Quality Of Life Panel Includes Several NMFA Recommendations in Report Released Today

550x350-Quality of Life Panel Report Released

NMFA stood alongside the House Armed Services Committee Quality of Life panel and a handful of our nonprofit partners on Capitol Hill on April 11 for the release of the panel’s recommendations for improving military families’ well-being.

The panel, which was established in 2023, spent the past year meeting with military families and advocates from NMFA and other military service organizations to determine what legislative and policy changes are needed to support military families’ quality of life.

Their recommendations, which would need to be passed into law, address five key areas:

Pay and Compensation

The panel’s recommendations for pay and compensation are the most ambitious.

  • Increasing pay by 15% pay for junior enlisted in ranks E-1 to E-4
  • Restoring BAH to cover 100% of housing costs – one of NMFA’s top legislative priorities
  • Authorizing the expansion of the Basic Needs Allowance for families, increasing eligibility from those whose incomes and household size place them below 150% of federal poverty guidelines and increasing it to include those who make up to 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Adjusting the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and COLA to better align them with current needs and lifestyles.

Child Care

The panel recognized the shortage of high-quality, affordable child care and addressed staffing issues and family costs.

  • Addressing staffing shortages by ensuring that all Child Development Center (CDC) employees can enroll their children at no charge.
  • Providing competitive pay for CDC staff
  • Fully funding the child care fee assistance program, eliminating waiting lists, and ensuring that all eligible families receive this benefit.

Spouse Employment

The panel included recommendations to expand existing programs.

  • Continuing the Military Spouse Career Accelerator pilot, a program for which NMFA advocated, which provides paid 12-week fellowships with a broad range of employers and is facilitated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.
  • Giving the Department of Defense permanent authority to work with states on licensure compacts which would ease the transition process following a PCS move.

NMFA will continue to advocate for a target group expansion for military spouses in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which would incentivize businesses to hire military spouses.


The healthcare recommendations had a strong focus on mental health.

  • Improving access to specialty care providers, including behavioral health care
  • Evaluating TRICARE’s access to care standards


The report also included recommendations to improve the quality of unaccompanied housing by increasing transparency and oversight.

It’s important to remember that the panel’s recommendations are just that – recommendations. Now, we start the hard work of getting these proposals passed into law.

NMFA will continue to do what we’ve done for 55 years: advocate for and with military families to solve the unique challenges of military life. As we move through the legislative process, we will elevate military family voices and fight to have these recommendations included in the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act.

Which of the panel’s proposals would most benefit your military family? Share your comments below.