President Donald Trump announced on Friday in a Christmas letter to U.S. military that his administration had secured a big pay increase, which is “the largest raise for our Military in more than 10 years.”

The president also stated the accomplishment was “unprecedented” since this is the third year in a row that the administration has secured such pay increases.

“As president, I have been steadfast in my efforts to ensure that the courageous patriots of our Military Forces have the full support of the United States Government,” Trump wrote in a letter addressed to U.S. service members. “That is why I fought so hard to secure another pay raise this year for our great troops. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, each service member will see their PAY INCREASE by 3.1% – the largest raise for our Military in more than 10 years.”

“While previous administrations allowed military pay to stagnate, my administration has secured pay raises for our Troops in each of the past 3 years – every year of my Presidency,” Trump continued.

“This is unprecedented. But when it comes to supporting our heroes in uniform, no measure can ever convey the depth of our gratitude or extent of our obligation. This new law continues my Administration’s unwavering support for Goldstar families by repealing the so-called ‘Widow’s tax,’ which wrongly prevented certain Military spouses from receiving the full benefits earned by their beloved deceased partners.” he added.

The pay increase was included in the National Defense Authorization Act 2020, which also developed measures to punish North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, paid family leave for federal workers, is keeping Saudi Arabia responsible for its violations of human rights, and sanctioning international drug traffickers.

At a signing ceremony on Friday, the president addressed details of spending, saying, “this bill authorizes nearly 100 new F-35s; 24 brand-new F/A-18s; 155 Army helicopters, of all different types; 165 brand-new, beautiful Abrams tanks, said to be the best in the world; more than 50 Paladin howitzers; 2 new Virginia-class submarines; 3 new Arleigh Burke destroyers; a Ford-Class aircraft carrier, and two others on their way; and much, much more.”

“But as we discussed earlier, our military is getting far more than just new equipment,” Trump continued. “For this first time – and I have to say, you know what happened last year? It was a good pay raise, but now you’re getting another pay raise. And this will be the largest pay raise in more than 10 years.”

The full text of Trump’s letter to the U.S. military about the pay increase:

To The Extraordinary Men and Women of the United States Military:

As 2019 comes to a close, the United States is more prosperous and our Military is more powerful than ever before. Your selfless service, noble sacrifice, and unfailing allegiance to duty and Country is what keeps America safe, strong, proud, and free. Your incredible contributions to our Nation are why I am proud to inform you that I recently signed into law major improvements to the compensation and benefits for Federal Employees as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Through hard work and determination, my Administration overcame decades of inaction and gridlock to get this bill to my desk and to deliver these real results for you and your loved ones.

As president, I have been steadfast in my efforts to ensure that the courageous patriots of our Military Forces have the full support of the United States Government. That is why I fought so hard to secure another pay raise this year for our great troops. Starting January 1, 2020, each service member will see their PAY INCREASE by 3.1%–the largest raise for our Military in more than 10 years. While previous administrations allowed military pay to stagnate, my administration has secured pay raises for our Troops in each of the past 3 years–every year of my Presidency. This is unprecedented. But when it comes to supporting our heroes in uniform, no measure can ever convey the depth of our gratitude or extent of our obligation. This new law continues my Administration’s unwavering support for Goldstar families by repealing the so-called “Widow’s tax,” which wrongly prevented certain Military spouses from receiving the full benefits earned by their beloved deceased partners.

Our Country is vibrant, dynamic, thriving, and flourishing. Almost 160 million great Americans are working–more than ever before–the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and wages are up substantially for the first time in decades. Our economy is booming and the Stock Market has that more than 130 record highs over the last 3 years. We have rebuilt our military, which is the unrivaled envy of the world, and we have destroyed the so-called ISIS territorial caliphate–including killing the savage ISIS leader al-Baghdadi, a vile terrorist who had been sought for many years.

I want to thank each of you for your distinguished service in the past year, and I am excited about what we will achieve working together for the American people in 2020. Our country has never been stronger than it is right now–and we are just getting started! May God bless you and your family this holiday season. May God bless our Military. And may God continue to bless United States of America of America.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Donald J Trump