Army officials said Monday they will pay a total of $2.9 billion in annual bonuses to its top commanders this year, a significant increase from the $2 million in bonuses paid in 2016.
The bonuses will be paid in two installments: one in the second quarter and another in the first quarter, the Army’s Chief of Staff Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told reporters at the Pentagon.
The Army has already made a decision to increase the base pay to $150,000 per year for officers and enlisted soldiers, which would be more than double the base base pay that was originally proposed.
The pay increases were announced by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as the Trump administration seeks to boost the size of the military.
In a letter to Trump, the White House said it was committed to hiring and retaining “the best and brightest men and women” and the Army was doing just that.
The letter also urged Trump to give the Army a major overhaul and modernization, which the White Houses own experts have called for.
“This is a major investment in our future,” Buchanan said.
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Buchanan said he did not want to speculate on the future. “
We are confident that the President and the Secretary will see fit to act on these recommendations and the changes to the Army are well within their authority.”
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Buchanan said he did not want to speculate on the future.
“I’m not going to comment on what might happen,” he said.
But he said it would be “fair to say” that Trump would not be getting the money for his generals.
He also said the increase in the base salary would not change the nature of the job.
“It’s going to be much more than a base pay increase,” he told Fox.
The Pentagon’s chief of staff, Gen. Robert Caslen, said the bonuses will help “reinforce our commitment to hiring the best and the brightest.”
Caslen said that the Army had been doing a “very, very good job” of training its officers, but that they had not yet been able to recruit the best recruits in the best-equipped units.
He said the Army will pay the bonus, which is set to total $2,000, to the top brass for the second year in a row, after previously giving it to the generals last year.
“They’re going to get the bonus and they’ll get it with the full force of their leadership,” Caslen told Fox News.
He added that the bonuses would be distributed by the Army Commandant of the Armed Forces, which oversees the Army as a whole.
The Trump administration is seeking to increase to $350,000 a senior enlisted soldier’s base pay, which was initially proposed in 2016 and was set to be paid to all service members.
The increase to the base rank would allow for more officers and a more uniformed military.
The White House’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has advocated for a bigger army.
He has suggested that the U.S. Army be given the same pay as the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.