The U.S. military is set to boost its annual bonus payments by $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years, with the Pentagon announcing Thursday that it is going to start handing out bonuses to active duty and reserve forces at the same time.
That would mark a boost from the $2,547,000 per year that was handed out to all troops in 2016.
That was a 5.9% increase from last year, when the military paid out $2 billion, the Defense Department said in a press release.
The increase comes as the military continues to struggle to make a dent in its funding gap, with more than half of its 1.1 million active duty personnel on active duty still on furloughs or in the reserves, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The budget office estimates that the military is spending more on personnel than the entire economy.
The Pentagon is also set to pay bonuses to all soldiers in 2025, with an estimated $1.8 trillion to be paid out over the 10-year period, the Pentagon said.
The bonus payment rate will be adjusted each year, based on the level of the U.N. Human Development Index, which measures the health of the world’s poorest nations.
“This is just the beginning,” said Cpt.
Robert Neller, an Army veteran and the commanding officer of a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) unit.
“This is going get us there.
We have a plan.
We are going to have a very, very large bonus pool, and we are going the right way.”
Neller also said that he expects the bonus pool to grow even bigger after 2025, adding that “this is just going to accelerate our growth in the future.”
The U.A.E. will be the first to get its share of the bonus money, as it has already received a $1 billion lump sum.
Peacekeeping Operations Command will receive $1,000,000 in bonus money over the same period, while the U!
Army and the Army Special Forces will each get $600,000.