The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently outlined some of the key personnel issues facing federal defense workers in the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues report.

The report outlines numerous military personnel issues that have been part of deliberations on the House and Senate, including end strengths, pay raises, health care, sexual assault, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy issues and more.

Standardized military pay increases have been debated by both the President and Congress, with a push to establish a permanent formula for automatic annual military pay raises based on the Employment Cost Index (ECI). The President’s FY2013 Budget request for a 1.7% military pay raise is consistent with this formula and Congress introduced a bill that is identical to the President’s raise request.

The report also outlined the ongoing debate over a Unified Medial Command. The House passed a bill that would require the Secretary of Defense to establish a unified combatant command for medical operations, referred to as a Unified Medical Command, to provide medical services to the Armed Forces and other health care beneficiaries of the Department of Defense. The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a comprehensive plan to establish a unified medical command to be submitted to Congress no later than July of 2013.

Other areas outlined by the report include efforts to prevent and respond to Armed Forces hazing activities, sexual assault provisions, protection of child custody arrangements, Transfer of Troops-to-Teachers Program from Department of Education to Department of Defense and Enhancements of Program, and more.

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Chandler Harris is a freelance business and technology writer located in Silicon Valley. He has written for numerous publications including Entrepreneur, InformationWeek, San Jose Magazine, Government Technology, Public CIO,, U.S. Banker, Digital Communities Magazine, Converge Magazine, Surfer's Journal, Adventure Sports Magazine,, and the San Jose Business Journal. Chandler is also engaged in helping companies further their content marketing needs through content strategy, optimization and creation, as well as blogging and social media platforms. When he's not writing, Chandler enjoys his beach haunt of Santa Cruz where he rides roller coasters with his son, surfs and bikes across mountain ranges.