No Military Retirement Changes Anytime Soon

For what it’s worth, Defense Department officials are saying that the military retirement isn’t going to change any time soon. This is likely in response to the outcry over a proposed plan to overhaul the current 20-year military retirement system offered by the Defense Business Board on July 21.

An Armed Forces Press Service report cites assurances made to servicemembers at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in late July by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and statements by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in early August.

Adm. Mullens told troops that there is “no immediate plan to affect retirement” and any changes to military retirement should be studied carefully and should be “grandfathered” so the military doesn’t break faith with those in the service.

In a possible attempt to calm the reaction, Secretary Panetta said that the proposals to change military retirement are only being used to “inform the decisions and strategies.”

Pentagon spokeswoman, Eileen Lainez, said, officials are reviewing the board’s recommendations. “Any recommendation to change the military retirement system must be approached with thoughtful analysis, to include considerations of impacts to recruiting and retention,” Lainez said. “While the military retirement system, as with all other compensation, is a fair subject of review for effectiveness and efficiency, no changes to the current retirement system have been approved, and no changes will be made without careful consideration for both the current force and the future force.”

Let your elected officials and DoD know how you feel about the proposal to overhaul military retirement.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, 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.
  • navetret94

    Anybody retired from the Navy remember the “move up or out” policy
    in the early 1990’s? If you were not promoted within a certain timeframe
    you would not be recommended for reenlistment. Retired in 94

    • GDMerritt

      The Army still has “Retention Control Points” based on rank and TIS. they also have a QMP. It never went away after it started at the end of Desert Storm. It’s an excellent program to eliminate those who shouldn’t have made SGT, and those who are wasting military resources and ruining good soldiers’ careers with bad leadership. I retired in 2004.

    • Tony

      The navy currently has is much worse than the 90’s. Instead of move up or move out we have High Year Tenure. An E5 is forced out at 14 years so the only ones that can make 20 is E6 and above. On top of that we have Perform To Serve in which folks must do the same as an “Encore” request to reenlist until they make Chief or hit 15 years. This will force folks out, even the solid performers. On top of that Chiefs have the Enlisted Review Board which will boot them out as well for NJP’s/nonperformance.

  • Great news. That being said, I actually like the idea for new recruits, but troops already serving should and will be grandfathered.

    • Chuck

      We must be very carefull. The proposed restructuring would give too many ten year and under military personnel an easy out. That would gut the junior officer and nco ranks. I have been serving under the promise of a twenty year retirement. To take it away and change things now (14 years) it is too late for me to make changes for my future and many like me.

    • Steve-o

      Curious what you like it about it for new Troops. You think you and the rest of us should be grandfathered though.

  • dadda321

    @ Mike, I don’t agree. This system is one that has potential to cut deep in to the budget. Much like SS it will become a burden, a cap of retired pay @ 50% is fine, and cut out re-up bonuses for career point incetives. One @ 10 years, 20 years and last at 25 years. Bring back the SQT as well for QMP review also.
    I knwo this is not an exact soltuion but it is more vaible than what the DBB wants to do, gut ot the military.

  • Lee

    How about revamping the congress’ retirement plan?! They are vested in it after only five years of service and do not have to go in to harm’s way…

    • Chris

      I’m with you Lee, they vote to give themselves raises,and their staff.They have homes in the state where they are from and a home or apartment in Washington,DC which is paided for by tax payers, and after one term in office they get all the benifits, and a retirement check. Its not right,and it’s not fair.With all of things going on in the country people should be upset about this.

    • Essayons

      Lee, You are right on target. Why does our representation in government have better retirements and medical than the people they “represent?”

    • Sense

      They are already rich. That’s how they got there. They could care less…you have to hit the public instead…something like a draft.

    • Barrywoodusmc

      I agree………start now!

    • AJL

      On the money with that one!

    • retiree

      No, they are vested at 5 years, to receive it at age 62, at 1.7% per year. They are under FERS, same as our Civil Service brethern. They also pay into Social Security and pay for their health care (FEHBP).

      Yes, if they serve 20 years, they can retire at age 50 with 34% of their base pay for the last 3 years of service.

      • K.P.

        Not true. There is a law in place where political reps can receive retirement pay now and some are. Keep up with the news or stay home! As voters, more people need to keep informed and write their constituants when necessary. Numbers do have effect if people do the appropriate things. How many people in this forum have voiced their opinion to DC.

    • RoMae

      You are so right. They get all this money for doing a whole lot of nothing. We have our soliders, ,sailors and airmen risking their lives and when the military is done with them that is it. They make it really appealing for these guys and girls when they enlist and they change the name of the game after they enlist. They deserve full retirement if they served 20 years. The conditions are not always great .

  • USN20+

    Every day our technological advantage over potential enemies fades, leaving our biggest advantage as our professional long term military personell. Any large change to the retirment policies will have a very negative impact on quality manning.

  • Gary Baldridge

    Guest: If I were the GOV. I wouldn’t mess with retirement of people, you have trained to kill. That would be a big mistake, you would have to bring the draft back, people are not going to stand for broken promise’s. And let Congress give it’s self a pay raise and retirment every year. I think Congress should have to start out at minum wage, with no bennies.

    • C Mcneish

      Gary you’re exactly right, cutting our retirement means the end of an all volunteer force!!

  • Donald P. Livingston

    Start the savings by having the IRS Collect the millions of dollars owed the Government by those orking for the White House and Congress. Stop Congressional staffers pay raises and bonuses.
    Oh by thye way collect interest and penalties on those unpaid taxes.
    Going after the military retirements is a disgrace. It is going to be tough enough now to get young people to join.

    • Elmer Fudd

      Hello Mr. Livingston:

      How ya doing. I agree with you, this goverment has made a mockery of the military way of life, and has ruined it. we still will fight for the country we love so much, but it will dter new recruits coming in. I agree with everyting you just said, and i am a n active airforce vet, former navy, and former army. i have been deployed twice, lets deploy these guys all to afganistan and leave thier families behind without any money. lets ruin thier medical coverage like they are doing at the va hospitals. Make them serve in the military madatory to be a president, says something about ours.

  • AFSSgt

    They say anyone serving less then 20 leaves with nothing…? How about the GI Bill and all the training they receive. Changing retirement is an ugly idea, and once they do, expect everyone to get out or not care like some do now. Then expect a stop loss. This idea should be brought in with new recruits so they know what they are signing up for, not for people who already have time in who were looking forward to this as a career.

  • Military Career

    My particular job in the military has cost American tax payers well over 7 million dollars in dedicated formal training over the past 8 years. This doesn’t even take into consideration the continuation training that I conduct on a daily basis. Currently I make just over 65k a year in base pay. Add in housing allowance and BAS and I’m near 85k a year. I’ve just been offered a job for the exact same skill set I do every day for 135k a year. Only difference is that with this 135k a year job, I only work 40 hrs a week vs. 70, I don’t work weekends, I don’t have to move every 2-3 years, I don’t have to deploy, and I don’t have to compete for promotion. My wife would be able to continue her career as we would be in a stable position instead of her changing jobs every 2-3 years.

    I love my military service and want to make it a 20+ year career. Yes I will stand up and defend everything this country has to offer. But dollars are dollars and I have to support my family. Under today’s retirement plan, my retirement is worth 2.1 million dollars assuming I live to 84. Under the proposed ideas, my retirement is only worth 1.4 million. Outch! That means I have to work another career once I “retire” from 20 years of military service.

    So here are my thoughts:

    1. 401K system – fine. Continue to use TSP (it outperforms the DOW all the time). Give me a plan where Uncle Sam puts in a minimum amount but allows me the flexibility to have my contributions matched up to 100% of my base pay.

    2. Allow me to withdraw from this 401K plan after the age of 45, not 65.

    3. Cut the medical benefits completely once you separate from the military.

    Last thought, when you hire very specialized people, you don’t low ball them. This is why CEOs have “golden parachutes” and make hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have specific skill sets that you just can hire off the street. They are an elite group of individuals running multi-milliion dollar companies. Well I’m the same way, only I run a multi-million dollar piece of military equipment and make life or death decisions with it on a daily basis.



      • Reason

        how do you really feel?

      • Guest

        Actually any enlisted soldier with a high school graduation is in the top 25% of pay for this demographic. Your comparison is apples to oranges. Also there is nothing preventing you from becoming that “overpaid” officer except your own lack of self worth and commitment.

      • Knowledge

        Shhhhhhhh. It is okay…. Shhhhhh little baby…. you wrote in all caps and are crying….a lot. You should read again what you responded to. I did 9 years (E3-E-6) and now I am one of your “dumbass” officers. If you hate officers because they took the time and dedication to get a degree and obtain an appointment .. well you are bitter. Hating someone who has worked harder than you to obtain more than you is degrading. You have NO idea what medical care cost. I would LOVE it if Tricare made EVERY ER visit a 50.00 co-pay. I would pay it (If I needed emergency treatment, wouldn’t you) When we get out of the military, we need to plan. You want everything and give nothing. Officers deploy too… unless you are one of those crazy outfits that deploy without any leadership… hmmm. from you reply .. I don’t even think you have served a day in the military and are just trying to stir pudding… There is a recruiter nearby. (i am sure) if you actually have the balls to take on a real job. :)

        • Seven

          You kidding me and you call yourself knowledge….
          You definitely joined them LOL…Mr Juarez point was Mil Career doesnt know what his talking about….cutting the medical benefits after retirement…..just imagine yourself no medical benefits after getting injured, burned, missing a limb downrange…

      • Knowledge

        I will help you…
        Your an IDIOT!!! CUT MEDICAL ONCE YOU RETIRE>>>USE A TSP????DUDE WE DONT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO DRAW TSP FUNDS OUT OF OUR CHECKS!!( Everyone has the options) ! AND SECOND YOU MUST BE A DUMBASS OFFICER!!! ALL YOUR NUMBERS ARE WRONG…U GOT TO BE A (should be an) OFFICER BECAUSE HALF OF YALL (You all, or Y’all) ARE OVERPAID COLLEGE GRADS THAT DONT NO (I am pretty sure it should be Know? ) **** FROM A STICK (reference is obscure… maybe a shot in the dark… )….HOW ABOUT YOU STOP TALKING!!! (There actually was no “talking” just typing) ! WE AS WORKING SOLDIERS MAKE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE REAL WORLD JOBS (Actually the average E4 with 4 years in makes (34% more than the average 20 year old with a high school degree working 50 hours a week)…LETS START WITH E1 BASE PAY!! HOW MUCH DO THEY MAKE A YEAR??? (They will or should make E2 in 9 months and should make E3 in 9 months after that and if they are worth anything make E4 a year after that) AND WHAT % OF THEM DEPLOY IN THERE 1ST TERM OF SERVICE??? (Umm in the last 10 years… EVERYONE has been deployed… A LOT) GUY I WOULD LOVE TO MEET U!!! SO I CAN SLAP YOU IN THE FACE!!!!! (Slap?… Ma’am, the military is EO… you can enlist or apply for a commission. . (Slap.. really) If you are in the military… I guess you have about a month or so until you can “actually” express yourself… “slap?… really” Okay… !SLAP YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!

        Read more:

    • Reason


    • Navi

      Are you really in the military? You don’t know what you are talking about….401K and Medical benefits… I would guess this person sits behind his desk and reads email everyday. Have you ever deployed downrange? Some people comes back downrange missing a limb…
      I want you to look on their eyes and tell them they will not have any medical benefits when they get out……Think before you write, your an idiot.

    • Overpaid Officer

      I would agree as an officer this probably wouldn’t hurt as bad, but for the enlisted folks this will be a nightmare. This strikes hard against my sense of what is “good” vs “bad” leadership. This plan definitely does not take care of the troops.

    • 13AMMO13

      On your thoughts, though I doubt you are reading any of the replies to your thoughts, here is what I see as misguided.

      I see you did not properly learn what it is like to have to live at the income level of an E-1 to an E-5. Rather you are an officer that has gone through on of the fine academies that the military offers. I would have to say the latter as your estimate for the amount of training that you have received is quite high for any enlisted.

      Having worked my way up as enlisted and being told the amounts of the training that I have received I can say that in my 20 years in service the total for all the training I received in my carer did not come close to $7 million figure. Yes, I had extensive training and it has had little effect on getting a job and I have to have a job to make ends meet even with the 50% retirement and 80% disability. So start looking for that job as you will need it in any case to live a comfortable life if you are enlisted.

      I also know that an E-6 makes about $48K after taxes and before deductions with BAH and 2 dependents. If I decided to go back to some god forsaken hole for a year contract I could make upwards of $150K with my training but I’ve had enough of that while I was in the military.

      The whole point to the 401K is that they will not have to pay you an increase in your retirement for any increase in the cost living. You will not be able to withdraw your money until you are 65 it makes it easier on the politician to make things ‘fair’. It costs the military more for TSP then a 401K With TSP you are still restricted from withdrawing the money penalty free until you are very near your retirement. Further the 401K, as proposed, is a way to control your contributions. It is to make them mandatory and controlled by someone other then you. You really should read the report better in that respect rather then using the skim method. The whole point to the 401K is to get the control of your retirement out of being paid to you up front. The only good point to the plan is for the people that get out with less then 20 years will have some type of retirement plan.

      Cutting medical benefits sounds so go doesn’t it. I find it funny that you are complaining about the amount that you will get upon retirement and how you will need to get a job. I’m sure that you are counting on that new health care plan that fines you if you fail to purchase medical insurance. Yes, its in there, right around page 127 of the passed law. If you do not get a job that has medical coverage you are fined $500 a month until you purchase the government plan or the high priced private plans. I know that for the money TriCare is a steal and it should rightfully be so. Thanks to my years of service I have problems that are only going to get worse with age. Things that other insurance companies state are disqualifying preexisting conditions. There is no free ride on the medical side of this, you pay in one form or another. Since you chose not get a maintenance job you will not know what a boon only paying $39 a month for medical insurance is.

      You are in no way like the CEO’s that run the company. You, having left your career in the military, will not be just stepping into one of those kinds of jobs, not unless you have some huge names as contacts within those companies. You at best will make it into middle management and have to work your way up to the $137K job after you show your continued dis-touch with reality and are fired for mismanagement.

      You run a multimillion dollar piece of equipment but still take your direction from others. The only difference is you do not have to put a safety net under you when you screw up. If you noticed those CEO’s where removed after just about killing the companies that they were hired to manage and they will not just be moved to another position they will have to be hired based on their past records. Having run a company into the ground from a peak is not the thing you flaunt on a resume. Even your vaulted life or death decisions are directed to you by others through rules of engagement and confirmation of target. With you only a few lives really hang in the balance and they only suffer once. With those CEO’s the lives of thousands are destroyed only but they get to live through it many more times.

      There are other places that the government’s budget can, and should, be cut before they do more harm to an already struggling military. You sound like a politician with what you say here and out of touch with reality.

  • chico

    We are being told by our base leadership not to comment or to e-mail any info in regards to our proposed retirement plan. For whatever reason they simply want us to shut up and color and not to educate ourselves or others in regards to anything related to our own benefits!

    • Speak Out

      Your base leadership is wrong to tell you that!!! IF in fact that is the message they are giving. You have not only the right, but the oblagation, to speak up. I wrote my Congressman and both Senators and I urge you and everyone else to too. It is only because we write them that this article saying, “This is likely in response to the out­cry over a pro­posed plan…” even exists. Don’t forget, above all else…the government works for US, the taxpayers. So write on my friend, write on.

    • I second Speak Out’s comments. Your base leadership has stepped out of line and has no business telling you to keep quite on this matter. I would really like to know more about what specific base you are at. This is an issue ripe for further investigation.

    • James

      You’re right on, what they are saying to the troops is “….nothing to see here, just move along”.

  • Hyderkhan MSG, USA

    Any future plan should address retention of mid term and career service members. Fairness to service members who are frankly citizen soldiers for one or two terms is of no concern to the overall mission effectivness of a fighting force. It is a way to appeal to civilians in order to make them feel ok with a change.

    The bottom line: If a service member see’s retirement benefits on the civilian side more benficial or equal, or if they cannot collect until they hit civilian retirement age, then folks will walk after one or two terms.

    If you look at law enforcment agencies, both Federal and local, their retirements are just as lucrative or more so. The 1st and 2nd termers have a very good GI bill that was given to them by Mr. Obama, and it was done on the backs of retention.

    Regardless, the Congress must pass any changes to the retirement system, and their is where to battle will be fought.

  • Guest

    Those of us who have been serving for some time should definitley be grandfathered in, even those new soldiers who were still promised 50% after 20 years should be grandfathered. The Army expects us to honor our enlistments, and go fight our nations wars. And I think that 95% of soldiers (and Marines, Sailors, Airmen) do this. So why should the government not have to honor thier oligation to us.

    If the government wants to treat my retirement like I am a civilian then I want to only have to work eight hour days, be able to call in sick, not go to sick call and hope I get a competent medic or butter bar to tell me I am sick, and make deployments either optional or you are able to come home whenever you feel like you are done.

    And I also agree lets start cutting the retirement of Senators, Congressman, staffers etc etc and see how things go from there. The military is not like a civilian corporation and to have a panel of businessman come up with a plan for the military is like me trying to run Microsoft do you think Bill Gates would let that happen. WAKE UP AMERICA

    • Guest


  • Cesar Bradham

    First pensions to get cut should be senators and congressmen and congresswomen. Next all pension funds should be pooled into Social Security.
    4 years living off the tax payers, then a pension? B…S..t
    To even suggest that is absurd!!

  • guest

    these fools are always trying to come up with goofy ideas of how to swindle or service men out of there benifits. cut there benifits along with these lazy people drawing welfare an illegals getting health care housing, food stamps, that alone wood same money to more then pay for the benifits are service men an women that put there live on the line for this country. shame on these fool in congress an them out of office,

  • guest

    wonder how many of these cowards are vets of the different wars an the brave young men an women that have lost there live for these cowards that got deferments to stay safe in college or hide behind different loopholes.shame on the goverment for even considering these ideas.. vote them out . or draft them into the service. an let them see if they deserve the benfits or not..

    • US Military

      I joined the US Military to serve my country and i continued to serve not only for my country but for the family benifits and 50% retirement at 20 years. Now i have 14 active duty years in with 8 deployments and there is a proposal to change my retirement and benifits !! This is absurd and foolish! If we knew this when we joined many of us would have departed the Military after 4 year of service and went to college and would be 6-10 years into a career. With this proposal we will be forced to begin a new career between the average age of 40-45 with a body that has been been beat up from the years of faithful service. Congress should forfit their 100% retirement and medical that they receive for one 2 year tour…

  • Guest

    Only good for new comers, but what is not mentioned is the severe reduction in TA for those wishing to go to college. You will soon pay out of pocket for your education at a hefty $450 per class in most cases.
    For those that have been in for almost 20 years and were not only promised a 2.5% increase per year after 20, but annual increases hardly cover the increase in inflation. “Hello” this is an insult and we will now lose our experienced personnel as they have no incentive to stay past 20. Now, the powers to be are trying to make it sound as though the military is the largest drain on the US budget. Get out your pencils and do some numbers, congress we are about 16% of the budget when welfare is a whopping 25% Congress needs to be restructured and we need a president with some back bone!!!!! One that is pro military. As far as the illegal immigrants or the ones that jump the border to have a better life for their families. We are enabling this by offering them state benefits. I wonder if anyone has taken down numbers on what that is costing? Lets not even talk about the money it costs the government to move military families. How about keeping them near their homes for as long as possible. The monitors are swamped I know, but they need to get some help on the logistics so that we are not doing military moves every three years. A TMO move for a family costs 50plus thousand per family! There are plenty of military that would love to go back to say…VA. where they are from and instead they will move a family from West Coast to East Coast, rather than move one that wants to move and one that would cost a lot less. How about cutting the oversees moves for unaccompanied to 1 year like it used to be instead of 2 years. It is as if they are given no choice but to take the family for three years at 75K per move, since we are talking oversees. Not real smart. One year, One military member, cost 5k. As you can tell, I can go on all day! I am one VERY frustrated military member!

    • Scott

      I feel you. I’m at the 19 year mark and I’m being forced into my third move in five years! The cost of my last move (three years ago) just to the packing/trucking company was $21,000!!! That doesn’t include my family of seven’s transportation. Let’s not forget 30 days of last work (10 days each for outprocess, inprocess, PTDY to find a house) at a cost of $5,200.

  • phil

    Don’t reach into the mouth of a warrior and take the just desserts they have earned. You don’t want a million angry warriors.

  • Buzzzard

    This plan would is great for officers. Think about it… They’ve trained all their career to “manage.” They’re gonna get out with their degree and get on the board of directors somewhere. On the other hand, enlisted are gonna get screwed… You promise a guy a retirement if he enlists for 20 years, then train him for war. Now the officers and congress are gonna take this promise back! What do you thinks gonna happen if this passes. Most enlisted know nothing but how to kill people…. How’s that job cross to the civilian world… It don’t, most enlisted start all over with a new career and need that 20 year retirement!

    • Guest

      These recommendations stink for enlisted AND officers. Now is not the time to squabble about rank! There are plenty of ways for enlisted to learn skills while they’re in that make them very marketable in the civilian world. My BIL served 4 as a Marine, was injured in a training accident, and now earns more than $150,000 with no college degree or management experience. He made the remaining time in his enlistment work for him to get the skills he needed to do okay on the outside. I’d say he’s done fantastic!

    • Not exactly. Many officers close to 20 years will be equally screwed in the current economy.

    • taibor

      I think you are way off on the capabilities of enlisted soldiers. There are hundreds of MOSs that cross-over very well to the private sector. Even if your MOS is an 11, 12, 13, or 19 series… what are they taught??? Accountability, leadership, and many other great things that ALL employers are looking for. Fact is, all military personnel are taught basics that some civilians never learn and that makes soldiers marketable.

  • Guest

    Let’s not forget, although THEY have:, the families of all the military. Being moved all over the world, being separated from their Fathers, Mothers, Husbands and Wives and children multiple times during a career. These guys in Washington are the same ones that just last week were giving condolences to the 30 Brave Men. This is one of the most 2 faced moves I think I have ever seen. I am a Viet Nam Vet, my son 16 yr Navel Officer (Mustang), we are also a Gold star Family (19 yr old Marine son). So if i sound really mad I am and i don’t apologize for it at all.

  • deez nutz

    EVERYONE OUT THERE THAT SAYS YAAY TO A TSP!!! AND YAAY TO DRAW RETIREMENT UNTIL YOUR 65 IS A IDIOT!!! Half of these idiots recommending this crap shows us just how little those sitting behind their desks in Washington care about our future. The Army will lose a lot of good NCO’s once the job market picks back up if they switch over to that plan. I don’t know where in the hell they seem to get the idea that we are like corporate America. The physical damage that the military life does to the human body over time is nowhere near comparable to that of some ass who sits behind a desk in an office. They think that this will make a better Army; well I hate to say it but this is really going to ruin a lot of soldiers mentality that were toughing it out to be able to retire after 20. What’s happening in DC for real!!!

    • Scott

      Yep. Of the 10 or so people that came up with this scheme, only one had military experience: four years as a pilot and he got out in 1981—30 flipping years ago. The next closest was one of McNamara’s brain-trust think-tank geniuses of the Viet Nam War.

  • Sense

    How about this:
    Congress Choose: A) Keep retirement B) Cut retirement and get a draft

    Let’s see how happy the public becomes with B) …

  • doczweivel

    The new retirement proposal suggests that it is “more fair” because it accounts for time spent in combat zones. Isn’t that what combat exclusion and hazardous duty pays are for? If they want to suggest that $8.33 per day for being in harms way is not enough I’m all for them fixing it, but that is the vehicle already in place to compensate troops in combat zones. The pentagon needs to honor contractually obligated retirement plans for those career service men and women currently serving, and only consider revamping the plan for new recruits who would have to understand the plan they are signing up for. And then they had better carefully study the potential impacts of changing the current, proven plan. It IS a more generous plan when compared to corporate plans…which is exactly appropriate considering the sacrifices made. Maybe they forgot that we have been in more than a decade of persistent conflict?

  • abc

    yes bring back the draft, you will still have people willing to fight for this counrty when asked to step up. just right now so many are in the service and there is no need for the draft. draft is the way to go… when your counrty calls you go, other then that, not much more need for a large military. we use the guard and reserves like the draft….. use then and then release them. cheap way and only way for now

    • Been There

      The draft was a good way to teach what we have in the USA, and helped young people realize how great our country is.
      Only problem, there were to many exemptions granted. ALL Male/Female citizens will be required to serve a minimum of two(2) years of Government service. If you object to war, fine, serve two years in peace corps, Military hospital, etc. Children of members of Congress or local politics are not eligible for any type deferrment. College after time has been served. Freedom is not free.

    • jackson

      your a faggot…. i would allow a terrorist to bomb your house…then i will decide to stop him… if it wasnt for us. terrorist attacks would happen in the US on a daily basis…

    • travis

      ok clown, remember 9/11? there was a reason that happened and we’ve taken measures so it doesn’t happen again, that measure is beefing up our military. if we have a draft all that we would get is a bunch of kid’s / young adult who don’t want to be there in the first place. that in turn would give us a military who would become complacent because they don’t really want to be there at all. this opens up our country for attacks like 9/11. you think the taliban is thinking of cutting their personel? or do you think the people who are in the taliban don’t really want to blow themselves up just to kill a few American’s? if you think they don’t, then your wrong! The taliban will do whatever it takes to get their point accross and why should we put people out there to stop them that don’t really want to be there? If we have a draft we will have people defending this country that don’t really care about anything but getting back to what they were doing before the draft.

    • XYZ

      This is for ABC: This has to be a joke, like some sort of “A Modest Proposal” type of thing. If not; Are you a moron?

      The draft is an affront to everything it means to be an American, most namely our right to Life and Liberty, the defense of which is the entire reason we have a military. If you want to live in a totalitarian regime who can tell people who have not even been able to vote in their first election (18 to 20 year olds who were not old enough to vote in the most recent 4 year cycle in any one given year) that they have to go to some foreign land and die at the whims of a person elected by 45 year olds who are ineligible for the draft, then go move to Russia where you belong.

      Continued in Comment 2 …

    • XYZ

      For ABC again, continued from Comment 1:

      The Military is all-volunteer and we have only the highest quality and most motivated people because of that. You start drafting people who’ve been accepted to Harvard and have no interest in the Military and you’re going to get some resentment just like in Vietnam. And you start drafting people who belong in Jail or working at McDonalds and you’ll end up with another Mai Lai massacre that will lose us an entire war.

      Wars are fought in the media now and you can’t allow just any idiot into the military, let alone FORCE idiots into the military. I’m glad you’re probably over the maximum draft age, (Inferred from the selfish logic and tone of your blog post) , because if you weren’t, I’d have to be afraid you’d be drafted probably end up doing something stupid like Second Lieutenant William Calley.

  • baucb

    dont like, get out. as for you making less then the cilivans, get a grip. add all what you get and you are paid well. when other companys have changes, we have to deal with it, so should you. cause you been in the service and they make a change, you want to cry about it, but dont see much crying when you get all the benifits. I believe you should get a retirment, but at 37. can not efford that. if its so bad, go to work on the out side and see whats its like. as for quiting the servce, there are millions and millions that served and got out, maybe you should too, just do your tour and get out.

    • SLD

      Seriously? I’m in favor for a conscript service where all people who live in this country must serve for a minimum of four years…then you can earn your freedom of speech. We have been at war for 10 years! What have you done for your country?

    • military mem32

      If this passes, I will get out actually. What you don’t understand is that a ton of servicemen will get out, at this point there is no incentive to stay in. You could say that at least it’s a job, but comparatively, at E-6 w/ 14 yrs in, I’m a bonafide walmart employee. Break it down to an hourly level, and at times I was making $1.27/hr. So yes, I will get out, no complaints here. Now in regards to absolutely destroying the military, that’s exactly what will happen. There will be no senior level personnel to direct future members, and any knowledge based soley from experience will soon diminish, and eventually our military will dissolve. When they finally figure out that they messed up, it’ll be too late. Our technological advantage is slowly diminishing with time, other countries are already catching up, so that factor will no longer help us. Don’t think that current members don’t have an option, we all have our GI Bill to fall back on. Of all the military members who have access to the GI Bill, only 30% actually use it. The VA knows this and they budget accordingly.

    • military mem32

      cont…When they extended the Bill to spouses and dependants, the VA couldn’t figure out how to pay out the influx of those using the bill, so what did they do, they downgraded it. When they kill the 20 yr retirement, I have a feeling that all the money they’re gonna save is gonna go right to the VA. If they do anything further to the GI Bill……well then state any incentive for even entry level recruits to join the military….hello draft. As soon as the rich have to send their children to become IED fodder, I’m sure they’ll be forking out money to a lobbyist, and eventually congress will reenstate much of what was promised back to the military. By that time the damage will have been done, and we’re back to square one in regards to budgeting the military.

    • USAMP6

      wow! I can tell that you never served. Civilain life hard? Really??? I served 9 years total and got out. Now i can take a warm shower when i want too, eat whatever food i please, go wherever i want too and not have to worry about getting hit by a mortar round while im sleeping. I bet that you have it so rough. Do you even work? Or are you one of the country`s welfare recipients? Don`t talk about things that you know nothing about, once you have put on the uniform and laced up your boots then you can open your mouth.

    • Guest


      Really? Let me ask you. How many times have you deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, or any other foreign country? How many times have you had to take cover because there are bullets flying over your head? These Soldiers have given more to this country than anyone can possible imagine. I promise you if we did not have long term servicemembers who stay in for 20+ years we would not have the strong military we have today. We have a strong military because of the experiences of our “career servicemembers” and they should be compensated accordingly. Most of these “career servicemembers” have deployed in harms way no less than 3 times. So unless you want to pick up a weapon and stand a post, I recommend you recognize the contributions and sacrafices these servicemembers and their families make so you have the freedom to express your opinion.

    • Mr. S

      This has to be joke right? Your preconceived notions are based on faulty intel. The military is forever changing & embracing change is a critical asset that majority of service men/women already possess. As for the pay scale…”reality check!” Last year I earned $42,396. Seeing how I am on call 24/7, (mind you that I do not work a typical 40hr wk, I do not receive overtime pay , I do not have any sick leave, & I am normally assigned to a location away from family & in harms way)that would mean I earned roughly $4.83hr. Based on my current financial situation, I could qualify for welfare! Something’s definitely got to give in order to fix our economical situation, I just think they’re looking in the wrong direction.

    • Donald

      You, Sir, are grossly misinformed. This nations military is only strong because it is an all volunteer force. A group of men and women who take their jobs seriously and do it because they are commited. For the nations leaders to even consider breaking their contract with over 1 million people who have been promised this benefit in writing is a gross injustice. If you were given a contract and you violated the terms of that contract you would be held liable. The only difference here is that members of the military cannot sue congress over a breach of contract because of laws set into place a long time ago. So you tell me, where is the justice in breaching the contracts of over a million hard working Americans who have sacrificed their own well being. I say that is a debt that cannot be repaid so don’t take what they have already earned.

  • Guest

    Here is an idea; lets seriously review the pay, entitlements and retirement system afforded to the Politicians.
    Let’s start with term limits, two and no more.
    Next, Pay – $100,000 a year and that’s all.
    Retirement – NONE whatsoever.
    Entitlements – again NONE whatsoever.

    A good number of these individuals benefit for various government programs (such as farm subsidies).
    These individuals only care how good they look on TV, Party Politics, and taking the American public through HELL while expecting everyone to make sacrifices so they don’t have to.

    Stop screwing with the service member who is always sacrificed for your Political INEPTNESS and gross INCOMPETENCE.

    • 13AMMO13

      First sentence, second, though I think 4 should be the number, third and fourth, agreed.

      Retirement, they served our country and they volunteered for for the job by running for office. They should get something for that I think a pin and an pat on the back with a hardy thank you should suffice. After all they can write a book, make a movie or give speeches to supplement the income that they should have from their businesses before they were elected. After all that is what they expect the veteran to do.

      Entitlements, here too they should get something that is commensurate with their service. I’m thinking that they can have TriCare, after all it is ‘good enough’ for the people that die at their direction. It will have to come with the same provisions as the veteran gets. It will be only a secondary or supplemental insurance to the one that their job provides and it will only cover an eye exam but no the glasses, lenses or contacts. Same with the dental plan that they gutted. I can’t wait for my cavities to be filled with more lead, I’m sure that they will have the same fun time.

      They should also not come from a prior political office. I would rather have many people that did not want the job then those that have been sailing the political waters for their only career.

  • Reason

    This is a retirement system designed 70+ years ago – it is time for change

    • FDR

      It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

    • Scott

      Yep. I should probably be getting paid even MORE!!! There are THOUSANDS of people drawing a retirement check for 20 years of service that never spent a single day in a combat zone. Me? I’ve got ONE YEAR to retirement and I’m fixing to spend it in Afghanistan for a total of three tours. Hmm. It doesn’t really sound fair from my point of view…

  • FDR

    We must be the great arsenal of Democracy.

  • FDR

    They (who) seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers… call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.

  • Tony

    After all they’ve been through,,,,,,,,Really?????

    How is changing plans for current personnel not fraud? To bait people to reenlist for several more years to fight in our longest war in hopes of getting to retirement and then switching the plan? How is preaching something as gospel that is apparently subject to change at any moment not dishonest? Everybody currently serving was promised the current plan and would most likely have found careers elsewhere be it not true

  • abc

    its life, you were promised some thing and now things have changed. gee how may cilivan were promised penions and there company went belly up and they got nothing. grap happens.. deal with it

    • Civilians

      So tell me how many civilians put their life on the line so that you can get your pensions/severence checks? None… I am a E-5 in the Air Force and I have served honorably for over 8 years. Civilians get paid by the hour, right? We don’t because if you actually looked at military pay by the hour it wouldn’t be very good. About $3.76 an hour. Granted that doesn’t count medical or housing. But not quite minimum wage. Counting housing, overseas housing at that, it equates to $7.13 an hour… little better but not quite as good as what many make on the outside. And if I am smart enough to put money aside in “our” version of a 401K plan, do you think they match it like your employers? Think again… But remember, that guy that goes to work at some big fancy corporation and sits in a small cubicle isn’t putting his life on the line for your freedom daily… There is no pay scale for that.

    • Frontline

      Are you really just that big an idiot? Most people in the military have worked civilian jobs and came in for the benefits they have now. You whine and cry about civilian pensions and stuff…how many times have you been away from your wife and kids for a year? How many times have you had an Improvised Explosive Device blow up next to you? How many times have you been shot at? How many times have you seen a friend die right in front of you?Im pretty sure the answer is..NONE. We do what we do because we love our country and so we can get an early retirement and spend the time we lost with them. Its people like you who disgust me, you are at home not worrying about a terrorist attack. Why is that? Because we are out there sacraficing our lives to protect you.

  • Been There

    Any time there is a call to reign in costs the first in line is always the Military. Immediately following the Military is the elderly. Nobody has the guts to suggest stopping health, education, housing or other benefits for the Illegal criminals (12 to 14 Million) that are supported by the government.That might cost them their jobs by not being re-elected.
    Many civilians DO NOT see the inherent danger the Military are exposed to on a daily basis, even in a training enviorment. All they see is the body count and that seems small, unless it is one of their own. If members of Congress had children in the Military there might be a different outlook.

  • deweyii

    A Veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blanck check made payable to ‘The united States of America’ for an amount ‘up to and including thier life’. That is Honor, and there are way to many people in this country who no longer understand it.

    What civilian job asks that of anybody.

    • 13AMMO13

      That’s just it. Congress has cut the military to the point that there are contractors that are there doing the same job in the same war zone but for 6x the pay of one volunteer military member. They are not there for honor of saying that they are doing right by the country. They are there to get $90K tax free and another $60k on top of that. The Congress has in effect started a mercenary army to fill in the gaps that they have made through their own stupidity. Rather then stating that they made a mistake they continue because there is such a small outcry from the few that are not getting the pay. Unfortunately that small outcry is drown out but the ill informed and the theoretical nay saying many.

      Their check is not blank, nor is it cheap.

      It still pales in comparison to the honor that the small outcry few give to make this country better then it’s want to be peers.

  • Willard

    Keep calling them congressmen/women, don’t let them fool with the current retirement system. The notion that they are doing this to be fair to all soldiers, is totally lame at best. If they want to be fair, give the soldiers a raise commensurate with congress. Better still pay them for the hours they work, they’re budget couldn’t afford it. The price paid by these great American Soldiers,Marines, and Sailors alike, cannot be compensated in a monetary value.

  • WeTheSheeple

    This will be good for the military. Too much dead wood with 15 yrs just waiting around for their retirement. This will get rid of them while also opening up the advancement pipeline so we no longer have E-5s with 14 years of service trying to make E-6 to be able to stay until 20.

    The military needs fresh meat for the grinder, not senior NCOs sitting around waiting for retirement. The majority of people don’t join the military for a 20 yr career; that decision is usually made if they make it to the 10 yr mark. There simply is no need for most to stay any longer than 4-8 years. That’s why the Navy & Air Force are involuntarily separating over 5,000 midlevel troops this year.

    • Jared

      No need to stay past 4-8? Then where does your leadership come from? Find an E-5 or O-4 or higher with less than that. And without a good number of people competing for it, you don’t have the opportunity to select only the best for the position.

      • pissed

        They don’t want older experienced leadership. They want know nothing robots to follow the instructions and idiotic rules they keep changing to keep the lower echelons off balance trying to keep up. Older enlisted members usually leave the military early because they are fed up with contsant restructuring and regulation changes and idiotic local M.O.Is that get put into effect without regard of how it really affects operations. Now thay brought back the 80s-90s style QA that isn’t there to help but there to burn people like a speed trap in a back water town.

    • phil delisle

      go ahead DC ….. cut all of our retirements …… do u politicians realize u will destroy the strong right arm that does all of ur bidding?? u will have no experience, u will have a militia to maintain ur conquests …… have fun with that ……

    • 13AMMO13

      The Navy and Air Force are cutting people to make their ends meet with the manning levels that Congress handed them.

      The rest of your comment fits right into your moniker, ‘We The Sheeple’. I take it that you were not in during the VSI/SSB times when those in the middle positions where removed through the carrot method. Most of the better leadership walked rather then get forced out. This led to the’yes’ men political style of leadership that is just sitting on their hands waiting to retire rather then leading people or teaching them. Yes, the very people that you have now trying to please everyone like they are fresh into the military rather then the old crotchety bastard that made sure you did things right.

      So, We The Sheeple, you already have what you will get when you say get the middle people out of the way, fresh meat for the grinder. Little on experience and long on mistakes.

    • 1775

      An E5 with 14 years in? what are you talking about! High year tenure is 12 years and just got dropped down to 10 yrs. If you don’t make E6 before 10 years your out and with all of the cuts going on already reenlistments are extremely competitive for all ranks! Talk to a career planner and you will hear about all the “dead wood” being cut at reenlistment time frames getting only a small severance pay for 15 yrs of service. You obviously don’t know much about retention because the military has a huge turn over rate with only 40% staying in until 8 yrs and even less after that.

      There is already too much of a focus on first termer’s and not enough to encourage a solid base of leadership. The current retirement system is the only form of enticement right now. With tuition assistance being slashed to a point where it is nearly impossible to actually obtain a degree during service and the GI bill being only worth it if you get out whats to keep anyone in? You mention the navy and air force separating over 5000 why not take a look at the Corps, already the smallest force and its being hacked down in size at every level. Its gotten to the point that every level is fearful of losing their jobs and then to add a possible loss of retirement after putting in 11-15 years of missing holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, losing families for the career, or the emotional and physical pain that has been endured is just salt on wounds and a complete lack of respect for what it means to serve for that long. Anyone can serve for 4 years and quit, someone strong can make it through 8 but it takes a real sense of passion and servitude toward a nation to make it past 10 years.

  • Guenter

    Leading international Greek/Roman historians have generaly agreed some time ago that the start of the Roman Empire decline was during the period of Pax Romana when Rome stopped taking care of the Centurion soldiers and veterans. Fast forward to about 365 A.D., Rome fell defended by a non Roman Germanic General leading foreign soldiers and slaves, waiting to get paid by the highest bidder. Hello U.N. and blue helmets.

    • 13AMMO13

      For shame! How dare you use history to condemn those who have not learned from it!

      Please take this with all of the sarcasm that it was intended ( I mean all of it is sarcasm).

  • JIm

    Reason, you don’t have a clue about what you’e talking about.

    I served for thirty years. I have been retired thirty-eight years. Do you seriously think that at this late stage of the game, I should lose my military retirement and start paying in to a 401k sort of savings. Living on just Social
    Security alone isn’t going to get it. I would lose everything while trying to save up money for a new retirement. And where do you think that money would come from.

    Son, you are out of your ever lovin’ mind, as are the rest who think this is a good idea.

  • Ltc (ret) Si

    We will nevef forget!

  • Bob

    That’s it, screw around with the people that keep this country FREE! The US government is corrupt from “Broke Obummer” all the way down. The POTUS is guilty of conflict of interest in the way he used our money to save a college and thus, his brother in law’s job. Anyone else would be in court. Nothing from the liberal media about it either. Congress members make sixty percent on their investments in the stock market by buying the stocks they know will soar when they vote on bills. Once again, conflict of interest and corruption. This cannot last long without devastating effects on the nation. Therefore, the entire chain of elected officials have violated their sacred oaths of office and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Sleeper Falcon

    This retirement system would harm the United States of America.It will weaken its forces and harm those that serve in it. Changes sometimes can divid a nation and many young man and women may not wish to serve, because there are no goals to be met on there behalf nor there famlies.

  • Pete

    I did not hear anything about those ALREADY RETIRED. wHERE DID THIS COMMENT ORIGINATE FROM?

  • Calculator

    They are so brilliant that I have no words for them…Let’s do the calculation the congress will do to the Military Retirement Plan:

    Using TSP and withdraw at age 59 = 0 Active Duty Military

    If we go to war, send the congress and their staff…..Brilliant!!!!!!!

  • Blackhorse27

    Sure tell the rich kids that it might cause a draft down the road and see how fast the Republicans put the brakes on that “entitlement” killing idea! The best government money can buy! That’s what we have.

  • CliveB

    The new plan seems to really hurt enlisted soldiers the most since they will have the least disposable income to contribute and therefore would also not benefit as much from the matching. Is that really the effect we are trying to have for the population we are asking to take the greatest risks. Seems very egalitarian to me and I’m an officer.

  • kim bolt

    I can’t believe the American public is not up in arms about this. My son is enlisted and getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. He has not seen his family in a year will miss his second set of holidays with us, works long hours sometimes 7 days a week for the same pay and now you want to change his retirement! We do need changes in government but this is not the place to cut.l

    Americans rise up do what has to be done to protect the ones that protect us!

  • CSM Retired

    Every time the budget becomes an issue, military retirees and veterans along with the families always face the ignorant fact that retirement along with TRICARE will be changed or eliminated. I strongly suggest taking Military Retirement and retiree benefits OUT of the Department of Defense and place it in an agency that cares about retirees and their families. It is very apparent that are current military leaders along with Congress care very little about our Military Retirees and their families.

  • Vet

    I just want all my deployed brothers to know that there are those of us that will fight for you in your absence. You should not have to stress about this crap while you are fighting. It has to be hard on your family, especially if your wives get some information and don’t have you there to ease them. Our leadership is failing us by not taking a harder stance, but rest assured, this will not pass. I am truly sorry that this board of non retired, non vet, turds put out this worthless proposal while we still have troops deployed.
    It is easy to target a group of individuals who are cultured to suck it up and drive on, but this time it’s gonna take a fight. Keep your head down brothers, forget about this crap and keep the faith. I’ll tag back in soon.

  • abd

    This plan will destroy the enlisted core almost entirely. There are people serving 10, 12, 15 years who only agreed to join and sacrifice those years because there would be a retirement as part of the package. Instead of spending their lives building lucrative civilians careers, they moved from place to place, deployed and learned military jobs with do not transfer to the civilians sector.

    Families have had to sacrifice, plans to have families have had to be put on hold, all of this on the good faith that the military would honor and respect the men and women who serve. The fact that this is even being seriously being debated without grandfathering current members is atrocious. I sad day for the US military indeed.

  • ArmySSG

    I’ve been enlisted in the US Army for almost 9 years. Have served 40 months of combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve reenlisted 3 times now. All for the same reason. I knew that at 20 years, I could retire and my bills would be paid. Most people after 20 years of service, especially in my mos (11B Airborne) have bad knees, sore backs, and every other joint is stiff as well. After PT 5 days a week for 20 years, you body eventually gives out.

  • ArmySSG

    They need to INCREASE our benefits not decrease them. At no other time in our now volunteer Army’s history have we had such a rigorous back to back deployment schedule. By the time I reach 20 years I will have spent probably 10 years in ACTIVE COMBAT OPERATIONS. Working 18 hours a day getting shot at, patrolling up and down mountains in the countries considered the anus of the world. After 20 years of this kind of sacrifice we should get full medical coverage for ourselves and our dependants, and 100% of our base pay. Civilians say to me all the time “Thank you for your service” I always smile and nod, or say “You’re welcome.” All of these civilians that are so thankful for our service need to voice their opinions when it comes to taking away the benefits of the people that make this country the way it is. With out service members our country would have been overrun and extinct before it ever came into being.

  • Brian

    A congressman can recive full retirement after serving serving one term. I think that those who serve 20 years have earned the title of retireed military

  • craig

    I think if they are going to do something concerning the retirement well they are proposing to add to the savings , but@ the least vested at 5 years instead of 10. Retirement benefits are needed to come with the times , but now is not the time in a economy that we are in.
    Recieve partial @20 years if under 57, then full @ 57.according to rank @retirement. And on the 401 k plan, the person should be able to chose weather they want to tsp 401k to give the personnell a choice with equal matching to whatever they match, Example if they match 4% then dived 2% to tsp and 2% to 401k. This as an example only** Also maybe something like a pension contribution with a match. This I believe would help. Also those already in service be exempted from the new law concerning the pension and retiremnt.

    • steve-o

      Another sad thing of this all is that 2% is beans compared to 50%. You’ll be working until 90, which btw is not authorized in the military and no one could meet standards. One other thing, How would you have liked to be invested in that all powerful 401k and retired back in 2007 just to see it worth nothing today? 5 years of negative growth and your 401k is worthless? No, all this talk about making this more civilianized is jibberish. If I wanted to be a civilian, I would not have joined. I have and continue to put my life and the hapiness of my family on the line. Don’t jack with the agreement now because politics America wants to cut a corner or two. our retirements are a drop in the bucket compared to benefits others get for free. Guess it’s time to return to the hollow Army?

    • anon

      Um, TSP IS a 401(k) by another name.
      Right now Federal Civil Service have a defined benefit (1%/year) +TSP with minimum Gov contribution (1%)+matching up to 4%. Federal Law Enforcement and Congress have the same, but a defined benefit of 1.7%/year. For Federal Law Enforcement the rationale for the higher pension is that they have a shorter time to earn it (mandatory retirement at age 57).

  • Volunteer 4?

    BAUCB: you’re statements probably reflect the opionions of those bitter service members who couldn’t last long in the service. hint hint! either that or you never served and hate idea that others did and they are getting benefits you’re not! any self-respecting Soldier, especially those elite and line Soldiers wouldn’t agree with you one bit. What a rediculous and liberous character you have.

  • Raymond Keaton

    Go ahead,,,Lets balance the budget on the backs of the seniors and the military. After all, they don’t need a cost of living raise. We all know there is no inflation. Thats why they need to raise costs for medical insurance for seniors. They have too much money and can’t spend it all. Social security is in a fix because we pay retirees too much money. Once we cut social secuity benefits we will be able to spend another 3.4 trillion plus more and tack it on the IOU for the first 3.4 trillion we stole from the fund. By the way lets appropriate more money for social welfare as those of us who work for a living can’t afford food and could use a hand out ourselves.

  • Raymond Keaton

    While we’re at it lets do away with the military retirement system as it is way to generous. . Work until age 65 and then draw your pension. Really doesn’t matter that your wife works a job for a couple of years then moves on. It is a chance to see the world and also start over in a new career every 2 years. What home? Lets buy a new one every 2 or 3 years that way we don’t have to look at the same curtains every day. Who needs a day off. We love to work 80 hours a week 3000 miles from home, in 120 degree weather or 40 below and snow up to our ass 24/7. And the medical is great. Good thing it is because we will need it. Of course when we retire we will have to buy a supplement to pay 30 per cent of our free medical. we’ll also need to find a policy to cover dental’ hearing and eye care as their not part of the free medical we get. Then there’s the 99 percent that never make it to 20 years. They get nothing. Watch your weight, one pound over the maximum and your out on your ear with nothing even if you’ve served 19 years.If the service is such a great career then why don’t we all join and get rich.

  • Pax

    if i piss my years away with no retirement ill be marching on down to DC to shove my boot up someones ass

    • Soldier

      I will be right next to you. I got 18 years in and am in A-stan now.

  • Jamie Diamond

    I love it! My company and I helped cause this financial mess via MBS et al. and got YOU the Stupid/distracted American tax payers to bail us out and caused TRILLIONS of economic damage. Im glad Im part of the financial elite here on Wall St! We literally stole TRILLIONS and got away with it and now have your politicians cutting military pay for our GREED.

    You obviously cant expect us downsize to a POS GM Silverado right? I prefer my Maserati and private jets. Feels great being rich.powerful, and PROTECTED by the SEC. You Americans are a bunch of SUCKERS!! LOL to the bank!

    JP Morgan

  • steve-o

    I guess i’d add this as food for thought. If there is a retirement earlier than 20 years, doesn’t that incentivize those people to leave or at least push them more that way? No one leaves at 18 or 14 or 16 because 20 is the magic number. We have enough retention issues especially at the O4 level (8-14yrs), why are we shooting ourselves in the feet by even considering this? To damage the NCO Corps next?

  • Josh

    I like how retirement pay is now. Don’t touch it instead look at other areas like tricare benefits I would rather pay co pays and whatnot then to touch my retirement pay. I’m sure there are many other things they can cut out first before the government should even conceder this at all. Bit if push comes too shove i will do what I have too and still serve. And for those if you cursing at officers and nco’s you ate all sham full. Ome want to be officers and some nco’s. All that crp back and forth is unneeded. I’m a nci who love the army and the nco core. I as well love my officers who serve just as much. We each have a calling and we all go by that. We should all do what is best for our country first before anything.

  • John Zimmerman

    The proposal by President Obama that military retirees pay an annual fee for TRICARE-for-Life health insurance and that TRICARE pharmacy co-payments be restructured under his deficit reduction plan is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!

    Military members experienced ridiculously low pay while they served, then equally ridiculously low retirement pay, and are now expected to pay increases in their healthcare to “bring them in line with private healthcare funds.” That would make some sense if military members ever received pay and benefits that were in line with the private sector. However as their pay and benefits were always less than those of the private sector it is an abomination that they be asked now to pay what private sector beneficiaries pay!! It has been typical of our government to lure young men into serving their country with promises of benefits, only to have those benefits diluted, or eliminated by the time those young men retire, or worse, changing them after the military members retire, when they can no longer alter their income to compensate for those changes!

    There is no logic in bringing the TRICARE plan more in line with private and other federal plans, no matter what the president, or Defense Secretary Panetta say. The “measurable disparity” that is quoted as existing between military and private workers is real enough, but that disparity has always placed the military member and their families in the lower tier when it came to pay and benefits. To tell them now that they must pay more for anything is simply unconscionable!! They have paid their dues with their years of risking their lives for extremely low pay. Calling such increased taxation “modernization” is a sleazy, deceitful and underhanded way of penalizing those who have already paid for their benefits by working for wages so low that they qualified for food stamps. Do not penalize them further with this insulting effort to make them pay for a benefit they have already paid for with long suffering at low wages while performing extremely hazardous duty.

    • RSmith

      when did the president propose this?

      • SSGT0111

        Well Said! So many do not understand the plight of the majority of those serving. in the USMC 80% of the fighting force is made up of enlisted service members. Currently in the state of California military service members up to Staff Non Commissioned Officers (E6 and some E7) are considered low income and can apply for WIC as long as they have three children or more (three being fairly normal). As an E6 with 11 years in service my base pay before taxes is 38,307.60, I live on base in an old house with my wife (who cannot start her career due to our constant moving even though she had a Master’s Degree when we got married) and our four children. I work 7 days a week, deployed five days after my daughter was born and three weeks after my son. Ive missed numerous birthdays, anniversaries and holidays because of training, duty and deployments. I have developed medical conditions from my job that are annoying and painful but have yet to be officially diagnosed because a light duty would adversely affect promotion possibilities. My Father in law retires this january with over 26 years of combined service and his new job does not come with medical benefits. However it is a job that will impact the community in a positive way so he excepted it with the knowledge that as a full retiree he would be covered by Tricare. I would hate to think that after 6 years in the USMC reserves and 20 years as a Navy Chaplain with medical issues that are a direct result of his time in Dessert Storm and during the Invasion of Iraq that he would have to go through a fight to get treated. Due to the nature of my responsibility I have been unable to complete a degree even though I have attempted to several times and have been relying on my promised retirement benefits to support my family while I use a GI bill upon retirement to obtain that degree. The current GI bills cannot support a family of six and would require a full time job which would further delay my goal of becoming a teacher. As a result of inner city teachers with prior military service I have always wanted to return and aid in the growth of the next generation but a change of retirement benefits both medical and monetary will end that goal.

  • Guest

    We have a lot of so called vets who are getting a disability check equivalent to 50% of retirement pay in some cases. Some only did 3 years in the service. Most have great jobs but continue to milk the system! Start cuts there instead of going after thoses who have served on active duty for years! How about removing all the reservist from active duty instead of allowing them to extend. Let’s cut there! Stop moving active duty families around so damn much…that ought to cut down on the budget quite a bit. …moving every two years isn’t necessary!! The fact that this shit is up for discussion is just fucking ridiculous!! Could this country get any more fucked up? Who in the hell is running it…bunch a freakin’ 5 year olds…shit!!

  • Guest

    It never fails! …all the money this country spends helpin’ motherfuckers overseas and this is the best these shitheads can do with its own? WTF? Those numb nuts must really be hittin’ the pipe hard this week! SOBs spent all the damn money fighting wars when there was no threat to this country. What the fuck ever happened to the Department of DEFENSE?

  • SSG recruiter

    I am an Army Recruiter with 9 yrs in with Three deployments….man I can’t express enough how depressing just hearing that they plan to cut what a lot of us young warriors have fought for because yes we are fighting for out country but at the end of the day we are fighting for our family! Taking our retirement away?! That’s taking money and benefits from our family and that is just dead *** wrong. Then let’s look at the young kids saying ” **** no because I cant stay in til I’m 62 yrs old so why and the **** would I do 20 or let alone even join” so now u got a recruiting issue! Now what about us that’s under ten? Honestly I’m saying the same damn thing. It’s no sense to keep on going for 11 more if I can’t collect my retirement til 62. And a lot of young soldiers feel the same way I do. This is just crazy and all I can do is prey that our retirement goes untouched but I have a bad feeling that is wishful thinking!

  • Justice

    As of 1989, the average Congressional salary was $169,000. This is a absurd amount of money paid to representatives of each state who fly in to vote (which they can’t even do) and spend most of their day at functions and fund raisers. Instead of taking money from our retirement, take it from the congressional representatives. We call that taking the money from the elitists. Imagine if we can cut their pay to that of a US Army Major. We would save a large amount of money and ensure only those who are willing to work for the people become politicians instead of liars and thieves.

    • anon

      Sigh. Have you ever attended Congressional meetings? You realize they are responsible for ALL US Law? No, they don’t spend all their time at fund raisers and functions (although they do spend too much – because we the American People insist they raise their own funds for election).

      Current Congressional base salary is $176,000/year – which is less than most 3 & 4 Star FO/GOs make. Cut their pay to O-4 pay, and see what kind of rep we get – especially since he/she gets to / has to spend time raising money for re-election.

  • willy hendricks

    No one has been able to explain to me why young men… and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

    On Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

    For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

    • retiree


      They are under FERS just like the Federal Civil Service, to include paying for it. The earliest they can collect is age 50 – and they have to serve 20 years to do that, to get 34% of their base pay for their top 3 years. And they pay into SS.

      They pay for their healthcare under FEHBP, just like the Federal Civil Service. Which means they are under the Affordable Health Care Act, just like you and me. Also, in 1995, they placed themselves under the same laws as the rest of us.

      Congress does many things wrong, and deserves a lot of criticism. However, if you go to a Congressman and tell him it’s unfair that he gets benefits HE KNOWS HE DOESN’T GET while you don’t get something, how do you think he’ll react? Probably politely thank you for your opinion, and then walk you out. Because he knows you haven’t done the research.

      • K.P.

        Once more again, not true. There is a law in place where some politicians are receiving retirement pay now. Keep informed or do you work with them; legal or public affairs? Seems like it.

        • retiree

          My sources are the US Senate, the US House of Representatives,, and the US Code (i.e the laws of the US). What I posted is 100% accurate – what are your sources?

          Note that some politicians (John McCain for one), as retired military, receive military retirement. There are a few still under CSRS, but they still need to work 20 years to retire at less than age 60.

          Since 1946 (when Congress placed themselves under CSRS), NO Congressman/Senator has been able to retire after 1 term and immediately collect.

          Oh, and no, I don’t work for them. My interest is in the truth – because if we go into Congressional offices to complain about or benefits, and we accuse them of what they KNOW is not true, how serious do you honestly think they will take us?

  • elmo

    Don’t let them ( government officials) fool ya, if there is no money, there is no money, whether it is right or wrong, doesn’t matter in the laws of physics or economics. I am surrounded by people that are either on unemployment or welfare, and I live in a middle income neighborhood. Municipal governments are barely floating their budgets and they don’t have the money to pay for people that will live to see 80 years of age with retirements Both on a municipal, state and federal level). You could crank up the money machine and start printing for all of this but that will cause massive inflation, and mean that your retirement dollars won’t be worth much.

    • Ress

      “Crank up the money machine and start printing” ?? when did it get shut down and stop printing??

  • Active Duty

    What price do you put on missing your childs birth? Their first steps? There first sporting event? Birthdays? Holidays? The list goes on, military deserve what they get for the numerous sacrifices we make including the ultimate sacrifices. To say our retirement system does not match major government retirement programs is a no brainer, of course it does. Make some sacrifices that our military make like the ones mentioned above and maybe we can talk about evening the plane. Cutting military benefits is an atrocity…remember why where we come from 200 years ago and where we are today. Its because someone chose the right to bear arms and defend freedom, remember that.

    • wade

      you made the choice …you didnt defend crap , and were tired of paying for it …you so called hero

      • Zach

        someone has to protect our country… seriously, how disrespectful can you be? This is really discouraging for someone who’s joining the military for the sole purpose to protect someone else’s rights.. what a terrible attitude.

      • jay

        You are correct I made the choice, when I was 18 and able to serve I thought “I will serve and do my part for my country” and you know, I am proud I did, so that I preserved the right for you to post comments such as this for the public to view. …you so called American

      • SRS929

        How can you even say that the military doesn’t ‘defend crap’? How the hell would you know? You’re not the one getting deployed every year, year and a half to undisclosed locations away from your family and everybody you care about. Also having rockets flying over the base, bombs destroying convoys…all while you are sitting on your couch with your thumb up your ass complaining about what you don’t have. Give me a break!

      • OIF

        Yup we pay taxes like you do…

        1. You only pay your taxes <— Does only one and your’re tired of it?
        2. We pay our taxes and serve this country <— You count and compare.

      • Peter

        Who are you and what have you done for anyone other than yourself? Why don’t you take a tour of a local military hospital and see all the troops that are learning how to walk again from having their extremities blown off? Why don’t you grow a pair and go through the sacrifices that EVERY military member makes… and for what… for some pretentious little princess like yourself to sit back and criticize what we do.

        • Peter

          Oh yes, my previous comment was directed towards “wade” and no others.

      • Clark

        That’s right wade, we made that choice, unlike you probably. I’m glad that there are enough of us that did and still do. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be able to post crap like you do without consequences. Veterans deserve more than what they receive but settle for what they get and still do their job knowing that. That is a true American. Do you call yourself an American? If so, what have you done for this great nation of ours?

  • Hank

    How about we send all the politician’s children eligible to serve in the military to deployments. Let’s see, have them go through all the B.S. sacrifices that all current active military members go through for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years, pay them the same wages and have get them get their retirement plan overhaul. This way, our politicians we’ll get an idea from their own family members how the military life is all about, and then all of you politicians, tell me if you feel the same way about overhauling the military retirement system. Yes, we can also look into overhauling the retirement system from all of you politicians, since seem to be out leaders, well, this is your chance to lead by example, get your own retirement plan overhauled since you get paid more than what we will make in our lifetime. Lead from the front and take a pay cut, get your retirement plan overhauled, especially since you only work four or five year and then you are eligible for your retirement and not like us where we have to serve at least 20 years in the service.

  • Jim M

    All the previous comments have merit, but I ask, We the military have stood ready to defend this nation and go into harms way if required, for this we get a paltry retirement/retainer amount. On the other hand, our elected officials House & Senate get a tremendous amount more in retirement, for doing nothing or very little in the way of protecting not the country nor the people of the U.S, but their personal lifestyles. We took an oath to defend our country from all enemies foregin and domestic, HMMMM, thank God for the privilege of voting, this time we have to do it right and get the good back in the government. Retired U.S.N. E6

  • Anthony Fernandez

    I want to know the difference (via website or chart) between a single military retiree, with no dependents that retired in 2004 as an E-6 (after serving 20 years) and a married military retiree with a wife and no other dependents that retired the same year, yhe same rate after serving the same 20 years.

  • Allen

    How about we cut all foreign aid first take care of VETIRANS. The change all Congress and Senate plan so that when they leave office they get nothing or Social security and no medical. SO that when all the white house staff leaves office they get nothing but the same. Before we cut anything in our MILITARY system. As a retiree of 20 years in the Navy I know what they go through daily and yearly.