Delivering a 19.5% pay raise for our junior enlisted troops


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a strong and critical investment in our troops, our military families, and our national security. From the worsening crisis at our southern border and Hamas’ attacks against Israel to China’s increasingly brazen aggression on the world stage and Iran’s blatant bankrolling of terrorism, ensuring that our military has the resources and support that it needs to protect our nation at home and abroad is a matter of vital importance. Fortunately, the Fiscal Year 2025 NDAA supports our military readiness and enhances the quality of life of our servicemembers and their families while eliminating social initiatives unrelated to our military strength, capability, and power.

Among many provisions, this year’s NDAA includes a 19.5% pay raise for junior enlisted troops and a 4.5% pay increase for all other servicemembers, reforms the cost-of-living allowance for our men and women in uniform to account for out-of-control inflation, and fully covers servicemember housing in accordance with average rent rates based on location.

It also supports new military family housing, upgrades barracks, and commits resources to housing maintenance so that sewage overflows, mold, bedbugs, and rodent infestations are quickly remedied and prevented from reoccurring. The NDAA further expands childcare access for military families, ensures that our troops and their families receive the high-quality healthcare that they deserve, and requires the Department of Defense to develop strategies to address healthcare staffing shortages at facilities in rural communities that specifically serve military families.

Additionally, the NDAA works to address the crisis at our border by fully funding the deployment of the National Guard to help secure the border, supporting counternarcotics operations at the border, and requesting a detailed report by the Department of Defense on the serious threat posed by Mexican cartels that are flooding our communities with deadly drugs and other dangerous materials.

Furthermore, this legislation reverses many aspects of the Biden administration’s progressive agenda. It cuts DEI and CRT programs from military schools, stops the forced electrification of military trucks and tanks, and ensures that parents have a right to be involved in their children’s education.

Finally, the NDAA makes significant investments to counter Chinese aggression and strengthens our alliance with Israel. It funds our military exercises in the Indo-Pacific to keep China at bay, designates an official within the Department of Defense to monitor and report to the American people the expansion of Chinese military bases overseas, prevents Chinese spies from infiltrating our military bases and top-secret research facilities, and prohibits the federal government from sharing sensitive defense information with China.

In terms of our alliance with Israel, this NDAA fully funds the Iron Dome missile defense system, requires the development and implementation of a plan to improve air and missile defense cooperation between our two nations, and reverses the Biden administration’s reckless decision to stop production of a critical missile interceptor.

I take my duty to support our troops and their families very seriously. The FY 2025 NDAA represents our unwavering commitment to the brave men and women who have answered the call to serve our nation and maintains America’s status as the world’s strongest and most feared fighting force.


Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, represents Iowa’s Fourth District in the U.S. House.


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