- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2013

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s plan to address budget cuts and fiscal uncertainties may bring about pay cuts to military members.

Mr. Panetta is going to recommend that Congress keep military salary hikes to 1 percent for 2014, CNN reports.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, according to the CNN report, has figured that the federal 2014 Employment Cost Index will rise above 1 percent.

When taken into consideration with the 2013 military pay hike of 1.7 percent, the ensuing effect of these other two factors would actually bring about a pay cut, CNN reports.

In other words: Mr. Panetta’s recommendation would effectively cut military salaries in the coming year, according to CNN.

Congress still has to approve, via its 2014 budget, CNN reports. But according to the report, Joint Chiefs of Staff are on board with Mr. Panetta’s plan.

Meanwhile, the military isn’t in the greatest shape in terms of readiness levels, the defense chief admitted Wednesday, according to CNN.

In a speech at Georgetown University on Wednesday, Mr. Panetta said the Pentagon faced “the most serious readiness crisis in over a decade.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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