Panetta’s Position on Pay & TRICARE Not Clear

June 13, 2011 | Terry Howell

Last week the Associated Press reported that according to an unnamed senior administration official, Secretary Gates personally recommended CIA Director Leon Panetta as his replacement six months ago. Like his predecessor Panetta will be instructed by the White House to cut $400 billion in defense spending over the next twelve years. Due to the fiscal climate and his budget cutting background, it is easy to see why most assume that Panetta’s agenda is to drastically cut Pentagon spending – namely pay and benefits.

Many in the military retiree community have been up in arms due to recent statements by current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, that cutting $400 billion will require reducing TRICARE program costs and military pay.

Panetta has indicated that he believes that reducing troops may be in order, but he has yet to publically weigh-in on the benefits and compensation issue.

Panetta earned a reputation for his ability to slash budgets while serving in Congress and later in the Clinton White House. However, he is also known for his pragmatism and willingness to make concessions and resolve disputes without his ego getting in the way.

According to the AP article, Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment sees him as a potential advocate for the Pentagon.

“I think having him on the DoD side of the budget battle now will be a real asset to DoD. He knows how Office of Management and Budget works, knows the inner workings of the budget process at the White House. So I think he will be better equipped to negotiate DoD’s top line budget than any of the other candidates” who were considered, Harrison said.

Being an advocate for the DoD is not the same as being an advocate for the troops or retirees.

So what does this mean for the troops? Only time will tell.

Click here, to let the future Defense Secretary know how you feel about the possibility of increasing TRICARE fees and reducing military pay.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. retired army says:

    you do know that our gear is made by the lowest bidder already right?

    • from one retiree to another; That is correct brother, but also remember that that same low bidder is charging ten times what the item will cost locally, if some one in the Defense Department get up their assets and check the prices on the local market….they can save millions of dollars , but political crap is what is hurting this country, what will they think about cutting next?……

      • You are right. The B-2 is a prime example. It cost over 2 billion each. Not the 1 billion that the DOD claims.

    • countrymiler says:

      Theoretically, the lowest, QUALIFIED, bidder.

    • Most of our gear is not made by the lowest bidder. Most of the contractors do it through no-bid contracts they get as favors from friends in government (see Haliburton). Then they charge 10x what the lowest bidder would have.

  2. AlleninReality says:

    It matters not, Gates (Neocon) Panetta (neolib)
    All they are after are scapegoats to keep from looking too bad with all this deficit spending.
    Defense cuts?…hmmmmm how about starting with cutting foreign aid, cutting welfare to Illegal Aliens,
    Free healthcare for Illegal Aliens, Cut all free healthcare for congress and their families, cut back on all weapons research until we get the Chinese out of the loop, Get a refund onall the trust funds that congress has robbed over the last 20 years e.g. Social Security, mediacre etc, then we will start talking veterans and soldier raises instead! Dimmit!

    • Well said!!!!

    • Linda Popp says:

      My husband retired from the Air Force and spent 18 years in the Army before that. He is now terminally ill withearly onset Alzhiemer's. I could not servive with out the benefits we recieve. The nursing homw is extremely expense for me even though we are medicaid. Please think twice about cutting back on what people truely need. I get up evey morning and wonder if this is the day our benefits will be taken away.

    • i totally agree with you alleninreality. congress isnt giving up anything but military has to make all these cuts. Thats BS. i dont see congress risking their life day in and day out. they jusy sit on their butts and tell everyone else what need to be cut but arent willing to make any sacrifices themselves

    • and Justice for all says:

      Well Said.

    • Wish I could give this 2 thumbs up!

  3. We are already forcing our military to fight with outdated weapons, ships and aircraft. We have already reduced manpower. So now we want to make our troops pay for medications and do self medication with over-the-counter drugs? I don't care if a sailor has a sniffle, he goes to sick bay and gets treated. Period.

    We are the cuts in pay and medical benefits for the civilian government work force? We don't hear anything about that do we?

    • Siobhan says:

      Ummm yea…they already got that 2 year pay freeze.

    • ldickersonc says:

      i'm in the military, but dude, outdated compared to who?

      • My son told me those M16's are crap. Just one grain of sand and they are useless and you can't get them wet (i think). He said that AK47's are a far superior weapon but, because they cost much more, our military is stuck with M16's. BTW, the enemy has AK47's.

        • The M-16 has superior range. Yes takes more maintenance but if you keep it clean and lubed, it will take care of you.

  4. Retired Vet. says:

    how about fighting to many wars we don"t belong in. How about closing more bases in Europe, they spent less money on defense then we do they are are haveing the same problems as we are having and the first thing they cut is defense because they know we are there. How about one less mission per day in Lybia I'm certain that would save millions not couting lives.

  5. R.A.RYAN says:

    HOW WILL THESE POLITICAL LEADERS BE ABLE TO FACE THEIR GRAND CHILDREN AND EXPLAIN TO THEM WHY WE DON'T HAVE A MILITARY OR SPEAK ENGLISH ANY LONGER. THE FUTURE IS IN THEIR HANDS.

    • ldickersonc says:

      I imagine they'll discuss it in all CAPS.

    • As long as they stay in power, they are not concerned in the least, believe me.

    • That is what scares me. The future being in their hands. They have done a lousy job up to this point. Just look at where we are.

    • I totally agree – but with the number of illegals crossing the border and the liberals who want to give them citizenship – I garantee that before 2035 AD the nation will be converting to spanish and you will have to press '1' on your phone to speak English. Of course on the flip side then defense bill will be cheap because most south of the border countries do not spend more than one percent of their GNP to fund their military

  6. This whole cut the benefits for active duty and retirees is nothing less than garbage. How about cutting Congress and the Senates pay and benefits. The idea they get their pay for life is an outrage and their medical is not to beat. I as a retiree was PROMISED certain benefits and PROMISED certain pay. With these PROMISES I completed my mission even when that mission put me in Harms way.
    I do not think our forefathers ever meant for the congress and senate to be a career nor did they ever mean for them to get benefits far and beyond that of the simple citizen. I beleive it was quoted to just be a service to ones country. Sounds familiar just a service to ones country.

    • ret vet on SS says:

      how agout just cutting foreign aide

      • How about bringing all our troops HOME?

        • I believe that service in Congress should not be a career and that when/if any cuts are talked about/made, Congress, the Cabinet, etc should be the first to be cut/reduced. That is True Leadership. Do not ask your subordinates to do something that you would not or have not done yourself.

          Service in Congress is NOT a right, it is a privilege. Way too many, if not all of them have forgotten who they serve..the American People!!

          • dontgothere says:

            you got THAT right. i know business owners who have stopped taking paychecks to make sure their EMPLOYEES keep their jobs AND get their paychecks.

    • Squid Chief says:

      I am also a retiree serving 20 yrs., why should the senate and congress get a life long retirement for serving 4 yrs or less and get free medical. I am paying 460 a yr for medical and they are not paying anything.

  7. AF Retired says:

    Keep what we really need and get rid of what we don't need. I have been to alot of bases where golf courses have to cost millions in up keep not to mention the lavish government hotels with retreats especially overseas that we can do without.

    • Congress is not going to cut any of those things. They are the primary users of these facilities.

      • lol you are right. Being in the air force there were golf courses and retreats at every base you went to.

  8. Juan Gonzalez says:

    What about looking at cutting some of the free rides congress and senate get? I know we are debating the DOD cuts but I ehink if we looked at other areas we would not have to worry about the military who risks life and limbs as opposed to embarassment and cheap haircuts to look good. Other perks the politicians have like no taxes or social security payments and higher than military General's salaries? I think there would be other places where cutting a few perks rather than the milions of low level perks retirees get can benefit the overall budget. I did my time as well as other retirees and when I came in I was promised a package that the government drastically changed when I retired. Even the retired presidents get a huge package that does not compare to any military retiree. He is only one but congressmen and women and senators are many and only have to serve one term to receive their benefits while military has to stay in several reenlistments.

    • Navy Retired says:

      My sentiments exactly.

      • I too, am Navy Retired, and also have the same sentiments as Mr. Gonzalez. But I will add one thing; any one or all of the Politicians to go on Social Security or take a pay cut as they want us to do, and what kind of answer you get from them. They mess things up and expect us, the tax payer, to pay for their mistakes. I will stop there.

    • EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I completely agree. Maybe if the senator cut or at least quit giving themselves raises on their own pay we may not be in this predicament.

  9. airforcespouse says:

    They want to save 400 million in the next 12 years. Okay, here's my proposition: The US gives about 3 billion dollars annually to Israel, which in 12 years makes 36 billion dlls. There you go! Stop foreign aid to leech countries like Israel, Egypt, et al, and we military families here in the US wouldn't be affected.

    • Seem s like we have an Nazi here. Wants the distruction of the Jewish people whom have been a true ally. Stop all assitant to Muslim nations and tell them if the screw with us we would nuke them until no life exist in their country!

      • dontfgothere says:

        let's start calling in some of those loans to the countries we helped rebuild – start with France, Italy, and Germany and keep going into the muslim countries. their loan payments can be paid back in oil and gold.

    • Tiffany says:

      AirForce Spouse,
      You need to educate yourself on why we aide Israel and what a huge mistake it would be to give them up (as their biggest alli)

  10. danboone says:

    You are using flawed zero sum economics when you think that we will either get good benefits OR get good weapons and equipment. In fact the money that is saved by slashing our pay, eliminating our retirement and ruining the quality of life for the Soldiers does not equal the amounts lavished upon Wall Street or the political cronies. While we are on the subject you are essentially saying that we should cut benefits and still keep inventing $500 toilet seats? Our sub-standard body armor was picked because it was cheaper than the good stuff. It's all about changing priorities; quit playing their game and wise up.

  11. I SERVE MY COUNTY FOR 27 YEARS,TWO TOURS IN NAM.AS ONR RET SAID,WE HAD TO SERVE FOR 20 YEARS PUS TO GET RETIREMENT PAY.

  12. danboone says:

    Wall Street spent several million dollars early on making hefty campaign "contributions" (aka bribes) to both Republifilth and Demofilth politicians. In exchange they got TRILLIONS back during the recent bailouts over their reckless gambling. Conversely, service members and their families sacrifice their lives, their time and their well being and these politicians steal our benefits and pay to "thank" us. Perhaps the problem is that we are too busy defending them and too honest to consider bribing someone to do the right thing. Cutting pay and benefits on the Soldiers should be the last place to consider, not the starting point.

  13. Chuck B, says:

    I think all retired and vets of the military should prepare to march on Washington and do what we must to to the protect us from the enemy from within. Just food for thought for those who are willing to act instead of sit aroung grousing about our crooked and inept govt. I wont go down like a whimpering dog, I was trained to a job, even though I an up in years I did not foret my skills.

  14. Chief97491 says:

    This discussion highlights the low level of understanding service and DOD budgets. It also underscoress the prevasive social welfare system the military plays supporting families while military members get paid above 75% of the US population for equally educated and skilled positions. For years the military was behind – but from 2001 through 2011, the pace of military pay raises has outstripped civilian pay.
    Granted those in combat are facing high deployment rates – but like me – each and every military member volunteered so we know what we are volunteering for. Try making it on the outside instead of milking the military and civilian discounts for everything – just because…"I served."

    • Chief, I think you are dreaming. Promises made to retirees should be promises kept.

    • It hasn't for the retirees, the most vulnerable, Chief.

      • Air Force Wife says:

        Funny we finally get some of these airmen and their young families off food stamps and now they want to cut their benefits and pay. We need to cut the pay and benefits of the congress men and women who aren't doing the job they were hired for. And why is it they get full retirement after four years??? The country needs to keep the promise to the retirees that have earned their retirement and don't mess with their benefits!!

    • I enlisted in 1970. Back then, the pay in the military wasn't near what it is today. The biggest increase in military pay in the history of the military was in 1971. They tried to make the pay equivalent to civilian pay so they could get enlistees voluntarily. It worked. Now, for those like myself who did twenty, they want to cut my benefits and/or make them more expensive?
      Give me a break. How this country with one hand salutes its veterans and makes great fanfare then, with the other, wipes away their benefits as if they weren't promised as part of the agreement of enlistment, is disgusting. It is dishonorable to many generations of military men and women who served with honor.
      I don't believe you are a Chief and if you are, I'm glad you were never my Chief.

    • Do you understand that people need to be compensated for the jobs they perform? For example, should the CEO of a top-performing organization make $50,000 a year, or $150,000 a year? Now, should a servicemember being separated from their family for a year every two, three, or four years make the same as a civilian who goes home every night?

      The pay is great, I agree, but in order to get us to stay in the service and put up with the separations and stress, it should be great. If you believe otherwise, feel free to donate 1/2 of your pay to your favorite charity, Chief.

      • Yes! My position in the military required constant travel overseas every month. The average guy was gone almost 3 weeks a month and then had to work office jobs or base details when they were home.
        People got burned out and families split. One gu after eleven years asked to change jobs to where he would not be gone so much. The military said get out or shut up!
        Add to this that promiotion in the job were extremely difficult. You could score a 100 on promotion testing and still not get promoted. The average person retired at lower ranks than most other career fields. We were also test constantly with a score of 84 being a failure and you would be busted. Then forget promotions.

    • Raise in Tricare cost etc… We do not get cost of living increases. People serving now with the same time in service and rank get thousands more per year in retirement and better benfits, such as educational.
      The average enlisted retiree gets less than teachers get in retirement and most other government workers on both the federal and state side.

    • Ret. ISC M. Bell says:

      I'm a real retired Chief. I always looked out for my men. What did you do? What are you doing now? We were promised these benefits. Last I checked a promise broken is equal to a lie told. Ask congress to stop the lying, don't support their addiction of spending on unnecessary things while cutting our pay and benefits. If you were a chief you were a lousy one if these comments you made is any indication of how you took care of your men.

      • Amen!!! And thank you Chief. I am sure your troops were proud to serve under you! I agree, a broken promise is a lie. I joined the military in 1980 and served for 20+ years. Had one of the best jobs in the Air Force in a medical career field and would not have changed a day of being able to care for some of the most remarkable people in the world. As a retired enlisted member, I feel I pre-paid my retirement pay and benefits and it is the folks in Washington who need to keep their promises to the men and women who have made HUGE sacrifices to stay in the military until retirement eligible! Bless You Sir!

    • REAL CHIEF, RET says:

      Chief97491, reading your comments above just makes me sick. I am a retired Chief, and believe that the military is getting the short end of the stick. I just can't believe that someone in the Mess could even come close to saying what you have stated. This is what happens when one has classroom instead of initiation. I wonder if you accually completed it! In my eye's, yes you are an E-7, but don't flatter yourself by saying you are a Chief!

      • MSgt2000 says:

        I agree with most of this but Come on Chief E-7 ? why put down E-7s just becuse the job we had or the amount of slots open did't make everyone chiefs? I am proud of my rank and the time I spent in the Military. only 1% are elected to chief and here has to be an opening as you know.
        MSgt Rtired (with a line number to E8 )

      • Retired Senior says:

        From a retired Senior Chief: Well said!!

    • 29 year vet says:

      Military are only paid more than 75% of the US population if you believe the pay scales are correct on the education levels of the military. For instance, they recently changed the scales for Sr. Enlisted (to include E-9's) to be paid at the level of civilians with their years of experience and "some" college but no degree. Before that change an E-9 was paid as their years of experience and a high school diploma. that might have been true when you were in – but I haven't seen an Army SGM without an Associate's Degree in years and most have at least a Bachelor's. So if you compare apples and apples rather than apples and oranges, the pay isn't as great as you imply. BUT it is worth it due to the promised retirement benefits that make up for the lower pay. NOW they want to take that away AFTER you have already finished your career.

    • myersmd2 says:

      Chief, you are comparing your wages to the civilion pop. not a mid grade enlisted person's. As a chief you make about 30% more than those who will be hit the hardest. I, as with everyone else who has served and has retired from the military was PROMISED free health care for the rest of mine and my dependant's lives. They backed out on that one! I was also PROMISED fair compensation pay for the 26 yrs of service that I performed. 1/2 of my base pay ended up around $1,300 a month. Call that fair? HEY CHIEF, are you looking at more than that? I thought so!

    • The civilian discounts are not something that is a Federal program, it is businesses saying thank you for putting your countries safety above your own. It is a way to market to the general population that they are giving back to the service members. If you are mad about the civilian discounts, don't use them. Just know they are not a part of this discussion because they do not add one penny to the deficit or will they add one penny back to the DOD budget if they are taken away.

    • Chief some of your comments may be within reason however these cuts will effect us who made $68.00 a month promised lots of benefits which our Government never supplied and now want to cut more. I do not consider the small amount I receive as welfare brother I earned every cent I get.Spent most of my career away from family caused a divorce missed most of my childrens growing up and you have the guts to call our Well Earned and Promiced benefits charity you sir are a disgrace to the uniform and I seriouasly doubt you ever served a day yourself. My opinions only I do not represent anyone else.Another point I want to make is yes I volenteered but for reasons that encluded benefits we do not get. You can get me hot in a hurry when you refer to us who fulfilled our obligations faithfully then were /are denied our promiced agreement.Please put that in your pipe and smoke it instead of the wacky weed you are on thank you.

    • Antonio A says:

      Chief97491, unfortunately. . . you've missed the main point of this discussion. Your statement that military members get paid above 75% of the US population for equally educated & skilled positions generally applies to E7 (like yourself) and above. Over 68% of the 328,000 + Navy personnel are E6 and below. But that is not the point being made here. Cutting pay and benefits from those who are serving and who have served is almost like being a traitor specially to families who have to fight for their father or mother, daughter or son's medical care/rehab after getting discharged from service due to injuries sustained on duty. You yourself have not experienced a pay cut or a loss in benefits assuming you are still on active duty. Perhaps you need to experience one before making such a statement. The military is NOT a social welfare system! Furthermore, the entire active duty personnel of all the branches of service put together makes up less than 1% of the US population. There are other avenues to save money and cutting from the very people that serve is wrong!

    • jgolddaucc says:

      I suppose you forget that being in the Military can lead to a career. Being President is a yearly income of over $200,000 and being in the senate and congress is just under that amount and they are just desk jockeys. Why can't they sacrifice some pay and allowances for once? You did forget to mention that a lot of that "income" military families get are for housing, meal allowances and combat pay. All things that help stimulate the economy. Also, between those years you quoted, America has been fighting two wars and aided other countries more than necessary. Maybe money can be taken from there? How about illegal immigrants? We have to pay for them to get free education (their children) and health care. My husband is in the guard and we can't afford medical insurance and aren't provided with any so for the past two years I have been without health care and haven't seen a doctor and I was born and raised in New York! (My family has been in America since it began!) Hows that for fair? Further more, why is it that the military and it's members are ALWAYS sacrificed before anything else? Lets think of that for once!

    • Retired says:

      Hmm, you know what they say: "Lies, dammed lies, and statistics…" Seriously, though military pay has improved immensely over they years, to say that it exceeds the pay of 75% of the population for equally skilled and educated positions really says nothing. Such stats are based on the vast numbers of the enlisted force that are filling combat arms positions – for which there is no civilian equivalent, in terms of responsibility. So what if the infantryman has the same education as the civilian burger-flipper? Are you really suggesting that their wages should be the same? When you cite statistics, you really need to be careful to check under the hood a little bit. Statistics can seem to say just about anything we want them to. Pay isn't based solely on education or "skills" in the civilian sector. Neither should it be in the military. When you look at military jobs for which there are direct equivalents in the civilian sector, you find that the military is still underpaid – sometimes grossly. My actual salary (not counting my retirement) went up about 15% the day I left the military. It is much higher now.

    • Chief of what? You are not a real military man. You are just as bad as the D.C. wimps that would take all of what we earned over our careers.
      How dare you call our way of life a "prevasive welfare system".
      Military families sacrifice much more than you would ever know.
      I was away from my loving wife and children through two deployments and a one year remote assignment.
      I think your 75 percent figure is BS, but what of it. If you serve your country should you live in poverty?
      Yes we volunteered to serve and us in the retirement community volunteered to stay because we loved our country and the way of life. We earned what we signed up for. And no politician should take that away from us.
      You are a chief of nothing but your own distorted mind.

    • You are hereby BLACK-BALLED. You are no brother of mine E-7

  15. Where are you getting these for free? There are no free benefits here.

  16. Dumprat says:

    Christine you say that it is ok if they cut the meds. Why don't you jest let them start there and open the flood gates for farther cuts. You see I do not get my meds from the Military or the VA. But that is by my choce. I am A heart transplant. I do every thing at a civilian hospital and get my meds at civ. drug store. I could do it easy enough but I would have to use all of their drugs. But some of the meds. that I am on is not used by the VA. So take your choice as to what you want to do. I did not put in the years that I did to retire, and let them cut all of my benifites. the truth of the fact is if they cut their pay and benifites first and thak the same cuts as we do then it will be different. But let the cut theirs and live under the same laws as we have to. Don,t pass a law for us and exempt them selves from it. We have been under a pay freeze for two years let they took them for doing such a good job. Think before you agree to some thing.

  17. David FC1(SW) Ret says:

    Chief?!? I doubt it! but if you were, explain to me why when I was getting "paid above 75% of the US population" as an E-6 in 2006 I was still eligible for my 2 kids (no huge welfare family) to receive free lunches?
    Also, when I enlisted in 1986 it was free health care for life if I retired, and stayed that way for 2 re-enlistments, but when I got to retirement it was $475 a year, and rising.
    We earned those benefits, and if you were really a chief you wouldn't be volunteering to give them up!

  18. Retiredguy says:

    Scap all the Washington bureaucrats especially Obama and lets start fresh. Cut out welfare, close the borders, arrest the illegalls and get liberal hollywood to pay for our debt since they have all the money

  19. Thomas Mizell says:

    it is time congress cuts there buget no more pay raises voted on by them let the people do it also stop the pay they get now if they serve 4 years or less they still get the same pay and any other member of congress plus if they die there spouse gets it for the rest of there life i sure if they keep it up there kids will soon get it all they have to do is vote it in THIS IS WHERE THE BUGET NEEDS TO BE CUT

  20. "The rest of the country's health insurers" are providing health care to people who by and large don't put their life on the line and take the following oath:
    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

  21. Go Green Recycle CONGRESS. QUITE ELECTING THE SAME PEOPLE TO OFFICE. SO IT’S PARTLY ARE FAULT.

  22. I really hate to admit it, but I give up, no mater what we say or do, they keep doing what ever it takes to disrupt the militery. Perhaps if this continues in 20 years from now, when the war breaks out the congressmen and senators will have to drop what they are doing and bear arms in the defenced of our nation. God help us all.

    • Terry, if we survive this current war/war's we are in now, and 20 years from now we have another with Politicians who have the same mantality as we currently have, and they were to go to war because we all gave up, they will probly go with a LARGE WHITE FLAG in their hands, or they would do as some have done just rexcently, run to Canada and hide.

  23. Defense cuts?…hmmmmm how about starting with cutting foreign aid, cutting welfare to Illegal Aliens,
    Our people fight for this country and this is what they get?
    Our military families qualified for Welfare just before the Regan years…what is wrong with congress? These people put their lives on the LINE.

    • RETIREE says:

      I AGREE WITH MARY WE SHOULD CUT ALL FOREIGN AID TO ALL THE COUNTRIES WHO ARE KICKED BACK TAKING IT EASY LIVING OFF THE MONEY THE MORONS IN WASHINGTON SEND THEM. IF THEY WOULD SEND ALL THESE ILLEGAL ALIENS HOME AND PROSECUTE ANY OF THEM THAT COME BACK WE WOULDN'T HAVE A BUDGET PROBLEM.

  24. Defense cuts?…hmmmmm how about starting with cutting foreign aid, cutting welfare to Illegal Aliens,
    Our men & women fight for this country and this is what they get??
    Our military families qualified for Welfare just before the Regan years…what is wrong with congress? These people put their lives on the LINE.
    WALL STREET spent several million dollars early on making hefty campaign "contributions" (aka bribes) to both Republifilth and Demofilth politicians. In exchange they got TRILLIONS back during the recent bailouts over their reckless gambling. Conversely, service members and their families sacrifice their lives, their time and their well being and these politicians steal our benefits and pay to "thank" us. Perhaps the problem is that we are too busy defending them and too honest to consider bribing someone to do the right thing. Cutting pay and benefits on the Soldiers should be the last place to consider, not the starting point.

  25. Chuck B, says:

    Chief 97491, I guess all the things that they promised you when you enlisted, I guess you finally reached that point like the politicians you can accept the lies, well I cant and wont, think of me as you will, its your privilege, but I am disappointed that an enlisted man would think the ay you are in light of the fact that in DC the crooks continue to get super pay, super retirement and huge perks for doing what they do best screwing everone else, sleep well Chief you must be a politican.

  26. Old Doc says:

    I am retiring after 37 years next April. I'm in Navy Medicine and I have had it. It's worse than when I enlisted in 1975 and it's not getting any better. Isn't it great that the average civil servant had their pay increase between 19-33% under the NSPS rules, while at the same time the military saw a net increase of 4.7%
    The number of military hospitals is dropping every year and the number that will see retirees is miniscule. Stand by for heavy rolls.
    You'll get a voucher card until you're eligble for Medicare. Good luck finding a doctor who will take your piss-poor reimbursement rate. Oh yeah, the four-stars think that $5000-8000 per year is a "reasonable" price to pay for third rate insurance. It might be, if you're making $150K in retired pay and you just got hired on as a $1M a year consultant to defense contractors, but my guess is the average schmooo doesn't think so.
    I can put up with a lot of crap, but the worse thing is telling great sailors and Marines that they're better off moving on and getting out of the military if they want a family and a better life.

    My apologies to the older vets who fought so hard and are winding up with nothing. I tried as hard as I could to protect your benefits.

    • My first 16 years was a a combat airecrew doing 12, 16 and 24 hour work days in peace time. After being grounded medically, I worked in an office environment with military and civil service. The cival service made a great deal more than the military.
      During this time there were two civil service in the office that their full time position together envolved only 1/3 of what I did as additional duties. Over paid and under worked were these and many other positions.
      Now they are retired making more than double the average enlisted retiremenmt pay!

    • that's right! Thank you.
      Retired USN…30 years, my husband was a master chief. We/he enlisted in 1972!

    • Another sad but true story. I concur that sailors and marines are better off moving on and getting out. Not only is there no real future in the military but there is no real incentive to put ones life in harms way for a low paycheck. The lower ranks are not really benefiting.

  27. Robert dixon says:

    When i signed up i was peomissed free medical for tbe rest of my life for me and my spouce. Im now paying for that and they prommissed not to raise that over just a nominal fee now they want to basicaly take anywere from one months of our retirment up to three for a lot of us. Its kind of funny they want to give free health care to every one in the US but the retired military. There is also a mandate for all insuranses to cover children to age 26 guess who doesnt have to do that either,,,guessed right tri care. Must be nice to pnly have to work for one to two years and b.coverd free for the rest of your life not only you but yout spouce too.

  28. Terry Carpenter says:

    I retired in 1994. When I enlisted in 1971, one of the benefits I thought I was getting was free health care for myself for life (CHAMPUS), and reduced health care costs for my dependents. Alas, that didn't happen. Still, TRICARE is one of the best health insurance programs going, and I'd hate to see it become just another in the mix of unaffordable insurance programs. Without it, my family and I certainly couldn't afford our yearly check-ups, not to mention the occasional emergency treatment.

    I'm certainly not in favor of cutting programs for the active component, but some of us have already completed our service. And, I think certain promises were made when we enlisted that should be taken into consideration. After all, we are still part of the "family", right?

    • I 2nd that …..for our family!
      Retired after 30 years! of loyal service.

      • RETIREE says:

        THE YEARS WE SERVED DOESN'T MEAN A THING TO THE POLITICIANS. WE RETIREES ARE CONSIDERED A LIABILITY TO THEM NOW THAT WE ARE OLD AND MANY ARE SICK. THEY ARE GOING TO STARVE US OUT BY CUTTING PAY AND BENEFITS. AS WE
        DIE OUT A POLITICIAN WILL GET A RAISE FROM OUR MEAGER PENSION.

        • Mrs Chief says:

          & we ABSOLUTELY should not have to pay for Medicare Part B when reaching 65 or become disabled before 65 in order to keep our Tricare. That's approximately $2400.00 a year for a retired military couple of Medicare age. I know it's cheaper than having to also pay for the supplement, however I know military personal were promised free medical care for themselves & their families if they made a career of the military. We need the law repealed requiring payment for Medicare Part B for military retirees.

  29. Randall Thomas says:

    I agree that it is time to cut the budget!!!! However, Congress should be the first to lead the way. Their benefit package is by far more lucrative than any military active or retirees package. Let then eel the pinch for aawhile. Second, like some ofhe other comments, let us take away ALL benefits fo ALL ILLEGAL Aliens. They aree, after all, criminals. Another area to cut in in the prison systems. Why should convicted criminals get beter benefits that the US MIlitary man or woman?
    I think you get the idea.
    Randy
    USAF Retired

  30. Get on with your life.

    Master Chief USN Ret.

  31. Look folks, we all took an oath to defend America & our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That Oath didn't end when we retired! The Greatest Enemies of America are the Tyrants in Washington DC. They've never cut their pay or benefits. We have let the fox watch the Henhouse long enough. How much are we going to have to take before we do as our forefathers did against tyrannical England? I sent a letter warning them of just that! Enough is enough! I'm in – if America needs defending again, I may be older, but I can still do my part to defend Her! We are not the only ones with the guts to do this, there are lots of civilian Patriots already discussing it. America needs saving and NONE of those idiots in DC that took the Oath have even bothered to live by any of it! Most have been there for 20, 30, 40 years, stealing OUR money, setting up PACs for their bribes, and tearing America down.

  32. So we went from Gates To this other one (Leon Panetta) who is another A H
    that want to hit Vets/Miltary with cuts……

  33. Deport all illegal immigrants and never provide any assistance to them or their children! This would save the US over 100 billion a year. Easily saving in excess of a trillion dollars in less than a decade.
    Additional benefit would be putting millions of Americans to work and increasing tax base.

  34. Revitup999 says:

    Chief, I am a Service Connected Disabled Vet. BTW, Chief, I have a very high level of understanding service. I Served 19 years and 4 months. You should remember Chief, that once you sign that contract you became property of the U.S Gov. I am not sure where you have been lately, Enlisted Military pay 75% above the U.S. population for equally educated and skilled positions? My wife became a Sheriff’s Deputy at the end of my career and made far more on day one then I was making after over 18 years of service. Chief, unless you have forgotten those services are there to provide for the Military members families so they don’t have to worry when they are deployed. BTW, they are piss poor services at that. Try to find a doctor who will accept TRICARE, good luck. I remember that I qualified for food stamps based on my pay at the time. Very nice way to treat the troops. Try getting responsive health care at the VA, ha. You see the doc for 5 minutes if you are lucky. Get them, get them out. I don’t thinking anyone here is trying to milk the system. I would like for you to name one job which has the sames requirements as military service levies against an individual in the civilian world and I guarrantee you they make substantially more, with more substanial benefits. When you retire Chief and you get that nice job with a defense contractor, Check your vector, there is an Air to Air Missile on your nine, so pucker up and suck it up Chief. As a reminder Chief, Military personnel sacrafice more than anyone in this country oh and they lay their lives on the line… I bet you are one of those Chiefs who has a flat brown nose, because if you talked this way to your troops they would have ensured you never made Chief. What goes around comes around Chief. This first priority of the Federal Governement to protect this Great Nation, the second priority is to take care of those who did so, voluntarily or not. Gee Retirement pay for a E-9 at 30 years? Go figure why you are taking the position you are.

    • revitup999 says:

      Another issue the Chief forgets, is that when you Retire you are not free from military service. The primary reason retirees get a check is to maintain highly trained inactive reserves forces. Everyone receiving retirement pay is officially in the inactive reserves and hence you are subject to recall to military active duty. Geez why is it a good idea to continue retiree benefits? Chief you probably think that when you are retired and making 150K to 200K at a Defense Contractor, you are done with military service. Oh BTW, when you reitire, you have to stand in line waiting your turn just like the rest of us, hope they get to you in time.

      • Chief97491 says:

        Revitup – you are unbelievably clueless and make far too many assumptions. I am not a contractor – don't make 150K ~200K and don't want to. I am not motivated by money. I get more satisfaction from helping people than material comfort.

  35. John Smith says:

    this is fasanating. What is wrong with gates and the joint cheif of staff. Raise fees for retires. That is the best they can do. It would be too much work to find other cuts. They get paid to do budgets and look out for us. I could come up with better things than that. Retirement is nothing to brag about. an enlisted member is not geting all that much. We do all the work and have most of the medical problems for it and we get the least. cut the fat from the budget. Give the free medical as promised. keep the rates at what they are. If you want to raise it make it 500 and freeze it forever. or make new soldiers entering have to deal with new things. nit those who alredy served. If i had 20 years to plan for things such as fee increaded medical and no cola raise's it would be diferent. making me pay when i'm already retired is criminal. Lets cut out the fee medical for all those who served in congress and as president and see how they like it. Congress is a scam and has had many chances to get it right. They cant. Why the military watch dogs said a mild increse would be fine is beyound me. Having said that the door opened and anyone in congress who didnt take advantage of that would be stupid. The door was opened by the friends of the military. Cut welfare, raise limit on ssn fees to evry dollar earned must pay on it. Cut world police and forgien aid. Get out of iraq and the other places we dont belong. close the borders. revamp pay retirement, and medical for all goverment jobs to include civil service congress,president, milatairy every single government job all of them and start the new for fy 2013. Start there that way the pay,benifiets and medical will be right and proper. You cant use what is in place. it is outdated and wrong. I wish I was paid more and didnt have free medical.That way I would have made more money when I didnt need medical. Instead I got reduced pay and have to pay 475 a year for medical plus copays and preciptions. Cut the pork make had decisions and stop cutting promises. Get with the times and do what is right for the ones who supported you. Get rid of the people in congress and the milatary who dont want to fight for what they have earned. We gave up cola for 2 years straight what more do you want. The 6-7 percent that we gave up is for life. It wasnt just for one or two years.What did congress give up. Nothing they gave themselfs raises. What a scam. how do they look in the mirror.

  36. ARMY SSG NG says:

    Once again Americans (specifically our troops and vets) are getting hit where it hurts, our pocket.

    Soldiers make more than 75% of the civilian population? WHEN was the last time a 'civilian' had to pull a 12 hour to 24 hour shift? WHEN was the last time a civilian had to grab a weapon, and go on a patrol for 12 hours, avoid getting shot and keep from getting blown up by an RPG or IED? Ask a civilian to do your job and they say 'Oh I can't do that, the military is too hard, or I couldn't take orders, or I don't work well under pressure.' When was the last time a Politician who makes more than a general had to pull it all on the line to defend this nation? No they are too busy having affairs, and bending over for the Corporations that really run this country.
    It's really shameful when our own military leaders, Admiral's no less, who make easily 150-200k a year and are about to retire with full benefits and have a nice cushy contractor job lined up for them talk about cutting the pay and benefits of the soldiers who are still in, or have retired already… What does he care, he's set for life regardless..
    To those who say 'We' the military make too much, and should take cuts. Instead of cutting our pay and benefits, stop the increase in pay… The only way someone should get a raise is if they get promoted I say (of course I'm the minority in that statement). I make plenty as an E6, but I would love to make E7 and get a raise. Cap the pay at what it currently is and stop the 1.5% or whatever raise they give every year.
    Cut the government spending on Welfare for Illegals and even for those who are legal in our country. Why is it that the system allows people to continue to get welfare after 5 – 10 years. They haven't gotten a job because the system continues to pay them, what incentive do they have to get a job, the government is paying them to do nothing, best job in the world, "I sit on my couch and collect, while those fools who work are paying for it"
    Cut the funding to foreign Governments and countries. We owe china 4.5 trillion dollars and we continue to give millions to countries that hate our guts. We are trying to buy our friends, but all we are doing is making the rest of the world hate us even more.
    Stop fighting wars in countries that have been at war for 1000 of years, and supporting said wars with millions of dollars… Stop building weapons for these countries in their countries and paying them (those countries) for the weapons we produced for them.
    I hate to say it, but another Revolution is coming, maybe a year, maybe 10, or 20… Sooner or later it will happen, and the government will once again be 'For the People, By the People' not 'For the Politicians, by the Corporations'

    • Your observation is so true it should be the new headline for tomorrow's news paper. A revolution would be a welcome sight. Perhaps we should gear up and prepare for the worse. We should not forget that sooner or later we will breed mass terrorism in the US simply because of the current F…ed up situation. We are wasting money on people who care less for real changes. Yet, we keep hacking at it, and bring in more US dead, then call them heroes. Thousand in these messed up countries have been murdered without using US troops. Did we lose from that? No! So, better bring the troops home and less will be spent.

      • ARMY SSG NG says:

        The Revolution I am speaking of is a POLITICAL REVOLUTION. Not all Revolutions need to have people fighting and dying. That is the last thing this country needs again. Enough have died fighting two needless conflicts in countries that don't care about us to begin with, and supporting conflicts in other countries that have been waging for thousands of years.

        We need real change in this country. We need a clean slate in all aspects of the government. We need fresh 'blood' (pardon the pun) in office. IF you've been a senator or representative, or what have you in ANY political Party, for longer than 4 years, you need to go. IF you took any Contributions from a Corporation, You need to go, you don't represent the people anymore, you represent a Corporation. It should also be a requirement to serve at least 4 years in the military service, whether it be army, air force, marines or navy, even the coast guard (active or reserve or National Guard). We need a NEW GOVERNMENT, not Status Quo.
        Im even tempted to run for office, not as part of any political party, but as an independent, for the people, by the people. But alas, I am still active in the military, and probably wouldn't garner a single vote, except for myself..

  37. Make E-9 and your wife want make more money than you!!!!!!

  38. revitup999 says:

    Another issue the Chief forgets along with everyone else, is that when you Retire you are not free from military service. The primary reason retirees get a check is to maintain highly trained inactive reserves forces. Everyone receiving retirement pay is officially in the inactive reserves and hence you are subject to recall to military active duty. Geez why is it a good idea to continue retiree benefits? Chief you probably think that when you are retired and making 150K to 200K at a Defense Contractor, you are done with military service. Oh BTW, when you reitire, you have to stand in line waiting your turn just like the rest of us, hope they get to you in time.

  39. First I would like to commend you for exercising your first amendment right to express your opinion Chief. But while ignorance is bliss you are sorely mistaken and probably unhappy with the rate that you have chosen. As with in the past we put our selves in harms way so that the people of the United States can keep the freedoms that we hold so dear. What has changed is the level of intelligence required to operate the technology of today. For example after 11 years of service in my job field, I am making today just above what a person with less than one year performing the same job on "the out side" that I do. Not to mention the person doing that job is, at that point just learning his skill, not teaching others to bring them up to his expertise. While yes, I am only speaking for myself I know there are a lot of rates that offer similar opportunities on the outside. So while I did volunteer for long deployments away from my family, not letting my wife keep a job or a home for longer than 4 years, and not seeing the first time my son rides a bicycle. I sir, will gladly keep "milking the discounts" because I know those discounts come from a grateful nation. I know that I can make it with ease on the outside, I have been there. I gladly give my life So Others May Live!

  40. not everyone gets them for free. If you are on Tricare Prime Remote, you pay a copay for all of them. And you can't get things like Motrin (ibuprophen), Tylenol (acetamenophin), or things like that on prescription. If it can be bought over the counter, we have to buy it over the counter, as Tricare will not cover it. While there are a FEW exceptions to this rule, I wanted you to know not everyone gets them for free.

  41. The economy is about to tank! Do you realize what that means?

    • Chief97491 says:

      It's not so much about the economy, this is about our priorities on spending for the nation. Economist generally agree on two occassions for excessive debt – during war and economic recession. But after those events revenues have to increase to pay down the debt. One other concept is that the live expectancy of the nation is far longer than the combined life spans of our lives or our childrens lives.

      In my opinion, I want to spend on things will make this nation great. Leading technology leading in energy, conservation, recycling. I want to stop importing engineers and doctors and start exporting our intellectual capital by sending our doctors and engineers to countries in need and able to pay.

      We have allowed our standards to fall leaving our nation ill equipped to solve the problems presented by this next century and instead reaching for solutions that are easy – promoting horizontal drilling, clean coal technology instead of reaching for solutions that significantly reduce hydrocarbons from our energy requirements.

      I only wish the nation had the tenacity to support energy to the tune it has supported Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military paid the price with lives, blood sweat and tears. In less than 10 years, we went from monkeys in space to putting a man on the moon – in more than 10 years we are still mired in a war on terrorism that saps resources that can solve problems. I want to lead – not follow in the same path. Staying on the same post WWII military industrial path is not the path to world leadership. It only makes us one of the biggest guys on the block with the best weapons.

  42. My husband has been in the Marines for over 22 years. I understand that there are those people out there that think that we just get soooo much more than they do, I want them to walk in my shoes. I want them to be without their spouse for 6 months out of the year. I want them to be a single parent to children who are stressed because their mommy/daddy are in a warzone. I want them to pack up their house every 3-4 years and move to someplace that they were TOLD to go, not someplace they want to go. I want them to have to quit their job every 3-4 years and start over again…especially in this economy. I want them to have their spouse stand duty for 24 hours. I want them to kiss their spouse goodbye during the holiday because somebody that is lower rank than them has gotten into trouble and their spouse has to go cover that. Oh yeah, and if your military member is sick, they still have to go to work and then go to sick call. Sometimes they get sent home to be sick in bed, but mostly they are given motrin and sent back to work.
    I am sick and tired of people trying to take things away from the military. It is not an easy job, nor is it easy to be maried to a militrary member.
    I am at a base that just put in a new pool for training the military $9 mil dollars worth of a pool…REALLY? How about the new childcare center that was $15 mil to put in. Hey I got it, lets lease a vehicle overseas for $40,000 a year …but you could buy the damn thing for $35,000. This is an area that needs to be looked into and have some commom sense applied to it.
    If they decided to cut military pay/benefits…what is congress going to do for their part. Are they cutting their pay that they recieve? Are they going to adjust their medical that they get for the rest of their life …after only serving one term? How about this….if one of your parents is not an US citizen, then neither is your child. It makes no sense that we pay out welfare for people that dont even live here or pay taxes. The world is laughing at our stupidity, all the way to the bank. There are so many places that can be cut or reduced, but they need to get their fingers out of my husbands pay and benefits. They need to keep the promises that they made to the retirees.
    I understand that things need to be cut, but I think they need to be smart and not stupid. They need to look elsewhere than the military/benefits.

    Oh yeah, and by the way, my paycheck as a civilian equivilant to my husbands job, was 2 times as much. I brought in more money, for less time worked, never had to be gone for 24 hours, never had to be gone for 6 months, never had to leave my children and spouse. So you can take that 75% and shove it.

    ONE more thing, I dare congress to cut the pay and benefits of the military/retirees….then go stand behind that same military and ask them to protect their way of life…..I sure as heck wouldnt cut the pay of those people who are serving and have served and then ask them to continue to be treated this way.

  43. afmilspouse says:

    How much more in troop reduction can our military take. Our troops are already working their butts off with long hours as it is.

  44. Sandy Brewer, says:

    The first step in reducing the Defense Budget, my friends, is to take a good hard look at Civilian Companies contracted to do work for DOD that can be done (and was) by DOD. I'm not talking Civilian KP's (but, if it came to that, we could go back to pulling KP). But what about the Civilian Security Guards instead of using our Military Police? What about the Military Cooks? (are there any, any more?) What about the Engineering Firms like Brown and Root, who DO NOT make the good impression with indiginous people that our troops did when they were rebuilding infrastructure? A military that has to depend on contractors who are in it for the money is on the edge of crumbling. A strong military is a self sufficent military. And, oh yes,
    If SecDef wants to cut military pay and benefits, shouldn't SecDef and staff undergo THE SAME – THAT'S EQUAL – CUTS???
    MSG, Ret

  45. Chief97491 says:

    David FC1(SW) Ret, Chuck B.
    David you post says it all – you can't accept the facts as presented. In 2006, you reached parity with the civilian population earing between $29,580 and $35,378 per year (E-6 >6 TIS and E-6 >14 years TIS). In many localities, the local school districts do not include military BAS or BAQ as a part of wages. Plus since you made that amount, you qualified for Child Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credits plus Earned Income Credit part of the Income Tax Social Welfare system to redistribute wealth to the financially challenged families.

    Chuck – I enlisted in 1975 – didn't go in for the money – turned down 6-year enlistment because I just wanted to pay for my education. I was 19 and had no desire to stay for retirement and didn't even consider the health care benefits because I would be long gone before. But I did get all my education benefits including associates, bachelor, masters degrees and graduate certificates. Plus along the way, I enjoyed what I was doing and began to understand the promotion system where high work performance, plus studying to learn the profession paid off with promotions and better work performance a positive repeating cycle. I retired just under 26 years – I didn't stay in for the over 26 pay….just like I didn't come in for the money – I didn't stick around just to get more retirement money.

    The early lesson I took from my Air Force Professional Fitness Guide was that we did not get paid a lot, but if we were to live WITHIN our means, we could live comfortably. I chose to live BELOW my means. I did use the military to keep fit and that provided most of my entertainment through raquetball, baskitball, and fitness.

    We have to get beyond the idea that the military is off-limits to budget cuts. We have far too many officers and senior NCOs essentially filling the same role and function. Rules have to be changed to reduce the number of officer billets. Rules have to be changed to allow enlisted pilots. The current system perputuates an antiquated military class system that bleeds taxpayer dollars to support bloated command structures. How do you fix it? Begin by making it less enticing to just stick around for a paycheck and "free health care for life." "Free health care for life" is a worn out joke fostered by people who sign their names on contracts without doing some digging on their own to find out the real facts.

    • Retiree says:

      Chief, why should anyone accept your "facts" when they aren't facts? You applied a sweeping statistic indicating that the military earns more than the population at large without accounting for the gross misalignment in jobs between the military and the civilian sector. Now if you were in the small minority of the military working in food or hospitality service, your statistic "fits." Otherwise it doesn't. Again, education and training are only factors in the pay equation – not the whole equation. Cutting someone's retirement is essentially a retroactive pay cut. It is also a failure to deliver an agreed payment for service – which is stealing. The debt is what it is, but failing to pay benefits agreed upon 5, 10, 20, or even 50 years ago should be treated as a last resort, not "low hanging fruit." It's called "integrity" and it works both ways. That is one of the other lessons in your beloved PFE manual.

  46. SFC G retired says:

    I'm retired Army and sacrificed a lot for my country. But some things get on my nerves… the father of a friend, who is visiting the USA from a Central American country got chest pain and was taken to the emergency room at Grady Hospital, Atlanta. He got a free quadruple bypass operation! Never paid a cent in taxes or sacrificed a minute for this country, and they want to cut our benefits?! Something is very wrong with this picture.

  47. DE_retired says:

    In the mid 60's the Progessives (read totalitarians) gained the upper hand in American Government. Which party did not nor does control makes any difference, only their desire to "fundamentally change America." They have been lobbying to reduce the DOD budget and increase entitlements ever since. I remember in the early 70's we had to eat canned hamburgers and could not get underway(no fuel) since the budget had been cut back for all units not actually "on the line."
    Those so very wise college protestors soon became teachers of our children and flooded every TV and major print media. Gradually these same intelligentsia, who know better than we how to live our lives, have ascended to a large majority of federal and most state legislatures and bureaucracies. Over these 40+ years entitlements have grown to represent the largest hog sucking at the public trough. Every year they have railed against defense spending. We have now reached the point where this Ponzi scheme is near collapse. Still these progressives want to reduce military spending in order to feed their union and other special interests who do not contribute to our GDP. This is NOT the nation I raised my hand (1st time in 1964) to defend. None of these entitlement programs are constitutional, but those same progressives have determined to just forget that antiquated, useless document. After all those were just a bunch of old white men sitting around a smoke filled room with only personal agendas. It is now unconstitutional to read George Washington's farewell address in it's entirety because it mentions G_d too many times. Just wait if Mr. Obama gets re-elected. These posts will be even more pointless.

  48. Retired.NOT.Dead says:

    So tired of the term VOLUNTEER look it up…a person who performs a service willingly and WITHOUT pay. Yes, the draft is what most refer to when we say we have an ALL volunteer military, serving with out force. Well, who joined and when that didn't get compensation? Promises of Health Care after retirement? I don't know of any. I know our health care is the lowest, as it should be…let any civilian, no matter the job, run their bodies like a Marine? After 24 yrs of service my husband has more health issues in his joints, bones, lungs, feet, ankles, and back than my 72 year old mother. He doesn't complain about it either. He goes to the VA when they send him his letter, takes meds as prescribed, and works every day. We barely get by, with a mortgage, 1 car payment, and 1 credit card. It really burns me up when former military go against ANY military cause. And this my friends is a cause. As AMERICANS we should not allow the GOVN'T…OUR GOVN'Tto go back on it's word the the men and women who fight for their right to govern. WE ALL PAY TAXES! YES, THE MILITARY DO! Some people think we don't, and we get welfare, and food stamps, and reduced or free lunches…WHY? Don't try and say we get upto 75% more pay than our civilian counterparts…NOT SO! My son is joining the MC, against my advice, as he makes more money now, good health care, and he can call in sick if he needs to. They can't just tell him one thing and do another, just because someone screwed up, and if so, he has a choice to quit before it takes affect. THAT isn't so for all those who have retired and done what was required. Stand up and fight for what you deserve. We know how to…Just do it! Let the NEW joins or he ReUPs have higher fees at least they would have a CHOICE!

    • RETIREE says:

      MAYBE THE DRAFT IS WHAT WE NEED. ONCE THE POLITICIANS SEE
      THE VOLUNTEER MILITARY FALL APART, THEY WILL HAVE TO DRAFT
      PEOPLE, IT MIGHT MAKE THEM REALIZE THEY CAN'T KEEP LYING TO PEOPLE ABOUT PAY AND BENEFITS. I DON'T THINK VERY MANY YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WERE CONSIDERING THE MILITARY AS A CAREER WILL ENLIST WHEN THEY REALIZE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO
      THE RETIRED AND ACTIVE DUTY TROOPS. THINK ABOUT IT.!!!!!!

  49. AF Retiree 2 says:

    I truly agree with all my co-bloggers. we don't stop fighting wars and foreign aid. we're always trying to prove ourselves to the world that we are powerful and all mighty–why? Our leadership should prove themselves more to its own citizens. we so many vets and people who living jsut below the poverty line and yet those people who have dedicated their lives for the sake of freedom have to suffer.–Shame on you!

  50. Reality approaches! In 2008 we proved to the world that we are not racists, stupid perhaps but not racist. Every election cycle we watch individuals who say they want to serve their state or nation spend billions in order to do so. When I went to Korea as a young private, I really thought that I had found a corrupt government. They can't hold a candle to ours. From bottom to top, the fish (government ) stinks to high heaven. We are afflicted with a terminal case of apathy. We also have an extremely short memory, we forget that our troops are dying every day so we can concentrate on some congressional idiot in his underwear. Our law enforcement is more interested in revenue collection than in the prevention of crime, this learned from our elected officials. Wouldn't we all love to be a upper level manager in a corporation that has unlimited funds, free labor, accountable to no one and an gestapo styled enforcement department. Oh well, would the last American please turn off the lights when you leave.

  51. Isn't it wonderful how openly the politicians toss around the idea of cutting retirement and active duty pay, while at the same time protecting handouts to illegal aliens and other government aid programs.

    How great it is that after 22 years of service, giving my health and youth to the military, that the issuers of the grand promises of the "Benefits of a Military career", now view me as being to on par with Welfare Recipients.

  52. Radioman says:

    As long as Democrats control the Senate DOD will be the Lion share of any cuts they poropose. Lets face it Federal Employees didn't loose their cost of living increase while miitary retirees did.
    They've controlled the purse strings since 2006 – 5 years – and llok where it's got us scalple on "Cowboy Poetry Festivals", increases to planned Parenthood despite the speaches, and a 50% reduction in the DOD. Who are we kidding.
    I'll do my share, take some pain, but so do the rest of the unionized federal work force who have so many redunant departments and jobs it's insane. 400,000 hired under the Obama administration. That's crazy

    • Cee Jolly says:

      I am both a military retiree and a Federal Civil Service retiree. I did not redeive a COLA for my federal retirement or military retirement. Neither one has had a COLA for the last two years.

    • I hate to tell you this, but my Federal Civil Service pay has been FROZEN for two years. Add that to no increase in COLA or VA disability payments…I got hit three ways.

  53. The news media says that our nice little congressman with the bad habit of sending semi naked pictures of himself is getting a two week leave of absence with pay to get his head right. Isn't it wonderful that our Congress thinks so highly of itself that they can see clear to pay this little pervert while he is not leave and that his free paid two weeks off will get him a net paycheck equal to SIX MONTHS of my earned Army pension. So much for the sacrifice of our political public servants (or in Weiner's case that would be "pubic" servant)

  54. CPO RET says:

    Chief97491, reading your comments above just makes me sick. I am a retired Chief, and believe that the military is getting the short end of the stick. I just can't believe that someone in the Mess could even come close to saying what you have stated. This is what happens when one has classroom instead of initiation. I wonder if you accually completed it! In my eye's, yes you are a E-7, but don't flatter yourself by saying you are a Chief!

    • T J handsome says:

      Chief- He is retired AF not Navy. And he used the system to gain not because he wanted to serve, but because he saw gain for himself. He was never in a war zone, unless he spent some time in Iraq in the first Gulf war. So please don't equate him with us or the Goat Locker.

    • Chief

      We always had room in the Mess to air our grievances and work out our problems..so I find it a damn shame this has to be public. However, that being said..I agree with you, brother of the cloth.

      We have stood by too long the last 10+ years while we watched the few benefits we paid for in blood, lost marriages, and loneliness get eroded, “managed”, or outright stolen. In many ways, it is our own fault that we left others on watch who waited till we slept to slip the knife into our backs.

      Shame on us for not marching on Washington years ago.

      Keep your ammo dry.

      Signed,

      Initiated, not dined into the Mess.

  55. We spend $330 Billion a year on illegal immigrants for food stamps, education, welfare, TANF, free lunches and other social programs.

    Yet we are going to cut the pay and benefits of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen that provide for the common defense and protection of our country?

    Sounds like treason to me….

    • I agree with Klato, cut benefits to illegal immigrants and leave American citizens, service members, and vets alone

  56. Retired Vet says:

    We need to look at the benefits that are given to our leaders and see if they are willing to take a reduction in their benefits. If and Admiral is willing to retired then lets change to where his retiree pay is that of a E-9. Stop his medical benefits and let them go to the VA and utilize that healthcare. It just makes me mad when they say those comments.

    • RETIREE says:

      THE CARE HAS GOT TO IMPROVE AT THE VA CLINICS BEFORE YOU CAN CALL IT HEALTHCARE. IT IS A JOKE.!!!!

  57. Lorraine says:

    June 14, 2011 __The President__The White House__1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW__Washington, DC 20500 __Re: DoD Budget Cuts Could Impact Military Pay __Dear President Obama: __The following letter is in regard to several calls by DoD officials to reduce military pay and benefits.____I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will sup­port and defend the Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States against all ene­mies, for­eign and domes­tic

  58. Lorraine says:

    I do not understand why so many people who put their life on the line, to uphold and defend the constitution have to be among the first to have their proverbial heads on the chopping block. This logic does not make sense. I do not understand how promises that have been made are now reneged. When signing a legal contract, I am bound by those terms, if I default, I must pay the consequence. What consequence will be paid if no one in the government really considers the sacrifices made by the men and women, and the families in the military.
    Actions speak louder than any words. Please consider setting the following example: CEO Robert Shillman, of COGNEX CORP forfeited his salary because his company's poor performance. CEO Gerard Puorro of Candela Corp In 2002, Puorro recommended his salary be lowered as a cost-cutting measure. His salary was restored to its previous level last year as the company became profitable again. Other CEO's, have since followed his example and have either reduced or leveled their salaries to that of a lower employee. This is but one possibility that has not been mentioned. Just makes you wonder why no one even offers this as an option.The military should not be the first axe that drops!

  59. Nice dissertation, unfortunately your blather does not address the root problem.

    Yes, the civilian manufacturing base is efficient, but to compare industry to the military is an "apples to oranges" comparison.

    The two are not alike.

    You seem to subscribe to the fallacy that has been dis proven time and again since 1945. In the land of the sterile lab, and the vacuumed office, Technology is indeed a wondrous thing, and it makes our lives easier, but the reality is that all of the Predator Drones on the planet cannot occupy and hold ground. All of the recon gadgets in the inventory can make a final analysis and determine target priority. It still takes the human who is ultimately responsible, to pull the trigger and hold the terrain.

    As for the issuance of money to whatever group the government may pay out, the government, in dealing with its military personnel both active and retired, faces a much bigger hurdle than a debt limit, it faces a "credibility" obstacle.

    The government promised its soldiers a set pay for a needed job, it promised its retired soldiers a compensation for a lower pay and substandard condition during a career served. Now the government appears to be on the verge of reneging on that promise. So, on what grounds does the government tell anyone, "Trust Me"?

    As a retired soldier, I intend to hold the government to the promise made to me, and if I were a recent HS grad, and saw that the government had lied to those who went before me, I wouldn't trust them at all. In fact if I were a HS grad this year, I would probably not enter service. If the draft were invoked, I would serve but I would not do anything that might place myself in danger to serve a government which had a track record of lying to those who went before me.

  60. Mustang Chris says:

    The main problem that I see in regards to the comments made by Adm Mullen & Sec Gates is that they have really never had to struggle or risk their lives like many of our soldiers, marines, & sailors have over the last 10 years. It is easy and dangerous to be in such a position of leadership and yet be so disconnected from the hardship and struggles that s many of the junior and midgrade enlisted have had to deal with as resources have become tight over the last 10 years. As a Mustang, I was appalled that as an E-6 on a Submarine, we were not able to purchases all of the preventative maintenance and many corrective parts we needed due to budget shortfalls. It is grossly criminal and unbelievable that we continue to send ships and subs to sea knowing that we are only able to nominaly address the material conditions and that these shortfalls could jeopardize lives and important missions.

    Unfortunately, while all of this has gone on, the various contracors like Haliburton, Kellogg, Root & Brown (Owned by Hali) and many others have completely stepped in front of the military when it comes to funding and logistical suport. Since they have the ability to "contribute" to politicians and their campaigns, they are given the ability to direct where funds go and who gets the lion's share of them, even with the Supreme Court's recent decision recognizin each corp as a person. How is that for "Supporting our military" that all of our politicians like to espouse. 99% of them are as criminal as many of the contractors that have done their best and succeeded at embedding themselves in the military pipeline that has led to the demise of sailors and soldiers who can troubleshoot and fix their own items. Our base galley facilities are run by civilians, our barracks require our sailors to giv etheir BAH to a civilian contractor live on base, wtf?

    Until we as military servicemembers, active, reserve, and retired flood D.C. and our "Beloved" Chairman & New SECDEF with our concerns and ideas as to who should really be scrutinized, we will be the bottom of the barrel and will suffer the most. Chief above is merely spouting the puppet talking points that have been thrust on much of our military leadership and he has bought the line completely. As a seasoned officer now, I refuse to allow my people to be used, abused, and marginalized in any way. If it means directing them out of the Navy based on their family needs and for the benefit in the civilian sector, I certainly will. As I see it, if the Government is not willing to follow through on it's promises, I see no reason for the same loyalty by any service members. Loyalty is a trait that must be earned and only works if both parties are practicing it, otherwise the trust is lost and people are treated poorly as they currently are. I only hope that the idiots in D.C. get their heads out of their a$$es and realize you can't seriously considering cutting pay and benefits for our servicemembers who continue to die and risk injury in the $hit hole countries that we have been stuck in for nearly a decade without significant blowback and repercussions. We all have voices and are responsible to use them when we see something that stinks and is unjustified.

    • Mustang is right the government spends so much money on civilian contracts that the military trains on how to do what they do. If they want to cut budget go to civilian contract sector first before messing with our pay. They get paid three or four times more of an e5 for what so they can do what we do, I find it ridiculous and also buying items say one laptop for 3500 that you can get for 700 on amazon. Right there is the reason why the military has no budget because you guys are so smart with a piece of paper up in dc that you care about your pay and your contracts and leave us in the dust. I am telling you now you dc mess with our pay and you will see the repercussions of this that is why alot of people get out go to a government contractor and do the same job for a lot more money. Does that make sense you lazy congress, no it doesn’t cut their budget not ours

  61. TRICARE is a very generous health plan. We deserve it. But I don't object to a reasonable increase in the premiums or co-pays. "Free" health care was always a "Space Available" offer. When CHAMPUS laws were passed in 1957 – there was no more legal promise for "free" care. We have earned this lifetime benefit and the rest of the taxpayers in America do subsidize it. No other health plan in America has been so cost protected over the last 15 years – except for Congress'. Agree – when the raise the rates for military – raise Congress premiums and co-pays too!

  62. Ralph Roggow says:

    I am not against a reduction in some pay and benefits if it benefits our country's budget. HOW ABOUT AN EQUIVALENT REDUCTION IN CONGRESSIONAL AND BUREACRAT PAY AND BENEFITS? HOW ABOUT REDUCING THE CIVILIAN RETIRED ON ACTIVE DUTY?

    I would also favor total elimination of COLA–It creates a "built in" inflation.
    Ralph
    USN Ret.

  63. Retired E-8 says:

    I got just 4 words: "Seven Days in May". If you don't understand, watch the movie.

  64. Marilyn says:

    So many wonderful comments have already been pointed out! I think you would find that most *LEGAL Americans* would vote military cuts of any type off the table. Stop for one moment and think…HOW MANY MEN AND WOMEN HAVE DIED, AND ARE GOING TO DIE, SERVING THIS COUNTRY? Compare YOUR benefits to of our active and retired Military and compare your job to theirs. Now think about the budget that goes toward ILLEGAL aliens and name another country that allows someone to illegally cross the border and then provide them with medical care, schooling, goverment assistance and Social Security benefits. I bet you can't! Other countries would deport them if they were not placed in the worst of jails. And NO, other countries do not provide prisioners with TV's, internet, etc. Again..use some common sense when thinking about cuts. Don't start with Military or the American public that has worked hard all their life for the small amount of Social Security they receive.

    • RETIREE says:

      IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD SEND ALL THE ILLEGALS HOME AND THREATEN THEM WITH JAIL TIME IF THEY CAME BACK, THE RETIREES
      AND DAV'S WOULDN'T HAVE TO TAKE CUTS IN BENEFITS AND PAY TO
      TAKE CARE OF THEM. WE DON'T NEED ALL THE ILLEGALS ALL THEY ARE HERE FOR IS A FREE RIDE . THEY GET FREE HEALTH CARE, FREE
      SCHOOLS, AND ANY THING ELSE THEY CAN GET FROM A FREE PROGRAM. I THINK IT'S TIME THE GOVERNMENT TAKES CARE OF IT'S OWN AND NOT SOMEONE WHO SLIPS INTO THE COUNTRY IN THE DARK OF NIGHT.

  65. Leo.G.Johnson says:

    It's to bad that The Secretary of Defense is ab "Appointed Position in our Government ".All of the Cabinet Officials should be "Elected Positions".Like our Senators and Representatives and President .Where we could unelect them at voting time.If the Next Secretary of Defense is going to reduce the budget of the Defense Department I suggest that he begin with his"Civilian Employees" in the Department Of Defense.Cut their pay and benefits.Then cut all "Black Project's" funding.If The Secretary cut's the Military and Retiree's Pay and benefits This government won't have anybody left in the Military to do any of it's biding for it like it has todayIt won't have anybody to fight it's war's .The Government Officials will have to do all it's fighting in war's that it Propagates I don't believe they are willing to do that.The Govenment better not mess with the 'Active Military or Retirees Pay and Benefits."PERIOD"

  66. It is time that the military and military retirement community made themselves heard! Vote AGAINST ANY elected official that votes against US! WE can make a difference on who will be making the decisions!

    Why aren't they taking cures in their benefits? Why are they not enforcing the laws on immigration and still alowing illegals to drain benefits away from Americans! Stop the no child left behind program that is degrading the education system. Why are we giving foreigh aid to countries when people in our own country is hurting?

    BE HEARD WITH YOUR VOTE!
    Hal
    USAF Retired

  67. JohnDave says:

    Look …. I spent 27 years in the Army. These things WERE guaranteed during my enlistment. Anyone that cuts the force, reduces pay and benefits is a stupid bastard. This is Obonzo's fault. The Liar/Traitor-in-Chief deserves the back of my
    hand to his traitorous face, at the very least. If they do cut, they will regret it.

  68. Expat in Hungary says:

    Tricare? I am living overseas and TRICARE Overseas is a very poor program at best. The error rate on my claims is over 100% (even the complaints get processed wrong). Then they only pay 75% of the allowable costs AFTER an individual deductible of $150 up to $3,000 per year so that amount in between is paid at 75% which actually means TRICARE only pays 64% for our medical bills and it takes an average of 6 months to receive anything if at all from them. This is such a great benefit? I wish all Americans had this great benefit. Then the complaints would really start. I served 28 years and this is the thanks I get. Now that I am close to getting Social Security that is also in jeopardy. On top of that no cost of living increase in 2 years. WTF????

  69. While I agree with 'most' posts on pay and benefit cuts vs. the Feds pay, I don't quite understand why we're even saying 'I'll take a pay cut if they do". Retired/AD/Res make very little as it is…would anyone on here really be willing to take a cut in benefits pr pay if our gov't did? There's nothing to gain from that – they'll still have more and make more then we do. Cuts from the DoD on down is an entirely separate issue and should not be made as a bargaining tool so the feds feel better about anything they take from us. Retired vets should be a sacred cow in our gov't and be the very last, if at all, considered for budget mngt from The Hill. There are a hundred other ways to make cuts and/or manage our tax money more efficiently and smarter….cutting ANYONE'S pay is not the answer. That does not mean I think the feds are underpaid – at the same time, the feds should be willing to be the first in line should there be cuts in pay/benefits.

  70. There is an old saying in the Army ( Nothings to good for the troops and that is exactly what they get/nothing)
    From a retired Army wife

  71. I say its BS to cut the hard sacrificing military families pay and benefits to save money when they should pay us more and cut everything from then themselves considering they make no sacrifice other then what one of their aids is gonna bring them there fancy lunch and armani suit really? walk 1 mile in the soldiers boot and then make your dicision on cuts o i know how bout stop spending to help out sorry a#% 3rd world countries who dont even like us our country is having problems to how about you focus on those problems take all the foreign aid money and invest it into the USA!! our soldiers and families dont deserve this crap at all they work way way to hard just to pieces of sh&t step all over them keep it poloticians and whos gonna fight your wars?? NOT YOU OBVIOUSLY!!! sooooo grow up and cut YOUR damm money! …..LOVE AND SUPPORT TO ALL MILITARY FAMILIES HOOAH

  72. AO1 RETIRED says:

    Just imagine if we were paid overtime in the military how much would we have made.
    While at the same time civilians work over time and get time and a half while we in the military are expected to work over time daily with the same monthly salary now "CONGRESS" explain that if we are expected to compete as a civilian then pay us hourly while on active duty then maybe when we do retire we've saved enough more to pay for all the things that you'll take away once were retired

  73. Wow.. Before you talk about paying for drugs. Know the cost of some of them. My father takes a drug for is Cancer. It is saving his life. The cost per month for this drug as it is new, is $6,000. That is for one month. And he needs to take them, or he is dead. On the money he makes after 20 year in service there is no way he could pay for it. Or should he stop taking and die? So you can have a better gun?

    • TROJANII says:

      Is that an over the counter drug?

    • Your father's medication definitely should be fully covered. And our military should have top grade weapons. Deport illegals, eliminate pork barrel spending, cut the pay of our very over-paid politicians, and raise taxes on the filthy rich. Problem solved.

      • Linda you are right about raising the taxes on the rich. They extennded the bush cuts, but where is the jobs? They are sitting on over 2 trillions dollars and won't hire because they are not getting their way. The politicians need to stick to their guns about it being a combine solution, cut spending and raise revenues

  74. Phoenix says:

    I believe to be elected to congress, a person must have served honorably in the Armed Forces of the US or to have had a child or parent that has served honorably.
    These career politicians are just leeches on our government who are not there to serve, but for ego, power, and wealth.
    Just look at Wiener, he's only interested in his selfish ambitions and not the best interest of this nation.

    With that being said, we can save billions without touching military pay. Look at how many billions Obama, congress, and many government employees spend on all their junkets. One could easily reduce the federal employee workforce by 10% with the public never noticing any needed services missing.

  75. dontgothere says:

    i have an idea on how to cut some fat out of the DoD budget. Cancel Mullen's paycheck and healthcare benefits. he's an admiral, he should be willing to work FOR FREE. and cancel Gates' retirement check and any healthcare HE may have "earned". AND make both Gates AND Mullen pay back ALL THE MONEY THEY "EARNED" over the last, let's say, 40 years. THAT should fix the budget right up.

  76. Ignorance be your middle name. Over the counter are far cheaper than prescription drugs and an appointment. If you really are in the military and I sincerely doubt it unless you are a far, far back bencher, individuals are entitled to prescription drugs free or at co-pay rates–so it saves the government and patient both. You are free to pay for your own. As a flyer I could not self-medicate, so had to see a flight surgeon.

    • Not all OTC drugs are cheaper than prescription. However, because so many drugs are ONLY OTC many insurances won't cover them. Our military should not only get free prescription and OTC medications but they should also receive a discount or at least not have to pay sales tax on anything. I know they don't pay sales tax at the PX but they should not pay sales tax anywhere. Our ungrateful politicians really need to start taking better care of our service members.

  77. These duds, no not dudes are the DOD lowlifes, unfit to command or lead anyone or anything. The first thing you learn in the military is taking care of your own—your men. These guys most of which are back benchers are always going to be against the military because they could never measure up. They, like most Americans give lip service to the armed forces and ALWAYS have. When it comes to promises and deeds, they lie, cheat and steel as any kiss a@@ would. Good riddance to them and this ungrateful country. There isn't long and this country gets what it deserves.

  78. Technically most of the Enlisted Military force is already paid below the poverty line. If Congress keeps dropping our rates and benefits then there is no longer any incentive to join or stay in the US Armed Forces. We will go from one of the most powerful nations to a much weaker nation. In all honesty there are many places that spending could and should get cut first. First off how about Unemployment Benefits. Unemployment should only be good enough to barely scrape by a living as an incentive to get a job. Today I see people collecting these benefits buying LED TV's, new cars, and congress just keeps on giving them extensions on top of that. Why would someone want to find work when they get those types of benefits. Also I agree with the cutting of illegal alien benefits. Benefits are supposed to be there for the tax payers of this country as a way to compensate for the money we give the government. Why is the money that I make going towards making the lives of people that are here illegally more comfortable. Why should their children get better education benefits than mine. If they want the benefits from this country they should work hard and get citizenship to it so that they have a right to live here. Seriously we spend so much money that we don't have to and we don't spend enough money where we should. Politicians I hope that you love your 6 figure incomes, private jets, and strippers. Enjoy spending all that extra money that you don't need and taking away from people that do need that money and those benefits so you can continue to feed your fat lifestyles. Also if you want to cut DoD spending how about not spending 100,000,000 on jets that don't work except in the best of conditions, or all the money we spend on policing nations that don't want us there.

  79. Come next year we will vote all of them out. It is the only answer. They will screw with our benefits as long as they have the power to do it. Just be careful not to touch theirs as they think of themselves as the ultimate gift that the Good Lord has given the USA.

  80. DE_retired says:

    The basic problem remains that, since 1960, there has been only one President and NO Congress that have considered the Constitution when considering any legislation. Sadly the Appeals Courts and the Supreme Court, in all administrations, have usurped the responsibilities of both other branches, creating legislation and regulations based on their personal agenda's. So now we have a plethora of new entitlements and regulations that suck the trough dry and prevent business from expanding and hiring new employees which, it has been proven, will increase government revenue and philantropy. These same people Congress, Courts, and bureaucrats, were out spitting on those men coming home from Vietman or any of us who happened to wear our uniform off base. Since they have been in charge since the mid 70's it is no wonder they will do anything to hurt any veteran or active duty. The answer is to continue the trend, started in the 2010 election, through 2012 and beyond, if necessary.

  81. Here we have men and women in a volunteer military willing to put their lives on the line each and every day for what our forefathers have fought and died for in creating this great nation, along with their families and loved ones that also play a part in their sacrifice. I truly believe that what our politicians are turning this country into was not part of what our founding fathers envisioned. I proudly served and dedicated 21 years of my life to serve my country and the promises made to all of us who served are being taken away so that our politicians who use us as human shields can obtain more for themselves. We have earned our benefits through the sacrifices that we made and now you want us to also sacrifice our health, means of living and that of our families by cutting our pay and more of our benefits. Are you guys on Capital Hill on crack??? Before you clowns go into office you all should be battle field tested first so you know what we go through. Maybe then you will have some respect for the men and women in uniform before making such dumb ass decisions.
    We earned it in combat and many of our brothers and sisters in arms paid for it with their lives!!! What did you do for it Mr. Politician besides just uttering yea or nay???

  82. edin CT says:

    Sure screw the people that worked and put themselves in harms way their entire lives so the welfare queens continue having children they can't support. Now that makes sense. And never a mention of cutting the pay/benefits of politicians or increasing the taxes of the Wall Street Banksters.

    But hey, we served so they can have more children they can't support and the rich can have access to cheap labor that we have to pay for helath care and educaiton that obviously isn't working. Then we hear the drone about how we have excessive pay and benefits, ARE YOU KIDDING?.

    Time for change alright.

  83. Ron Deitrich says:

    The people who want to make the cuts (Defense Sec and Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff) are partly to blame for the excessive spending. I along with most of you, served many years (Army) and there was always one thing that never changed regardless of the unit I was in or the installation I was on. MAKE SURE WE SPEND EVERY PENNY OF OUR AUTHORIZED BUDGET OR WE WON'T GET AS MUCH NEXT YEAR. This type of mentality is still very much alive and well within our military and civil service employees. How many of you like myself have witnessed the end of the fiscal year wish list compilation and buying frenzy? I'm sure its not just an Army thing and that most, if not all services do it. I don't blame them; I blame the people at the top who created this culture. Instead of penalizing a unit/installation for not spending their entire allotted budget, they should be rewarded for the savings. I would be willing to bet that $400 mil could be saved in less than half the time proposed if the "I have to spend it all" mindset of those responsible were to change.

  84. Surely the true American citizen wants our military to have the best of all things, pay, equipment, leaders ect.. Now we have so many wars. Wars on drugs, ground wars, terror, cyberg, and we are having an economic war. Most of our social programs are being depleted by illegals, cheats, lieres and swindlers. Our wealty business people keep sending our tax revenue to other countries in the form of jobs and in some cases out natural resources go with the jobs. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of thier country. We can do that by taking less and doing more with less. Start at the Top, Excutive, Senate, Congress, on down. Let’s allow the IRS to charge an administration fee for every job not in this country. We must bite the bullet now so it does not kill later.

  85. AMH1 (aw) RET says:

    HELP!

  86. Wildbill says:

    Lets see, how have tea party fiscal conservatives cut things so far.. Fight to the bitter end to entend 69 billion in tax winfalls for the millionares, followed by 74 billion in cuts to social programs for the poor.. So now the weak hearted Democrates are running scared because the tea party cut, cut, cut everything message has all american's running scared silly.. Well, guess what, people should be scared, and spending has to be cut.. But, considering what they have done so far, if they need to cut 400 billion from the military budget..do you think 1) they will cut that 400 billion dollar missle weapons system that actually doesn't work as advertised anyway, or 2) cut the pay and benifits of the military and retiree's and thier dependents… Well of course, one will be felt buy a few millionare's profit bottom line.. The other will critically effect the everyday life of millions of already under payed military people. So the people are doomed.. Why don't they just balance the budget the way Reagon tried to do it in his day… Sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to just about anyone waving a fist full of money… That's a joke, not the Reagon selling billions in weapons systems around the world part. just the part that this would be preferable to actually making Congress think before they steal money again from the social security fund to pay for some of thier over spending.. You can find things to cut from even the most sacred of programs, it just depends how you do it..

  87. ABN Ortiz says:

    I am a retired vet with over 27 yrs in the active, reserves and the NG. I've seen changes in thse military I did not like. I don't mean to be mean ,but I seen the Army and the other services allow for more married people to make a living out of the armed services. When a GI gets injured the taxes payers wind up paying for not only him or her, but their spouse and kids. They use to have a draft. And at that time mostly men yous to serve. Now with the women move in full swing and other movements; the taxs payers are paying a whole lot more. Taking into account the weapon system we have in place, the cost goes way up! The cost of training goes up. The cost of maintenaces goes up. The companies that makes these weapons ask for more money. It would not be so bad if we had a good economy, but we don't. It would not be so bad if our politicians would of done their jobs and got a hold of the corperation who call themselves Americans did not leave our country with all the jobs and blame it on the American workers who love their soldiers weather they agreed with a war or not! But the facts are the politicians did not do their jobs over the last 30+ yrs. They have let these American companies move overseas, hide the bank acounts in forgien banks, and even give contracts to forgien contries that do not even have extradition treaty with us. These companies that have moved out of our country can even give money to put in their candidate to keep them from paying their fair share of taxes. They left people with out jobs, losing their houses, and even paying for all these corporations forgien debt! What did these young soldiers expect from the American public? You got to think who and what is good for thas country now! We could never expect to win a war with forgien money. Now if they call in our debt, who will we pay? So when you leave the service, think about the American people you served. think about what they lost while you were getting payed! You can not have a standing army with out a good economy. The American People did their share, BUT I CAN'T SAY THAT OUR POLITICIANS AND THE AMERICAN CORPORATIONS DID.

  88. You should get all of your medications for free because your pay is horrible and if you had to pay for otc meds it would make money even more tight than it already is. I think there are more than enough things that our wasteful government could cut instead of our military. I am starting to really regret that my son has chosen the life of poverty that is our military. I am going to try my best to steer my daughter away from it if this trend continues.

  89. Lafi Jr. Tui says:

    I couldn't believe I'm hearing this from Mullen out of all people. He better start fighting for us instead of fighting against us. I know he didn't just put those stars on, he should be looking into cutting spending on foreign aid to nations like Pakistan, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, …etc. I'm a proud American, I still will fight for my country pay or without pay if it comes down to that. We just need to stand together Vets, and put the right people up in congress and the senate that will fight for us. I know some of those congressmen and women are retired military. They need to wake up and be counted, now is the time for those folks to stand up for us all who served this great nation of ours. Thank you all Vets for your service. I did my part to serve our country 30yrs. May America bless God!!!

    • rhyzoolie says:

      He is not of nor never will be amongst the band of military brothers. He is a turncoat and despite his service record has shown his true identity and should be treated as a pariah amongst the brotherhood of military members. His in nothing more than a yes man lapdog of the administration.

  90. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/snprelief4.htm

    The march on DC by WW1 Vets:

    In 1924, a grateful Congress voted to give a bonus to World War I veterans – $1.25 for each day served overseas, $1.00 for each day served in the States. The catch was that payment would not be made until 1945.
    Members of the Bonus Army
    encamp within sight of the
    Capitol, 1932
    However, by 1932 the nation had slipped into the dark days of the Depression and the unemployed veterans wanted their money immediately.

    In May of that year, some 15,000 veterans, many unemployed and destitute, descended on Washington, D.C. to demand immediate payment of their bonus. They proclaimed themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force but the public dubbed them the "Bonus Army." Raising ramshackle camps at various places around the city, they waited.

    The veterans made their largest camp at Anacostia Flats across the river from the Capitol. Approximately 10,000 veterans, women and children lived in the shelters built from materials dragged out of a junk pile nearby – old lumber, packing boxes and scrap tin covered with roofs of thatched straw.

    By nightfall the BEF had retreated across the Anacostia River where Hoover ordered MacArthur to stop. Ignoring the command, the general led his infantry to the main camp. By early morning the 10,000 inhabitants were routed and the camp in flames. Two babies died and nearby hospitals overwhelmed with casualties. Eisenhower later wrote, "the whole scene was pitiful. The veterans were ragged, ill-fed, and felt themselves badly abused. To suddenly see the whole encampment going up in flames just added to the pity."

    • Hastings Lamb says:

      How would Obama like it if every veteran made a similar encampment today? Would their active duty brothers be so inclined to repeat the past? Having the skills they do and the ability to return force with force would be a certain deterrent. I hope it never comes to that, but this administration wouldn't surprise me if it did!

  91. You suck

  92. Hastings Lamb says:

    When the entire legislative, executive and judicial branches with the entire mass of civil servants have their pay and benefits cut, when we reduce foreign aid, when the US gets out of international peacekeeping nations, when all illegal aliens are deported, when those receiving unearned public assistance and removed, when this administration stops all unnecessary spending and when the president refuses to take another cent of his salary until our national debt is under control, then and only then should the military be expected to do likewise because it is through them that everyone else is kept at their current levels.

  93. Vet for Life says:

    I strongly suggest taking TRICARE for retirees out of the defense budget and put it in another agency like the VA. Every time someone yells for defense cuts, military retirees and TRICARE is the first to cut. It is time to move it out of the defense budget! Enough is enough. Call your Rep and let them know.