The Department of Defense recently announced immediate and long-term action to help strengthen the economic security and stability of Service members and their families. To help secure affordable basic needs, Defense Secretary Austin has directed the Department to institute automatic increases on October 1st in Basic Allowance for Housing at 28 military housing areas, which include Fort Leonard Wood. These housing areas are those that have experienced an average of more than a 20 percent spike in rental housing this year above last year’s B-A-H rates. Another Defense Department action will fully fund commissaries to cut prices at the register, with the goal of achieving at least a 25 percent savings on grocery bills, compared to the local marketplace. Another action will pay eligible Service members the Basic Needs Allowance starting this coming January. The allowance is for Service members with dependents who apply and qualify based on their gross household incomes. The Defense Department announcement reminded Service members that they will be receiving a 4.6 percent pay increase starting January 1st.