2.9 percent is the minimum President Obama could have requested under current law, as this percentage would match, but not exceed, average private-sector wage growth. Under law, each year ís increase must at least match the private-sector wage growth as measured by the Labor Departmentís Employment Cost Index. However, every year for the past several years, Congress has approved a military pay raise slightly larger than that requested by the President, and 2010 is no exception. Both the House and the Senate have agreed to include a 3.4 percent across-the-board military base pay raise in the 2010 Defense Authorization Act. This makes a 3.4 percent raise (1/2 a percent above President Obama's request) pretty much a sure thing.