Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pentagon says to Congress: Hold back

Seems the Pentagon thinks that military members are making enough already. The Washington Post reports:
The Pentagon, not usually known for its frugality, is pleading with Congress to stop spending so much money on the troops.
Through nine years of war, service members have seen a healthy rise in pay and benefits, with most of them now better compensated than workers in the private sector with similar experience and education levels. [emphasis mine]
That's the key here: similar experience and education. I need a show of hands from all you civilians out there:
  • Have you refueled a B-52 from a KC-135 at 45,000 feet, flying 15 feet apart while pumping thousands of gallons of JP-4 aviation fuel?
  • Have you crawled around some tropical shit hole while guys in funny clothing want to kill you, one of your team carrying a 12-gauge to defend against the cobras?
  • Have you spent a better part of a year on a temporary duty to a third-world country, not seeing your wife or kids, working 18-hour days to keep things going?
  • Have you spent Christmas eve sitting on top of an M-118 track, guarding the F-111s parked behind you?
  • Spent a dark night on the plains of South Dakota, wind chill of 80 below, guarding B-52s loaded with nuclear weapons?
  • Had to fly to remote bases so low that the sides of the canyons where just off the wing tips?  
These are just a few of the things military people do, and I did all of these things in my 25 years in the military. But hey, that was just the fun stuff. So please, don't tell me about similar experiences. There just aren't any.

I looked up my pay scale, and if I was still on active duty, as an E-8 with 26 years, I'd be pulling down about $86,000. And E-8 for you civilians is an Air Force senior master sergeant, Army master sergeant, Navy senior chief, or Marine gunney.

A base commander, normally a full bird colonel, who is responsible for 6,000 personnel and 75 aircraft, makes about a tenth of what a corporate CEO does.

Granted, no one joins the military to get wealthy, but they'd like get compensated so they can have the same standard of living as everyone else when they are not getting shot at.
If you think that is much too pay for this type of experience and education (a lot of us NCOs have college degrees), let me know and why.


Fam Guy said...

It's the PENTAGON saying they have to contain costs. Base pay is up over 42% since 2002, and the military will spend over $50 billion on health care this year, thanks to cowboy George's 'oops, wrong info' war. You Cons scream for fiscal responsibility, but don't your your benefits touched. Pretty hypocritical, I think.

Steve said...

So your saying you're anti-military and don't want service peoople to have a fair wage, is that it?

I'd rather spend $50 billion on military health care than the trillions that Obama has thrown down the commode.

So let's slash the military budget so we can give out more handouts.

Fam Guy said...

Trillions wasted? You're mixing up Obama w/Bush, who trashed our economy, and wrote over $800 Billion in checks before he slithered out of town. Obama has just been in crisis management mode since then. Of course I'm not anti-military, I'm just anti-waste, and there's a LOT of waste in the military budgetstarting w/weapon procurement.

Steve said...

I'll agree with waste in the Pentagon...a lot of it comes from Congress continuing programs the brass doesn't want.

So you don't have a problem with the projected 10-year deficit of more than $10 trillion?

Fam Guy said...

Of course it's gonna be a problem, but it was either that, or let the whole system collapse, and Behrnanke, a scholar of the Great Depression, decided it was the lesser of evils, after W wrecked our economy. Do I know if he's right? Hell no, but something had to be done, or we were toast. At least it bought us time. MAYBE it woulda been better to just go bust and get it over with. I'll admit I just don't know. Time will tell.