Accession Number:



Military Personnel: Military and Civilian Pay Comparisons Present Challenges and Are One of Many Tools in Assessing Compensation

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[Technical Report, Technical Report]

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The Department of Defenses DOD military compensation package, which is a myriad of pays and benefits, is an important tool to attract and retain the number and quality of active duty servicemembers it needs to fulfill its mission. Compensation can be appropriate and adequate to attract and retain servicemembers when it is competitive with civilian compensation. However, comparisons between military and civilian compensation present both limitations and challenges. As we noted in 1986, exact compensation comparisons are not possible because no data exist which would allow an exact comparison of military and civilian personnel with the same levels of work experience.1 Also, nonmonetary considerations complicate military and civilian pay comparisons because their value cannot be quantified. Specifically, military service is unique in that the working conditions for active duty service carry the risk of death and injury during wartime and the potential for frequent, long deployments unlike most civilian jobs.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]