Trump bragged to troops about 10 percent pay raise that they have not received

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE on Wednesday bragged to troops in Iraq that he had given them a 10 percent pay raise, calling it “one of the largest pay raises” the troops have ever received and calling it the first hike in more than a decade.

The troops will actually receive a 2.6 percent raise in 2019, not 10 percent, and the Pentagon has enacted raises of at least 1 percent every year for the past decade, according to Defense Department figures.

"You just got one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received," Trump said while speaking at Al Asad Airbase near Baghdad in his first trip to a combat zone as president. "You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one."


The 2.6 percent increase for 2019 was included in the $716 billion national defense fund included in the White House’s version of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Trump made the surprise visit to Iraq on Wednesday and told the troops that he personally vouched for the pay raise.

"They said: 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.' I said: 'No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent,' " Trump told the troops. "Because it's been a long time. It's been more than 10 years. That's a long time. And, you know, you really put yourselves out there, and you put your lives out there. So congratulations."

He told the service members that “no force in history” has done more for peace and justice.

"We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that because you just got one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received,” Trump continued.

The troops received a 2.4 percent pay raise in 2018.

According to the Army website, basic pay for soldiers ranged from $19,659 to $38,059 this year.

This is not the first time that the president has made inaccurate statements about military pay.

At an event in May, he also made the claim that the military had not seen pay raises in more than 10 years.