Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This came accross as a chain letter to me, not sure of the total validity of it.
Body: This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

On Nov. 12, Ms Cindy Williams (from Laverne and Shirley TV show) wrote a piece for the Washington Times, denouncing the pay raise coming service members' way this year -- citing that the stated 13% wage was more than they deserve.

A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

"Ms Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GIs earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account.

Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40, after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for Network Technicians in the Washington, D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience with my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum... I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in our armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN; I leave the choice of service branch up to you.

Whatever choice you make, though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience." As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone -- obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night; and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor. Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it.


You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your opined piece.

But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.


You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment rights and every other right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve? Rubbish!

A1C Michael Bragg Hill AFB AFNCC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
That's probably one of the biggest reasons why people leave the service...they can make substantially more in the private sector. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,390 Posts
It's a real problem for billets like that one that are IT focused, and the soldier is enlisted (as IT is one of the few places a non-college grad can do a very high paying white collar job), but I know several people that left the service and never matched the whole package again.

The full retirement after only 20 years has an extremely high value that many don't think about. For many that means full retirement at 39! There are so many other programs too.

As NDD frequently points out to me, Clinton slashed the military, but he brought wages way up making it better than it used to be. Bush of course, hasn't matched Clinton's generous pay raises.

Please don't take what I say to mean soldiers are overpaid, as nothing could be further from the truth. But anyone can go look up the pay scales, and it's not that bad, especially after you stay in for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
Nah, I wouldn't expect to ever hear you say our troops are overpaid. You do bring up a good point though about the other benefits but I see a lot of people jump ship, so to speak, because they get offers of pay raises in the order of 3-4 times what they make in the military. My cousin served 4 years in Subs before he left for a job that is now paying six figures...working as a contracter for the Navy...on subs. He left as an E4 if I remember correctly. Had I not been discharged due to my knee, I would have been looking at similar opportunities when I was eligible to leave after a 6 year enlistment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,216 Posts
That's probably one of the biggest reasons why people leave the service...they can make substantially more in the private sector. :(
That is probably true, but it depends on what job they are doing and how long they have been in. Some of the jobs in the military have some pretty good perks and pay, but not for entry level positions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,390 Posts
Nah, I wouldn't expect to ever hear you say our troops are overpaid. You do bring up a good point though about the other benefits but I see a lot of people jump ship, so to speak, because they get offers of pay raises in the order of 3-4 times what they make in the military. My cousin served 4 years in Subs before he left for a job that is now paying six figures...working as a contracter for the Navy...on subs.
That is probably true, but it depends on what job they are doing and how long they have been in. Some of the jobs in the military have some pretty good perks and pay, but not for entry level positions.
Military pay is not that great, especially for the first four years on the surface.

But, what would these guys be doing otherwise?

Most jobs that pay $100k+/yr require a college degree. (or, you start your own biz and work your way up to there)

Your cousin got that job precisely because he was paid to be educated in the Navy.

These kids get paid a small salary, and are taught many skills. Compare salaries when I was 21, in college, and NDD when he was, as a fairly low ranking Navy dude, and I promise, his pay was much better than mine!

The military is like anything else, it is what you make it.

You'll never get rich as an enlisted guy, but if you compare people with similar skills/experience, I don't think it's a bad deal at all.

<Zips on asbestos> Personally, I actually think officer pay is more out of whack than enlisted when you compare what some of these people could make on the outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,704 Posts
Wow. 13%. That would kick ass. Next year's raise is actually 2.2%.

In the technical, combat support branches, Soldier's don't make near what they'd make on the outside. But there aren't too many places where you can retire after 20 years and keep getting paid. Add to that the fact many states don't tax military retirement and it can be pretty lucrative.

However, 20 years of missing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, school plays, graduations, movie nights, family get-togethers, reunions, etc. can really tax a family. Check out the divorce rate of military compared to straight civilians and you'll see a part of that.

It's a hard life, even with the programs, re-enlistment bonuses, and retirement package. Just like the other discussions that have been brought up about work v living, it's about striking a balance that works for the individual. If the balance works, then the retirement is good. In many cases, it's way out of balance. Especially now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,704 Posts
...<Zips on asbestos> Personally, I actually think officer pay is more out of whack than enlisted when you compare what some of these people could make on the outside.
I was going to bring that up in my last post but let it go because it's pretty complicated.

Officers generally (at least in the Army) have two jobs, and during several times in a career three jobs. I'll use myself as an example.

I have to be an expert in the cockpit. This requires hours of flying and studying to maintain not only flying skills but also the knowledge of all the systems in the aircraft. Like commercial pilots, I have to know all the airspace, limits and emergency procedures, instrument rules (of which I almost never execute), etc. Unlike commercial pilots, I have to know and execute these while being shot at, landing in a sand box or other 0 visibility surface, or after being shot at and having multiple emergencies occur simultaneously. Oh yeah, we also never fly one ship at a time so you have to be able to effectively communicate and execute missions with another aircraft who continually operates in your vicinity with the same mission.

As a commander or platoon leader, I also have to be an expert in management and leadership. This also requires a great deal of time. Normally, the management side overtakes the technical side and reduces my ability to maintain my flying abilities to the level they should be at.

Then there are the staff positions, S1 (personnel/admin), S2 (intel), S3 (operations), S4 (logistics). As you progress through the ranks, you can be expected at each rank to hold any of these positions. I've been the logistics officer for three different battalions in three different areas of the world (Korea, Germany/Iraq, and stateside) which all have different intricacies for execution and currently am the logistics officer for my battalion. Because we are short people, I am also holding the intel position (of which I have zero training or knowledge other than what I personally researched myself).

The pay scales are usually compared to the technical side or the management side. There really aren't many jobs that can compare to what an officer is expected to be throughout a career outside of the military.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
That's probably one of the biggest reasons why people leave the service...they can make substantially more in the private sector. :(
yep, one of my major reasons....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Why do soldiers pay taxes? I mean really. Does that seem wrong to anyone else?

HD
They don't during war - or at least they didn't. I was an E-3 during my nine month deployment to Desert Storm, and we paid no taxes at all during our deployment. Still didn't make shit, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,549 Posts
There are some parts of the Military that are drastically underpaid, and some that I think are about right... of course I would like to see everyone get raises.

The fact of the matter is that in some fields, you simply cannot keep people in, unless you throw massive amounts of money at them. IT is probably the worst, special forces is up there, etc. Money is the reason I got out, my salary easily doubled within a year of being out.

However, there is NO way I would be where I am today without my time in the Navy. The training and the clearance I received makes up for the ho-hum pay.

The other major thing they need to do, other than pay, is fix other quality of life issues. The Navy has been pressing really hard at this. Better berthing on ships, nice little condo-like barracks for the sailors when they are in port vice having to live on ship all the time, etc.

At the same time, as crazy as it might sound, the Navy is still downsizing. As ships get "smarter" there is less need to have so many watchstanders walking around writing down gauge readings every 15 minutes. They have a program called "Perform to Serve" that basically means you had better not be a shitbag, and you need to be in a job that we need, or you don't get to re-enlist. This may even entail re-training in a completely different career field.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,549 Posts
Almost forgot... one thing that needs to be fixed very badly is health care for reservists. I am getting a taste for how truly screwed the system is. My new reserve unit got back from Iraq last year. I have Marines with all sorts of medical issues, and the Navy health care system shuts off for most of them just a month or two after returning. They then have to transition to the VA, with different doctors, etc. That's if they are eligible for care, that is.

To make matters worse, when we have a drill weekend, I can take care of Marines only for the weekend. Once midnight hits, their health coverage turns into a pumpkin. For example, I had a Marine with a sprained knee that I can't get in front of an Orthopedist because he doesn't have health insurance.

To make matters worse, if they were being treated by the Naval Hospital, and their coverage lapses, the doctors and other providers don't know, and the Marine may not even know. If they have follow-up appointments already in the system, they will continue to be seen, but then the business office sends them a bill for everything a few weeks later. I have one Marine with over $35,000 in eye surgery bills I have to try and take care of.

It would be such a simple thing to allow reservists access to the Military Health System all the time, but yet they don't do it. It is truly baffling to me that we will spend billions of dollars on Iraq, but we can't spare some change to allow our citizen soldiers to stay healthy.

OK, rant over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,390 Posts
Man, that sucks.

I know the fed gov't doesn't have to play by the rules like us, but it almost seems like an on the job injury should be covered by the employer no matter what.

CA has some very strong laws around this...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,216 Posts
The state and the feds don't have to follow their own rules. We have to have CDL licence, but if you are employed by the state you do not. If you are a state employee you have no unemployment benifits at all, and it does no good to go to the labor board with it because the state has administered laws stating they have no rights over them. You think the guys applying herbicides for the state have to get applicators licences? No they do not and do not apply by the standards. But the state will fine you if you make a mis application.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,397 Posts
I was going to bring that up in my last post but let it go because it's pretty complicated.

Officers generally (at least in the Army) have two jobs, and during several times in a career three jobs. I'll use myself as an example.

I have to be an expert in the cockpit. This requires hours of flying and studying to maintain not only flying skills but also the knowledge of all the systems in the aircraft. Like commercial pilots, I have to know all the airspace, limits and emergency procedures, instrument rules (of which I almost never execute), etc. Unlike commercial pilots, I have to know and execute these while being shot at, landing in a sand box or other 0 visibility surface, or after being shot at and having multiple emergencies occur simultaneously. Oh yeah, we also never fly one ship at a time so you have to be able to effectively communicate and execute missions with another aircraft who continually operates in your vicinity with the same mission.

As a commander or platoon leader, I also have to be an expert in management and leadership. This also requires a great deal of time. Normally, the management side overtakes the technical side and reduces my ability to maintain my flying abilities to the level they should be at.

Then there are the staff positions, S1 (personnel/admin), S2 (intel), S3 (operations), S4 (logistics). As you progress through the ranks, you can be expected at each rank to hold any of these positions. I've been the logistics officer for three different battalions in three different areas of the world (Korea, Germany/Iraq, and stateside) which all have different intricacies for execution and currently am the logistics officer for my battalion. Because we are short people, I am also holding the intel position (of which I have zero training or knowledge other than what I personally researched myself).

The pay scales are usually compared to the technical side or the management side. There really aren't many jobs that can compare to what an officer is expected to be throughout a career outside of the military.
Well Seamus it may be that way in the Army but for Navy enlisted that fly we need to know the same things about the aircraft cause we are most often left to fix it. In my last squadron I was a mech, tron, electrician and whatever else to name. Not to mention being the senior guy had to take care of the Intel collection and a lot of times had to help write the post mission report. So, not only officers hold more than one hat in the service. Ground job I had to take of the troops and as your first shirt or top can tell you, that is more than a full time job. BUT, all in the name of the mission.:patriot:

Often wondered why the service people were taxed as well. :idunno:
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top