Military Personnel

Roughly one-quarter of the Department of Defense’s budget is for military personnel. CBO examines the budgetary implications of different approaches to compensating military personnel, including possible changes in the structure of cash payments, health benefits for military personnel and their family members, and health benefits for retirees. CBO also analyzes federal programs and issues related to veterans.

  • Interactive

    This tool allows the user to see the effects on the Department of Defense’s total operation and support costs and on the size of the military of adding or subtracting tanks, ships, aircraft, and other units.

  • Report

    CBO analyzes DoD’s plans for 2022 as presented in the Biden Administration’s 2022 budget request and projects how those plans would affect defense costs through 2031. Those costs would increase by 10 percent over that period, CBO projects.

  • Report

    CBO examined three broad options for reconfiguring the military if funding for the Department of Defense was reduced by $1 trillion (in 2022 dollars), or 14 percent, over the next 10 years.

  • Report

    CBO examines the implications of adjusting military basic pay with an alternative wage index and adjusting all components of regular cash pay with the employment cost index.

  • Report

    This update of CBO’s 2016 primer on the structure of the U.S. military describes the size, functions, and operation and support costs of every major element of the armed forces.

  • Report

    CBO examines two options for establishing a Space National Guard to support active component Space Force personnel, estimating the additional costs beyond those incurred for existing Air and Army National Guard units that have space-related missions.

  • Report

    This report examines military compensation and its effects on recruitment, retention, and motivation. CBO also provides a comparison with civilian compensation packages and examines five possible approaches for altering the way that DoD compensates military personnel.

  • Report

    In 2016, members of the reserve component received an average of $12,500 in benefits (measured in 2018 dollars) under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This report describes their use of those benefits and compares how the reserve and regular components use their benefits.

  • Report

    From 2010 through 2016, the Veterans Benefits Administration spent $65 billion on educational benefits for 1.6 million veterans, spouses and children, mostly for veterans’ tuition, fees, and housing. In 2016, VBA spent an average of $17,400 per beneficiary.