It's a smart move, it puts it in Congress' hands," he said.

Panetta, in one of his last official speeches as secretary of defense, told an audience at Georgetown University on Wednesday that the Pentagon faced "the most serious readiness crisis in over a decade."

The defense secretary outlined a series of possible cuts should the Pentagon be forced to find half a trillion dollars more in savings. He warned that 800,000 civilian workers could furloughed for 22 days and that the Army would need to cut back on training and maintenance, putting two-thirds of combat teams at "reduced readiness levels." Pacific naval operations could be cut by as much a third, and Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance could be cut.

CNN has also learned that this week, the Navy is expected to announce it does not have the money to pay for refueling and maintenance of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. That will essentially mean the Navy is short a carrier and overseas deployments will be cut.
"No good options exist," Panetta said.

soundoff (1,454 Responses)
  1. dent devil san diego

    I was very pleased to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new things on your site.


    May 14, 2021 at 10:37 am | Reply
  2. RV Fabrication Orange County


    May 14, 2021 at 8:30 am | Reply
  3. woodland hills body shop


    May 14, 2021 at 5:34 am | Reply
  4. semi truck ac repair near me


    May 14, 2021 at 4:58 am | Reply
  5. RV Blinds Riverside

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new things you post…


    May 14, 2021 at 4:24 am | Reply
  6. collision center of temecula temecula ca


    May 14, 2021 at 3:42 am | Reply
  7. rv insurance near me

    Great information. Lucky me I found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!


    May 13, 2021 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  8. upholstery orange county


    May 13, 2021 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  9. Egr Def Repair Mercedes Sprinter

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 13, 2021 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  10. stornobrzinol

    Hi there, You've done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this website.


    May 13, 2021 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  11. awnings orange county ca


    May 13, 2021 at 11:26 am | Reply
  12. rv tire installation near me


    May 13, 2021 at 7:42 am | Reply
  13. rv mechanic near me


    May 13, 2021 at 7:03 am | Reply
  14. fiberglass repair near me

    Great information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!


    May 13, 2021 at 2:29 am | Reply
  15. RV Tires California


    May 13, 2021 at 2:02 am | Reply
  16. Ecu Repair 2017 Mercedes Sprinter Van Remove Speed Limiter

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that will make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 12, 2021 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  17. rv mechanic near me


    May 12, 2021 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  18. RV Bathroom Los Angeles

    Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for sharing!


    May 12, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  19. Dry Van Trailer Repair

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.


    May 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  20. Repair Van


    May 12, 2021 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  21. orange truck shop

    Very good information. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    May 12, 2021 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  22. Mercedes Sprinter Van Repair Motorhome

    After looking over a handful of the blog articles on your website, I honestly like your way of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website too and tell me what you think.


    May 12, 2021 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  23. videos stores near me

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    May 12, 2021 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  24. rv repair riverside ca

    After I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 12, 2021 at 2:05 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Leave a Reply to Don


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.