Servicemembers Oppose Retirement System Changes

October 24, 2011 | Terry Howell

A recent Fleet Reserve Association survey found that more than 80 percent of the 1,700 respondents strongly opposed proposals to “civilianize” the current military retirement system. In addition, more than 80 percent of the active duty and Reserve component respondents said they’d shorten their term of service if the retirement benefit were changed to reflect the recommendations made in the Defense Business Board’s “Modernizing the Military Retirement System” report.

According to FRA, respondents from the active duty, Reserve, retiree and veteran communities overwhelmingly predict that the DBB proposals would be bad for military recruiting and retention. More than 83 percent of participants believed fewer people would join the military and serve shorter terms if a 401(k)-type benefit were instituted. More than 89 percent believed delaying retirement benefits to until age 60 or 65 would have a similar effect on recruiting and retention.

FRA intends to share their survey results with members of the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee and its Senate counterpart, as well as with leaders within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security – ensuring these key decision-makers understand the enlisted perspective.

To learn more about FRA, visit www.fra.org.

Let your voice be heard, contact you elected officials and tell them how you feel about the proposed changes to the current Military Retirement system.

Comments

  1. It makes me SO angry that they say- “the current system is unsustainable.” they’re just realizing this now?! Shouldn’t they have thought of this before They sent all our troops out to get shell shock and blown backs?! Where was all the planning in this? Heck yeah mil retirements is a “sacred cow”! You know why? it’s because the troops were PROMISED these conditions when they went out and gave all or almost all to save our necks, our peace and our country! If the politicians and money mongerers didn’t plan well they’ll need to just go ahead and pay for their mistakes, their oversight, lack of planning. Want to make things more like the corporate world? Good. That’s how it works in business. You pay for your mistakes and find a new inventive way to compensate for them. Good luck politicians and policy makers! Time to finally WORK and do your job now! The military did theirs!

    • Retired 11C says:

      Unsustainable in a time of peace…hang on, the war pigs are at work to save
      the economy by warring further in the middle east. Only problem is, the American manufacturing base has been sent to China so our economy will suck even further. That is the pickle the globalists set us into!

  2. Pensacola says:

    Why would anyone put up with 20 years of military BS. Then they would have to wait another 20 years for some undetermined pot of money. …….and maybe no medical along the way.
    There may be a few changes, but this entire concept is DOA.

  3. Logic Mine says:

    How can you "civillianize" the military? WHY would you? The whole premise is just WRONG!!

  4. Give to Wall Street and Bankers and it will gone or bankrupt in ten years time.

  5. ex-UH1 crew chief says:

    Before one becomes all huffy and puffy, have a look at the proposals and the analysis behind them. See:
    dbb.defense.gov/pdf/DBB_Military_Retirement_Final_Presentationpdf.pdf

    No one should be offering their opinions unless and until they have read and understood this presentation.

    • I read it, and sound as if it was prepared by a bunch of F****** civilians that never spent a day in the military or boy scouts for that matter. Oh, I don't like it can you tell.

      GySgt Ret.

    • Oh, sorry, pardon me. I was going to offer an opinion but have not read the presentation yet. And you said I cannot offer an opinion until I read the presentation. Sorry.

      • How can you give an opinion on something of which you don't have complete knowledge of. Just to see yourself rant?

    • bill downs says:

      When I enlisted in the Navy in 1966 the average Navy retiree lived approximately five years after retiring. Today, due to better medical treatments, alcohol abuse counseling and lifestyles that are more conducive to a healthy living (i.e. non smoking, etc) retirees are living a lot longer and therefore they are drawing their retirement benefits longer. This change to the retirement system has only one goal and that is to bring the longevity of military retirees back to levels they were at 30-40 yerars ago. While that may be desirable and make sense to most civlians who have never served in the military, it is an insult to the intelligence of those of us who have spent the majority of our adult lives living under conditions that most civilians would never tolerate. These changes will guarantee a return to the draft within five years after they are implemented and then you will see how many civilians cry foul when they are forced to spend a couple years living in our world.

    • Read it. There is nothing in this presentation that isn't already known. So they basically put together a PP presentation to state the obvious. BFD The market will sort this out in the end. Cut back benefits in an all volunteer force and see what happens. No problem in double digit unemployment, but just wait until we get back to the 4% we had in the 90's. All 4 branches had to lower standards and allow anyone to join just to meet enlistment goals. Oh wait a min… Repeal DADT… my goodness… Maybe the way to go is just get rid of the military all together and pay a private company to do it. Seems to work for corporate America.

  6. Tom Brown says:

    From a retiree, if our retirement is so bad what about congress. A four year term in congress get them a retirement why do we have to suffer for their mistakes.

    • Actually, the President has 4 year terms, Congress has 6 year terms. I believe they have to do 2 terms to get their retirement though, not 100% sure. Either way though, they have a better deal than those of us that actually raise our hands to be willing to die for this country, where they only raise their hands to run the country.

      • Google is your friend. See the Senate – https://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL

        Bottom line – minimum 5 years, which gets you 8.5% at age 62, max possible BY LAW is 80%. Earliest retirement age is 50, at which point (assuming 25 years in) they have earned 42.5% of their top 3 years. Oh, and they pay into this, as well as SS.

        Bottom line, not 100%, actually as a percentage and requiring paying, they have it worse than us.

        • runningman says:

          I don't think so. at an average of 175k a year and all the "extra" things they receive while in office, makes it much better imo.

          • I suppose you would prefer those making decisions effecting the whole country live on the streets? Also, take a look at GO pay – most GO's make as much as Congress.

            Oh, and their retirement is based on that $175K/year, NOT their additional benefits.

            If you want, feel free to vote your Congressmen (Rep/Senators) out of office. Of course, when you do, be certain you look at who you're voting INTO office.

          • bill downs says:

            "VOTING the incumbents out" is the only way that we the voters can enforce term limits on politicians. When asked if they would support term limits on all elected offices, every current politician in office has agreed that there needs to be some type of term limits. Yet nobody in congress has ever proposed any legislation to enact term limits on the House, or the Senate. Why would they? If you went to your civilian boss and said you'd like him/her to only serve 4-6 years and then go find another job, do you think they would be for it? The problem with those in elected offices is that they have entirely too much power and just like a highly addictive drug, power totally corrupts and they need to have that power for as long as they can keep it. As far as their retirement goes, none of these people who run for political office are destitute. They are all multi-millionaires and they make more money off their speaking engagements, book sales, etc. when they finally leave office than any pension would ever provide for them. If their salaries were why they ran for office, then who in their right mind would spend millions of dollars to get a job that pays $174K?

          • 1. Reread what I wrote. In our elections, you can't just vote against somebody, you have to vote for somebody (none of the above is not an option on the ballot). So be certain that check box you check is for someone better than who you want to vote against.

            2. Yes, most are millionaires. However, a decent salary is necessary to have a chance of someone other than a millionaire running. Do you think someone making, say, $100K/year would run for office if we paid $50K/year for a Congressman? Especially with what they have to put up with?

          • how many of our veterans that fought for your freedom, in harm's way many times, are living on the streets now? And I can guarantee you that not many of them made $175k/year. Maybe a 1/10th of that. There are not many veterans/soldiers making that kind of money!

          • Soldiers making that level of money are GOs. Again, my point is NOT the absolute dollar figure, it's that they are under (percentage wise) a worse system than ours. If everyone keeps harping to get Congressional benefits, we may get them. 1.7%/year accrual, retirement at age 62, and paying for it to boot.

            Folks, think before you post. Research before you post.

      • You are wrong. Congress and the president have 4 year terms; the senate has 6 year terms. All they have to serve is one term and they recieve a pension equal to 100% of their pay fo life. THey also get a 20%cost of living raise every year for life. Compare that to what we get.

        • James, please do a little bit of research first before posting. The President serves a 4 year term and is limited to two terms. Representatives in the House are elected to 2 year terms. Senators are elected for 6 year terms. As far as their pension goes, no one gets 100% of their pay for life. The max they can get is 80%. The retired pay is calculated based on their salary and the number of years they serve. Please read retiree's posts about Congressional retirement. Congressmen also pay into the Social Security system and have since 1984. Congressmen must serve at least 5 years before eligible to collect a pension at age 62. If they serve at least 20 years then they can collect a pension at age 50. 25 years then they can collect at any age. The pension is based on the number of years serve and their highest three years salary and may not exceed 80% of their final final salary.

          • One slight clarification. Although the rules say they can retire at any age after 25 years of service, in reality the earliest they can retire is 50. Since a House Member must be 25 years old to be elected (Constitution), by the time they serve 25 years, they're 50.

            Thank you for the support – if people would research before posting, they would learn our retirement system is better than the Congressional system (so's our Health Care). I keep worrying Congress will listen to all these folks insisting we go under their system, and say "OK" – a disaster for us.

        • James, you are wrong. Check your history book. Senators serve a term of 6 years, House of REPRESENTATIVES SERVE 2 YEARS AND OUR PRESIDENT SERVES 4 YEARS. THEY GET THE SAME COST OF LIVING INCREASE AS ALL OF THE OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. ALSO, THEY DO NOT RECEIVE 100% PENSION FOR LIFE. THEY ARE VESTED UNDER FERS AFTER 5 YEARS AND IT IS 1.7% TIMES THEIR HIGH 3 YEARS OF SALARY AND THE EARILEST THAT THEY CAN RETIRE IS AT THEIR MINUMUN AGE BASED UPON THEIR BRITHDAY, WHICH FOR MANY IS AGE 56.

          • Actually there are only two ages they can collect at under FERS – age 62 if under 20 years of service, or age 50 if 20 years or more.

            Other than that, you are right.

    • R Phillips says:

      I agree, congress and senate both need to do 4 terms before they get a retirement. On the same lines, they also need to get the same medical they vote for people who put them in office.

  7. @tom brown

    Congress persons are members of the same retirement system (FERS) as the clerks at the VA office. They do NOT get full retirement after one term, or free medical for life

    @ex-UH1 crew chief

    that page doesn’t exist (at least my browser won’t find it)

  8. Mr. Obama keeps talking about "fairness" when it comes to all aspects of federal finances. Well, from my perspective, if 48% of Americans don't pay taxes and veterans and retirees do, I would say it would be more fair for us to keep our benefits since we have served our country and risked our lives, while some of those 48% that don't pay taxes have never contributed a damn thing to the system. I say raise taxes on that 48% if Obama is hurting that much for additional money to spend (actually waste).

    • Retired 11C says:

      We retirees are political softballs for the politicians and we will be hurt over and over again.

    • 48% of Americans don't pay FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. They pay other taxes – to include Social Security and Medicare.

      And our income tax system has NEVER, since it was created in 1913, collected taxes from all Americans. Initially it applied ONLY to the top 2% of Americans.

  9. I did 13 yrs,
    Should be 50 for combat vets and 60 for non combat vets
    Retiring these days at 38 is just doubledipping. Ive never been for that…never will

    • As long as the pay is civilianized. I retired after 20 years and learned just what my IT skills were worth – about three times my military pay. Pay for the skills, not longevity like civilian jobs. Sorry Combat Arms, no specialized civilian skills needed.

    • exkorling says:

      What the services need to do is lift the restrictions on when you are made to retire. As an E-6 I was forced to retire at 20 years of service even though I was still able to do my job and handle the day to day life of living in the military. I'd still be in right now (now 11 years post forced retirement) living a better life, contributing more taxes and putting more money into the economy. So you tell me where they need to fix things!

      • Right on, Dirk!

      • should of studied and made E7

        • In some rateings very few can make E7 even if they are a 4.0
          sailor. In my rateing LI and DM you could ace the test and still
          not be advanced. Some years only 1 E7 was advanced and I
          can remember when none were advanced.

        • exkorling says:

          That would have given me only another 4 years. Besides, like Jet said some ratings only advance in the single digits each cycle and I was never one to kiss enough butt to make all the brownie points you needed for the spotless evaluations and goodie goodie awards that you needed to make your record stand out.

        • larry nut says:

          and you are just an ass

    • Got kick out huh, dishonorable discharge. Must be, 7 more years to 20. Yeah got kick out, non-hacker. I knew cry babies like you. Put the bottle back in your mouth. That will shut you up.

  10. It is amasing to me that everyone wants to change our retirement. As a retire, if I remember correctly, I never got to make a decision if I wanted to go to Vietnam. I believe I got orders and was sent.
    It is stupid to want to change toe system and then send our young men into Irag, Somilia, or " BFE" and we don't get a say in it.
    If you are going to change our retirement without our say I say WE decide what battle we wish to fight.

  11. Politicians just don't get it the less money people have the less they spend and thus the economy never gets any better!

    Actually they do get it, this is the master plan to keep everyone under the thumb of the government!

  12. How many politicians, their children, or grandchildren do you see losing arms, legs, and their lives in these political wars?

  13. It seems it just another way for the policitions to sell off our retirements to big business. So they make even bigger profits. And Screw Us

  14. willard vogelgesang says:

    If washington makes this change not able to get your military retirement until age 60 or 65 after I have been receiveing it for almost 16 and half years. I would have to wait 3 and half years to get my military pension again. Then I would lose my house ,car, everything I worked for. I live according to what is given. This would be a complete disaster your talking thousands of people in this same situation.

    • exkorling says:

      Willard,

      I hear you brother as do a lot of others living off the government teat! My raise in VA and U.S. Navy retirement pay will amount to a whopping $50.70 after two years of living on a frozen wage. Whoopee!!!! I'll be able to afford to take my family of 4 out to dinner once a month!!!

      • no you won't, because the raise in tricare co-pays for meds will eat that little bit up.

        • exkorling says:

          Hahahaha. I don't get my meds from TRICARE. I go to the VA for those but there again there's still the possibility that I could lose that benefit as well.

      • nohandouts says:

        Hey…. Here is a novel idea, why not get off the teat and go mow some grass for some money. Paint houses, stack wood, shovel ditches, sit at a computer and sell amway, wash cars, clean houses, do something except continuing to be a victim of your own circumstance. Where is your PRIDE? You say you were in the navy, go clean and paint boat bottoms, work on engines, change oil, do something! You can keep that govt cheese and handouts. I'll make my own.

        • exkorling says:

          I'll be the first to admit that I've made a lot of bad choices in my life and in my situation right now there's not much I can to but search for jobs online and live the way that I am now. I just hope I don't end up broke and 10,000 miles from the USA. There's a lot of things that you don't know about my situation Mr. Nohandouts. I wish you well in your path of righteousness.

        • For one thing Mr.nohandouts military retirement is not a handout. We earned every dime of it. How much of their retirement have congressmen earned?

        • Your an idiot, obviously never spent any time in the military. By the time a retiree is 60+ (sometimes younger) they cannot go out and do ALL the wonderful things that you have suggested. This is due to age, or DUE TO THE PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS OF BEING IN THE MILITARY!! MANY RETIRE WITH DISABILITIES CAUSED FROM THEIR SERVICE!!!! As for their PRIDE they have their old uniforms hanging in the closet and one hanging on the wall in a frame…"Honorable Discharge."

  15. let's cut the emotion on proposed changes to the military retirement system. it's unsustainable and way more generous than anything that exists in the civilian sector. reform HAs to happen. and before you say that civilians don't put them selves in harms way and therefore the comparison is invalid, let's check again and see how many folks drawing military retirement ever really had to put THEMSELVES in harms way…

    • Smith SgtMaj ret says:

      Get real !!! Sounds like ur one of those civilians. If not just bitter. Regardless there very few civilians who are in fact in harms way and those that are recievw huge paychecks to do so as compared to servicemembers!

    • exkorling says:

      To paraphrase Jack Nicholson from "A Few Good Men," For 11.5 of my 20 years of service, I ate breakfast just 1 minute and seconds flying time (missiles and aircraft) from 1 million fanatical north Koreans that were trained since birth to hate and kill all Americans, so don't think that you can come here, write in this blog, and scare me. Furthermore, I don't care what you believe that we retired military people are entitled to. I would prefer that you just say 'Thank you' and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post.

      I agree with the SgtMaj on this one!

    • willard vogelgesang says:

      It still doesn't matter military still are seperated from family years at a time, must stay in shape put under difficult circumstances. I served almost four years on embassy duty in the marines had a couple close calls one was a bomb scare all during peace time. So rick it is a very different life style and much more demanding than civilian work. Oh also I retired from a state job also in corrections it does not even compare being a marine for 21 years not even close.

    • You just sound jealous that you are not able to receive the type of retirement benefits that the military get. You could have joined the service and served 20 years to get the 'generous' pension you referred to, but instead you chose a different path. Reform does need to happen and it will, cutting the military's retirement benefit is not going to solve the deficit problem. Military retirement must not be changed if the US wants to keep a all volunteer force. The alternative is bring back the draft to sustain our military forces. I promise you that military benefits ARE sustainable when compared to the prospect of being drafted. The fact is that at the end of the day, congress does not care where the Army comes from, but the common man who wants to choose to Military or Civilian will care. So maybe you need to think about how well your liberal agenda will protect you from harms way when your draft card gets pulled.

    • bill downs says:

      In the first place, nobody in the military puts "themselves" in harms way. The service you serve in determines where and when you go in "harms way." Secondly, there are numerous jobs in the military where you are at risk even if you aren't in a combat situation. Very few civlian jobs have this unique distinction. The type of retirement someone in the military receives is in direct proportion to the type of service they have performed over the entire length of their career and should not be diminished in any way. To do so basically cheapens the sacrifices, risks and skills they have that are not required in any other occupation in the civilian sector.

    • Rick,

      Wow! you seem to think that the sacrifices that soldiers have made are only during peace time. I don't know about anyone else, but I take offense to your comment especially since I wore the uniform and made many sacrifices over the 22 years that I served my country. The emotional, physical, psychological trauma endured over the years weigh heavy not only on the soldier, but also their immediate family. You may think this is a great plan, but when I look at the physical condition and pain that I have now, due to supporting, defending and representing the morals and values that our country stands for, I find your comment offensive. You have your right to your thoughts and I guess I should take what you have said with a grain of salt, but Wow! How about the retirement that congress gets whether they serve one term or longer. Why aren't you attacking the people who don't deserve to receive that retirement, just a thought.

      • I have to agree with you. I served only 7 years and although I didn't participate in any war, I had no control over where I was assigned nor being with my family. My ex husband and I were seperated for 2 and half years. We are considered military property. Also, unless the pay has changes substanially, I felt for the sacrifice we made we were under paid. I worked along side veterans whose pay checks were supplemented with food stamps. Because the military at the time would only for for 1 or 2 dependants. Now where is the honor in that? The civilian sector are willing to stand by and support and defend why all the athletes and artists should be paid these ridiculous amounts of monies because they are their heroes today not the soldiers who are willing to risk their lives for them. We have displaced values. Lets not even mention our Congressman who are in the position to make these kinds of decisions and never having to pick up a weapon nor be seperated from their families long lengths of time. They do a term and are compensated with a cushy retirement , medical and free eduation for them and their family members. Why aren't we speaking out againgst this? People wake up!!!!!

      • If you want to cut someone's pay/benefits to help our deficit, try this instead:

        http://signon.org/sign/congressional-reform-74

        • As mentioned above, this is a proposed Constitutional Amendment (think years of hard work) to try and force congress to do WHAT THEY'RE ALREADY DOING. A complete, utter, total, absolute waste of time and energy.

          Folks, please learn about the Congressional and civilian systems before posting – or we may end up with what they have (and see our benefits severely cut as we retire after 20 years with 34% pay, collectible at age 50, having had to pay into it, and spend hundreds of dollars A MONTH for health care WHILE WE'RE ACTIVE as well as while retired).

    • Great that all of you have served… that is, those of you who have. But that doesn't entitle you to an outdated retirement plan that is making a major contribution to breaking the DoD. Most civilian plans require contributions from those who choose to participate, and are generous in direct proportion to what the employee puts into them. If you think changing the retirement system is going to lead to a return of the draft, you're dreaming… those days are gone for good, baby, and good riddance.

      • 6 deployments says:

        We who serve pay in "time". You can't get it back. The time missed at graduations, the time missed at seeing children born, the time missed during most holidays, the time missed during anniversaries, the time missed for weddings, the time missed strolling through the park with family, etc…..you can't get time back. It is volunteered time for service and a duty to something greater than the daily none to five lifestyle most enjoy and time we would rather spend defending this great nation so we can all enjoy the precious little time we have on this beautiful planet Earth.

      • When the numbers in the military go done, they simply can reinstate the draft, with Title Ten in effect. We can DRAFT Females and Males 18 years and older! I hope the Grandma's and Mom's do not get to upset? If they do the Grandma's and Mom's can VOTE out the POLITICIANS!!! It only sounds like 83 – 89 % oppose this idea and that sounds like alot of people either not staying in the military or would not have signed up in the first place?????

      • I agree with you that the current retirement system is not sustainable and outdated. where I strongly disagree is comparing the military to civilian life which is impossible at any level. A change has to be made but it has to be a change that recognizes the miltary is a different way of life and deserves something much better than you would get on the civilian side. A retired veteran should not have to wait until age 59 1/2 to draw from a 401K nor should they have to fear losing value to the stock market. I have no idea what would be an appropriate alternative but making a service member contribut to a 401K type retirment should not even be a thought. I say that the servicemember has already contributed their fair share if they served 20 years. Maybe it needs to be a combination of things or something but what is being proposed although that is probably what it will end up being just isn't appropriate. You definatley have to make it so it does not impact anyone currently on Active duty.

        • Stan Scott says:

          If they put just 20% per year into a fixed annuity and allow the Military person to match it…at the end of 20 years and then allow the military person to annuitize it and draw without penalty from that annuity they would have a greater pension than the current system and the government wouldn't be on the hook. I wish I could have done that with a 5% return. The government could negotiate that with any number of the financial institutions.

          • 20% is a huge amount of money, particularly for the junior enlisteds. It also is not a realistic amount.

          • 1. Check out TSP – already available to the Active & Reserve. Based on the FERS TSP, it's one of the lowest cost retirement savings plans out there, with competitive returns.

            2. No way they're putting in 20% per year – that's way more than what they're paying now for our retirement, and they're trying to cut the budget.

      • Rick, how much time did you serve in the military? Were you gone from your family for months/years at a time-missing everything? Could you survive on $500 a month, more or less, depending on how many years you did put in? Not taking into account the physical and mental harm you do to your body. Yes, many of these retirees did choose to serve our country (to give us all freedom by the way) but they don't choose where they will be sent or what they may be doing. They earn every penny of the pension that they draw and not only them, but the family that they left behind, who served just as hard as they did. As one person said, what about the people that are senators or congresspeople-they can retire very comfortably on what they make, after just one term. Are they being put in harms way by serving? I didn't think so.

      • My husband served 38 years in the Air Force/Air National Guard, took on many extra trips so he could draw more at retirement, drew his pension for 9 mo. before he died. He could probably have been at 100% disability if he had gone to a dr. (bad back, bad knees, bad hearing), but he was not that kind of guy. Our military people earn every dollar that they get (were PROMISED) and their families right along with them. So don't tell me that the pension they get is a major contribution to breaking the DoD-maybe if the government stopped paying thousands of dollars for things like bolts and screws, there would not be a problem with the DoD. How would you like to be told after spending 20 years or more that you are "making too much in your retirement check, so you have to take a cut"? I doubt you would like that at all.

      • Tony Rotz says:

        Rick you have a misinformed view of military service, perhaps you should join up and find out how it really is. Those who have served have given a large part of their lives to protecting your arse it's about time you give them the credit they deserve.

      • Rick, dude you speak from ignorance not even from freedom of speech that you are entitled to. Military members salaries don't even compare to civilian salaries. The military not even considering whether they are in harms way or not doesn't make sense. I can say one thing most military members retire or active work more hours for less pay then civilians any day. I made $500 every first and fifteen but I worked 16 to 18 hour days for two years. We never received over time or comp time. So see that is why we get retirement on the back end of 20 years because we are used like mules on the front end and the hope is that we die before we collect enough of the retirement after the gov't has already gotten the benefit of labor from us. You wouldn't know because you didn't serve.

      • Dear Rick,
        As a retired Air Force Nurse "with a cushy retirement", I resent the fact that those who have never served are making key decisions that will impact not only military retirement but also the healthcare system. You have the right to your own opinions, however uninformed they are. Thank God for our military protecting our freedom and rights to disagree.

      • IDIOT!
        TELL US PLEASE IF YOU HAVE SERVED OR NOT, OKAY?
        FURTHERMORE, CHECK INTO RETIREMENT COMPENSATION FOR P.D. DEPT'S AND FIRE DEPT'S.
        AS FOR MYSELF, I HAVE NEVER GOTTEN PAST A ONE WEEK VACATION ON MY JOBS SINCE MY HUSBAND WAS AIR DEFENSE, AND WE RELOCATED A LOT! SO, THERE WAS NO RETIREMENT FOR THE SPOUSE, IS THAT NOT ALSO A SACRAFICE????
        RETIRED SOLDIERS WIFE.

        • 1. There's no retirement in the civilian world for a spouse either.

          2. In case you hadn't heard, those PD/Fire Dept retirement benefits are driving various states, counties, and cities into bankruptcy. Calling on them as a comparison is NOT helping the cause – it actually provides more ammo for the other side.

          3. Not certain what you mean by more than one week vacation. All military get 30 days/year leave. As a retiree and now civilian, I can guarantee it's nearly impossible to find such a vacation plan from the civilian sector.

          Certainly the frequent relocations, which affect spousal employment is one of the many reasons the military retirement is / should be generous, as delayed payment for hardships.

      • Rick, how 'bout you get off of your food stamps and welfare check and help cut the costs?

        • Nice ad hominim attack. Have anything to add to the discussion.

          Rick is right – the current retirement system (which has existed for 100 years, from back when life expectancy was in the 50's) is unsustainable long-term. So is the retirement medical system – which is SEPARATE from the VA system that pays for medical care for injuries sustained on active duty. We need to keep them separate. If we argue the military retirement system is compensation for injuries / damage while on active duty, we give them an argument to cut the VA benefits.

          I fully expect some level of cuts for those who are not currently in the military, but join in the future. We need to preserve the current system for those who are retired or in the active/reserve now and have a contract (written or "understood") that they will get the benefits.

          We need to emphasize our retirement is payment for the many hardships suffered (frequent moves, possibility of deployment, etc), and is also reduced pay for reduced production (we can be recalled). We are on-duty 24/7 – long hours. So our work is not like civilian, our pay and retirement must reflect that.

    • MSgt (Retired) says:

      Rick, you are obviously a civilian, probably a liberal and a demoncrat and just don’t get it. The man or woman stationed at, let’s say Ramstein in Germany are ‘technically’ not in harms way. However, they fly supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan. Then they are ‘in harms way’.

      Every person in the military, regardless of branch, grade of lenght of service are potentially ‘in harms way’ every single day. Civilians are not, they simply are not.

      Today as throughout all history the military are paid substandard wages. If you take all their income and divide it by 24 hours (because they are on call at all times), you can truly see what we receive. Civilians pay has to be divided by 8 hours a day (if they put in that much) and comes to a heck of a lot more.

      When was the last time you kissed your wife and kids goodbye in the morning, thinking you were coming back at the end of your shift and end up three days later calling your wife and saying sorry hon, I am deploying through Larnaca Cypress and I can’t tell you where I am going or how long I will be gone? NEVER, yet this is not at all uncommon in the military.

      When you try to compare civilian pay to military pay, it will not work. There is a monumental difference. For some reason, civilians can’t seem to grasp that. Because of our sacrifices like lost time with family, inability to buy and settle in a ‘home’ or change locations or jobs to increase our income or better our families not to mention those who are ‘in harms way’ every single day, we have earned the right to retire at 40 years old and draw our retirement immediately.

      Any compensation for those who spend 20+ years in to retire or who are wounded and retired medically, is not enough. What price do you put on an arm? A leg? An eye? When should they be ‘allowed’ to be paid for their loss? They didn’t say ‘Well, I’ll give my arm up but not until I am 65.’ did they?

      Military men and women, regardless where they are stationed EARN every damn dime of what they get in return and then some. Feather merchants like you that have had every opportunity to better your life and stay with your family continually and speak your opinion and live in the safety that the military provides you need to show a little gratitude and a **** of a lot of support for what you have received (at no cost to you) from military folks.

      Do we fight every day? No, maybe. Are we ‘in harms way’ every day? No, maybe. Are we continually seperated from our families? No, maybe. You have to answer a resounding ‘NO’ to each of those questions. I personally earned every dime I am collecting by deploying when my country needed me and winding up with a shattered back as a reward.

      I personally earned every dime I am collecting when I watched my second son being born, then two weeks later telling my family good bye and then seeing that same son for the second time when he was two years old. That’s what we do. And we do it with integrity, pride and honor. To then have you and your ilk come along and make comments like you have about US, every military man and woman, because you ‘think’ we are being over compensated, justifiably ****** me off.

      My country made the deal and now you and those like you, who for the most part never spent a day on active duty much less in combat, come along and say ‘We need to level the playing field between the military and civilian retirement systems!’ You haven’t got a clue and don’t have a chance of ‘leveling the playing field’. If it was truly leveled, military veterans and retiree’s would get one **** of a lot more money and would not have to fight the system to collect it!

      • C Smith SMS Ret says:

        You are a man after my old heart. You are right on. Too many civilians running our governent and have no idea what it is like to be in the military service and then there are some who have been military but do not stand up for the rest of us and particular Senator John McCain. This administratyion has a record of breaking promises.

      • well said MSgt (retired) and thank you for your service to our country and also a big thank you to your family. They worked for every dime you get also!

      • MSgt –
        Thank you for your service. However, one major comment – please do NOT equate the military retirement as equiv or for injuries while on active duty. We have the VA for that. Arguing that the military retirement system is in compensation for injuries gives the powers that be an argument to cut the VA.

    • Unsustainable? Why? Four years ago it was sustainable. Maybe the problem isn't retirement. Maybe the problem is government. Maybe the problem is government contractors leeching us dry. Cuts need to be made, that is for sure. They should not come from the body of the institution. We don't have leaders that are willing to cut out their pork barrel friends, and it is sad that the soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines will have to suffer because of it.

      • Actually 4 years ago it was unsustainable, which is why every administration has attempted to cut retirement benefits.

        Certainly we should cut excessive government contractors, even in-sourcing some work to government employees who are cheaper. We also need to relook at mission and equipment, and force manning, to include the large # of GO/FO with associated entourages. But Personnel costs (pay, benefits, retirement, medical) is about 1/3 the DoD budget – something there will have to give.

    • Come on guys, let's face facts. Guys on active duty make pretty good wages + benefits, most more than they could get in the civilian world. I know several military guys– most of them have spent huge portions of their careers working regular hours (go to work in the morning, home in the evening), spend some time away from home (just like other professions require business travel), and otherwise don't "sacrifice" so much that I can justify in my mind picking up the tab for their retirement when they are 40 and paying out $1M+ over the rest of their life, especially when they are able to go out and get another job. And when the tradeoff is other gov programs that really need to be sustained (some of them DoD programs like buying weapons or trainng). And don't you guys who are offering up our disabled veterans as justification for an overly generous retirement system feel a little sleezy? I never said anything about denying wounded veterans what they need to get by, so don't exploit them to make your case. Last, I love it when some of you guys give up on making reasonable points and rsort to personal attacks… two words for you "gentlemen"!

      • Rick, you use as an example of business travel-do they come home at the end of the week or two? What if they had to be gone for months/years? Yes, maybe some do retire at 40, but they worked their butts off for that 20 years and EARNED every penny of that retirement. What if your company made you retire after 20 years, at say 40-would you just sit at home & collect your pension because you didn't think you deserved more money?

      • Dear Rick,

        You really have no clue about the inadequate compensation that many of our soldiers endure. Do you believe someone serving our country should need food stamps? My ex-husband and I spent years apart because we were both members of the military. These long absences take their toll on marriages…that is one reason the divorce rate is so high for military members. Furthermore, in order to sustain an all voluntary military force, the current retirement system needs to be enhanced not cut.

      • Douglas Jones says:

        Listen You Moron You have got no idea what you are talking about I spent 24 years in the Navy and 11 of those years AT SEA AWAY FROM MY FAMILY 16 hour days oh did I mention the best yaers of my life that i can never get back. so if you are think we had ot so good why did you not join. You see you can always tell when some has never been in and experienced military life by the dumb things they say. Oh by the way did I mention I spent 11 of 24 years away from my family and those where the best years of my life

        • Ricksucks says:

          Rick is a welfare/food stamp recipient sitting at home on his computer he bought with the FEMA Visa card he got when he failed to pack up his stuff and get out of a danger zone. He's not worth the bother.

      • Well, Rick, you say that we were making pretty good wages and benefits. Am I correct?
        So let me in on something. In 1944 I was a Navy Aerial Gunner who was shot down in aerial combat. My pilot was killes. He didn't live to collect on this retirement business you feel he wouldn't have deserved anyhow.
        But back to me. It was my eighteenth birthday when I hit the silk, and I was drawing the massive sum of $37.60 a month plus $18.80 for flight pay. We didn't get hazzardous duty pay back then.
        Service people who are not in combat aren't in hazzardous positions.
        Hummmm, when the aircraft I was in crashed off of San Francisco, and I suffered seventeen broken bones, I woke up in the hospital wishing I had been back in combat. – It was safer.
        Oh, by the way, I went on and served in combat areas in Korea and Vietnam also. Retired with thirty years service, happy that I had lived to enjoy my retirement pay, whether earned or not. I also enjoy free medical, at least up to this point
        Now if this has knotted up your knickers, I'm sorry, but you really should have stayed out of an iltelligent conversation when you have nothing of intelligence to offer.

      • Um, if my husband colletcts over a million $'s in his retirement-we will be one very old couple! I just did themath!

    • YOUR IDIOT, GET OFF THIS FORUM.

      • Well, jerk, since you are telling me to I guess I'll have to do it, right? And you can call me anyting you want to… just as soon as you learn the English language.

        • lonewolf1_1 says:

          Rick, I know English. He's right. You are an idiot, or at the very least very severely misinformed. You also are diffidently not military , nor ex military, unless you are from the other side's military. If that's the case, I can see where your views are coming, and I apologize. Otherwise you have not the foggiest my friend.

    • Hey Rickie Boy;

      It's draft dodging punks like you that put guys like us in harms way so you can keep your cushy job.

      You be careful now, there are vets all around you.

      • Wake up, the draft ended years ago, jerk.

        • You still got to sign up for it, punk. But maybe you weren't aware of that since you don't go the post office and just have your food stamps, umemployment check and welfare check delivered to your home.

    • StillServing says:

      Did you know that only 0.45% of the nation has voluteered to fight in the Global War on Terror? It was 7.5% in Vietnam, and 11% in World War 2. Is it possible that you are completely mis-informed? If you think that retirement pay is so "out-dated" then why dont you join the Infantry for a while. I doubt that a Congressman or even a construction worker puts himself in near as much danger as ANY soldier that has served one minute in a combat zone. A finance soldier still has to be wary of a single man running at him/her with a suicide vest. Or the 107mm Rocket that is barreling towards him/her. Get real dude, there is no profession that even comes close to what a service member does. How many carbombs does a Senator see in a given year…..NONE. How many does the average soldier in a convoy? Several.

    • StillServing says:

      Its people like you that are so uninformed that are bringing down this nation. Maybe we should give it to the guy who says the government made him a baby, instead of giving that money to a Veteran who has seen more, done more, and accomplished more in his 20 years of service than you will in your entire life. If you think its so easy to serve 20 years Active military, than by all means, DO IT!! Until you do, dont spew your filth against those who have given you the right to be able to live your life, as worthless as it seems to be.

    • R is for Rocket says:

      Military retirement around 40 isn't retirement at all. You are transitioning to another career with some supplemental income. I started collect a modest pension at 39. It wasn't enough for a morgage payment but may support a marginally squalid lifestyle. What "Rick" fails to understand is when we hit the civilain job market at middle age and some cases physically hindered its a struggle to get on the right track and continue your life with another 20+ years of employment ahead of you!

    • My one question of Senator McCain is: What sacrifices are you and your fellow Senators/Congressman making to offset higher medical and prescription fees?
      The truthful answer (which you will not hear)
      is "Absolutely Nothing"

      • John McCain is a moron and the people of Arizona that re-elected this loser should go crawl in a hole and have someone fill it in. The left got this guy the nomination in 2008 by cross-over voting, by default, those that voted for him cost Hillary Clinton the democratic nomination. Still not sure which one of them would have been worse!

    • No problem with the need for change; however, you are clueless regarding "more generous than anything in the civilian sector". Your anything includes the San Diego head librarian retiring at $270K, Riverside Cty. Sheriff Lt. retiring at greater than base pay by "spiking overtime in last 2 or 3 years and not counting selling back unlimited unused vacation/comp time. Give it a rest. Current military is very modest compared to gumment retirees. Don't get us started on the exaulted members of Congress and their pampered staffs.

    • ret major says:

      I may not have been actually shot at but the potential was there every day of my 20yrs of service. On top of that most of the time my compensation was 20 to 30 percent below the same positions in the civilian world with the same daily chances of being placed in harms way,and definetly less than most civilian jobs. At the time of my retirement my pay droped to 50 percent. my health care was to cost me nothing. then the cost increased. but tricare for life was to be no cost. I admit that when I was on tricare prime the cost for a year was less than what a month on the civilan side. Now I am on medicare and the projecfted cost for a year of medicare is going to be approximately 4 times my tricare prime cost. and my income from retirement has not increased any where that much since I retired. Now the cost of a promised free tricare for life isgoing to cost 200 dollars or more! This is not what I was promised for my 20 yrs of service to my country..

    • I served aboard aircraft carries most of my 22 year military career. We lost more personnel during peace time doing exercises and deployments in preparation for a war we hoped would never to have to fight, but we were will to step into harms way if called upon. . The personnel that were killed were just as dead as if we had been at war. Working the flight deck or on the ramp at an air station you faced the possiblity of something going wrong everyday. We did this for payment that didn't even come close to what a rookie cop or fire fighter makes. So don't tell me that I haven't earned the benefits that were promised to me.

    • If you want to cut someone's pay/benefits to help our deficit, try this instead:
      http://signon.org/sign/congressional-reform-74

    • MSgt Effue says:

      Shut up, POAG. Go get a manny and peddy and reflect on what it is to serve something greater than yourself. Military personnel earn every last perk they get and if you don't believe it, strap on the uniform and do a few tours. When you find out there's no Latte in the flea infested tent you will call home for the next 12 months, you'll better appreciate where they are coming from and your opinion will hold far more weight.

    • Stan Scott says:

      Everyone I know that served in Vietnam and even Thailand experienced threats to the bases and their lives. Fire Fighters and Police in most places can draw 80% of thier pay which is much higher than what we made when you count overtime etc…and they can retire at 55. What other job can pick you up and send you into a war zone with little or no notice. What other profession can be held in that war zone indefinetly if they choose to. I don't care as long as they give us the increases to keep up with the expenses but you can't tell me their is no inflation and then raise my cost be cause your costs went up…it doesn't stand the reality test.

    • Do you think our elected officals would agree to goalong with the same plan? Hell they give them selves raises at midnight sessions and it is A HELL OF A LOT MORE THAN A SOLDIER GETS FOR DOING A MORE DANGEROUS JOB.

    • Just out of curiosity are you an Officer who can afford to take a cut, are you a civilian who doesn't know anything about military life/sacrifices, or are you just a person perhaps who doesn't like to see other who have actually worked their lives get rewarded.

    • MSgt Jennings, ret says:

      You really don't know what you are talking about……

    • Whole lot of emotion fellas… not much logic. What are you all going to say when the cost of the retirement system (pay, medical, disability, etc.) eats up so much of the DoD budget that our men and women in uniform can't train, get the equipment they need, we have to cut the size of the force, etc. Who's taking care of the troops then? Again… face facts. The government is going broke, defense is going to have to be a bill payer, and somebody's going to have to make a smart choice on what part of the DoD budget gets cut. Reform of the retirement system is coming. All your bit$hing and moaning isn't going to keep that from happening. What we need is good ideas about how to do it with minimal damage to those most in need. And to those of you who are launching personal attacks, it's real impressive that you're doing it via the internet, tough guys.

      • Lefty's like you wouldn't know logic if it came up and kicked you in you dumb, smug face.

      • There are a few of us who would love to meet with you in person and make this debate verbal or physical. Besides that fact, you're right, when they do away with all benefits they should make all of you people who don't want to serve enlist and suck it up. Do that every four years and not have an experienced fighting force so you could all die from lack of experience. You are an idiot.

    • You are obviously not a veteran, or one that was kick out or couldn't hack it. And if you are a veteran who was honorable discharge, apparently not a retiree. Have you forgot the reason and mission. We are either fighting or training everyday for war. As you well know training sometimes emulate realtime. Accidents happen, and no civilian job ( their are exception ) has the hazards as the military. And let's not forget the separation from family for long periods of time. Heartbreaking goodbyes, are like bullets to the serviceman or woman family. Watching your children cry each time you leave is unbearable.
      Even the police and firemen get to go home most every night. The only job that can come close to equate to the military in danger. However, the family separation raises the bar. Oh, one other thing no one ever talks about; there is no overtime pay for long hours, and most days are 12 hours or longer. And I'm sure you had plans to take the family out and was told the day before it happen that you can't go for mission purposes. And once again the family loses.
      So go ahead change the retirement, and hello draft. I'm sure the reenlistments will go away. And good luck training new people every two to four years.

      E7 retiree.

    • Well Rick I can tell yo have never been in the military and should get the heck off of this site,, you liberal conservative bastard… You are lucky we gave you the right to free speech just as I have the same right , and I am using it right now.. People like you I am ashamed of that call yourself an American citizen,, oh are you… or do you just live here as a free alien from another country.. that I am paying for with my Taxes,, that you probably don't pay , cause I do not think they take tax's out of welfare or unemployment.. Get off this site,,, The true veterans of passed wars know exactly what I am talking about.. We were in harms way, whether in the field or on the flight line or in a support role to the armed service we had joined,, That we were willing to protect our country and our way of life,, so Asswholes like you can stand back and say the insulting statements like the one you wrote,,, SHAME ON YOU….. THATS FROM ALL RETIRED VETERANS / VETERANS

    • Lonewolf1_1 says:

      you must be from the other side of the war. You deffently can't be an Americal vet

    • Before they touch the military retirement system, look at the public sector retirement systems. Way more generous than the military system. Municipal cops retiring with six diget pensions, federal employees stay on workmans comp for the rest of their lives, that is full pay with promotions and no taxes taken out. Don't forget their pension is based on their whole pay, not just the base pay. Base pay doesn't include sea pay, flight pay, combat pay. They get OVERTIME, and milk the last couple years to jack up the pension to more than they made when they were working. Unless maybe you are an Admiral or General you have to get a job because you can't live on a military pension.

    • Partner, I do not know where you are coming from. I do not believe you ever marched in formation, not even a marching band…let alone spend a tour or two in the jungles of Nam or any of these deployments the present day military is having to experience. Your type of tripe can only be written in an anonymous fashion like this…it is not based in reality or empirical reasoning. I have found that the best substitute for brains is silence and you my friend need to get experience or keep your ignorant uninformed opinions out of this type of environment you dishonor those people who have served in harms way or for that matter anyone who has served their country at all.

    • freedom protector says:

      you're a tea party a-hole that obviously never served or had to use food stamps for your family to survice the "generous" paycheck received every month. I'll bet you dimes to donuts you think war is a job creator and good for the economy

      • Not sure why you would put Tea Party people with someone on the left, like Rick. You obviously don't know a thing about the Tea Party or are listening to what the AARP is telling you. I for one can tell you that there are MANY military veterans in the Tea Party. You must be one of those Ron Paul kooks.

    • How many years did you serve your country Rick? They went into this with the understanding of what they would get in return, while accepting peanuts and a life I'm sure you would never want to live, all for you Rick, because guys like you could not do it!

    • Rick,
      Try walking a mile or two in our shoes then see if you still feel the same way. Most civilians would never put up with the type of things the military man/woman have to do on a daily basis. That's why we have basic training to get civilians to think and peform like a soldier, sailor, marine, etc.

    • i agree with you, rick
      90%of the service people never see combat.
      i knew a guy who was a club steweret who served 11 tours in saigon and he was fat and way out of shape.
      he had a gravy train, so he should only get 50% of the normal retirement
      dave
      retired cw4

      • i probably agree with you to an extent, however, don't say 90% when you know dame well its not 90%. your skewing numbers to make your argument sound better. the biggest MOS in the military is, guess what, infantry. which mean the MAJORITY of people serving put themselves in harms way. and guess what the MINORITY does? you guest it, supports the infantry. so if you want to make a point then by all means do so, but don't make up a percentage that isn't even close to what the real numbers are. I do agree with you that there are people here or there that slip through the cracks however if you haven't heard they are cracking down on stuff like that. At least in the Marine Corps, there are Marines getting kicked out with 16 / 17 years in because they can't make weight. the people who do the jobs they signed up for and do them well should not be held accountable for the select few who do not.

      • RickDaveSuck says:

        Looks like we found another loser, welfare, food stamp, wallstreet occupier on this site.

    • i would love to hear what you definition of harms way is. even admin guy that sits behind a desk all day has to do patrols out in Iraq and has to deal with getting hit by mortars. i mean get real man, just because they push paperwork around all day doesn't mean they don't go out and do actual ground side stuff. i mean seriously, maybe you should think before you speak of things you don't know. i'm not saying your stupid but understand i've had 2 guys that were admin that went on a convo and got hit by an IED. one guy lost one arm and one leg and the other guy isn't here to argue this point with me anymore. so really, everyone in the Military puts themselves in harms way whether its their actual job or not. sorry bud but your comment holds no weight!

    • Rick, You wouldn'[t say this in person to a group of retirees.
      Having been in combat (not a bar fight) I gave more than any civilian.
      Use your head for something other than a hat rack!

    • There is nothing emotional here, you idiot, it's reality. If this type of program were established, retention in the military would come to a near dead halt. The type of benefits received are the only reason people make careers of the military. Otherwise, it would do them better to go get a 401k in a civilian job. You don't get people to give up months and years of time with family for something they can get in the civilian world without that sacrafice.

    • Its fine that you think this retirment plan is unsustainable or that you think its more generous than anything that exists for civilians. however, most of your aguements are based off the fact that you don't believe the military DESERVES such a retirment. if you feel the way you do about the military retirement then fine but don't sit there and tell people that did 20 or more years they don't DESERVE their retirment. all that does is make you look jeleous more than anything. i mean, who are you to tell anyone they are undeserving anything? If you want the retirement to go away then that's your opinion, but at least have your opinion based on the fact that it will actually cut the deficit were in. it sound to me that you only want this to happen because you aren't getting the same retirement military memebers are and your jelous of that fact. no matter what you say, the people that do 20 or more years in the military earned that retirement, no matter how unfair you think it is.

    • gary gilmore says:

      Dude your totally off base. Actually you may want to ask a policeman, fireman, or teacher about their retirement. Way better then the military's. I have a friend who just retired from the Michigan State Police after 25 years and he truly will never need to work again. Our retirement is nice, no doubt, but it is a Chevy compared to many of public sector workers.

    • Linda Lamb says:

      I am guessing you do not have any millitary background or even work for the government. I am a reservist, I put in 24 years, (deployed to the first Desert Storm), plus have worked for the Dept of Veteran Affairs Medical Center for 33 years and it is nothing like the private sector. Yes we have great benefits and we deserve every one. Everyone in the United States has a choice and if you think the military serviceman and a government employee has it better than civilians, then you should have choosen that career path.

    • Oh, where is the logic to your remarks? One has to take an oath to serve in the military and go to war if told. How you compare that with civilian responsibilty I cannot understand. It's not "had to" but "expected to".

      BIG DIFFERENCE!

    • First off you idiot, I spent 20 years in a combat Ops job in the Air Force. Had a wife and two kids at the start of my service career. With what they pay new recruits the first 5 or 6 years its almost impossible to make ends meet without the family help. Did you know that early service members are able to get food stamps because their income is so low. And although I didn't get to fight for my country, I was willing and available to do so on a moments notice. I was a highly trained, skilled professional, making minimum wage at best. Living out of suitcases and boxes (most time in one location, 3 years). And three out of twenty X-Mas's with family. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR YOUR COUNTRY. One thing I wont call you is a Patriot.

    • Elmo Labador says:

      The USA is bankrupt, and it will cut pay, benifits and perks to all of its workers, military and civillian. The civilian workers are currently in year 3 of a 5 year pay freeze. The military gets 3.6% this year, VA employees get nothing. The civilian workers retirement was changed from CSRS to FERS and it resulted in a 50% reduction of retirement pay. Change is comming…
      The military can not strike for pay/benifits, it will have to accept whatever is given. God bless you for your service, but prepare yourself for cuts.
      I am an old Marine working his last year as a VA employee and I can see the USA making cuts to SURVIVE. I guess it is just another sacrifice this generation will have to make.

    • Adams MR MSG ret says:

      Obviously you never put yourself in harm’s way! I've seen active and reservist injured and KILLED during training exercises. The risk was always there. Every minute of every day, on or off the clock. Don't forget about all of the time away from their families and loved ones. You sure don't see that in the civilian world. Put it ALL together a 20 year veteran has a total of 175,200 hours on their timecard (20 YEARS X 365 DAYS X 24 HOURS A DAY). And Mr. /MS Civilian with 44 years with a total of 11,440 hours on their timecard, (18 yr. old works to early retirement at age 62) (44 YRS X 52 WKS X 5 DAY WORK WEEK). Wouldn't you consider the 163,760 hours difference justification enough for the compensation that our forefathers set down for us veterans?

    • How many civilians spend 6 to 10 months out of each year separated from their wives and children? How many of them have to spend at least 6 months of that time in a foreign land without the comforts of being able to go to the store when they want, watch what they want any time on TV, grab anything they want out of the fridge, go shopping or out for the evening, have to wear dirty clothes because it did'nt get washed for a week or two, have to worry about being shot at or blown up at any time?
      I retired in 96 and when I joined I was promised retirement, medical, and base priveleges.
      I pay for my medical and even if I go on base I have to have coverage.
      So NO, my contract was not upheld for what it was supposed to be, and yes, civilians have it much better than most of us did!

  16. While I do not concur with the current ideas of trying to make it like a civilian corps. I say that even those who were not in harms way for extended periods had to live when, where and how they are told and if they said no face court martilal still merits consideration for their indentured lifestyle. Now, if they did change the retirement system, then a union should be authorized to allow a true voice of the active force to be heard and not some high paid board members.who do not worry about such things. Also, since retirement will be significantly less, pay then regular active pay should be higher and include some sort of overtime pay for extended hours so the enlisted people have money they can save for retirement.

  17. exkorling says:

    Now, let's cut right to the chase of this Defense Business Board:

    1. There were ZERO former enlisted members
    2. There were only 4 members who were former officers (one with as little as two years service dating back to 1966-68 at the Pentagon doing intelligence work, and we all know how bad the intel was in the Vietnam war).
    3. Even the subject matter experts had no enlisted member but had better military experience as a group than the actual board members themselves.
    4. Most, if not all of them, were in charge in some way of outsourcing in their careers. This is just a "PC" way of saying they were responsible for sending U.S. jobs overseas to save money and put U.S. workers on the unemployment rolls (costing state and local governments MORE money).

    I think that pretty much says it. No one with any understanding of what it's like to live in a tent or a hole in the ground or to work in extreme environments for up to 18-20 hours a day for no extra pay and no days off. I realize that compared to a civilian retirement system the current military system seems a little "cushy" and wasteful of money but then again, all those civilians got to go home and see their families every night, got most of their weekends off and got extra pay if they were asked to work longer hours, weren't told they had to relocate every 3 years and weren't told when their usefulness to the company was no longer needed just because they had reached a predetermined number of years of service.

  18. Proposed changes to the current military retirement are going to force a decision about the type of force maintained in this country. It is a very easy choice. Maintaining the current benefit system affords the American people the all volunteer force we have maintained for the last three decades. Slashing those benefits to 'civilianize' the force will create the need to reinstate the draft, or impose a mandatory military service commitment for America's young people. Personally, I wish there would be a draft, and I would hope that all those preaching 'unsustainablility' would get drafted. I would love to see how their tune changes on that day.

    • What is wrong with this country? When did we loose the 'promises made, promises kept'. Look at the waste, pure waste, of dollars. Millions to companies that go bankrupt soon afterwards. 3-4 Billion to topple a foreign leader (when did we decide this). Millions on NASA and then scrub it. When we cut all the waste (ha) then you can come to me and ask that I forfeit my present system to an unknown system. Enought already!

  19. The plan was devised by a civilian board set up by the President. The same people that will make millions from managing these funds until the retiree turns 60. So we won't actually know how the plan works for almost 40 years, which is when the first group will start receiving benefits. I would like to, but chances are very high, that I won't be around to see the results.

  20. Apparently these politicians are looking to have a "war" at home?

  21. What is the pay scale for a Congressman? What is his term of office to start receving a retirement ? How many days and nights is he re
    quired to work overtime? How many vacation days does he take ? The same person who is deciding what a military person should be entitiled to

  22. The civilians who are makeing decisions do not have all the facts.
    One example is that who do they think will train the new recruits?
    The senior Petty Officers and NCO's make up 80% of the instructors
    in all the military schools. In the field or aboard ship thease same
    enlisted men/women perform all the training of both junior enlisted
    and officer communities. Just who do the civilians think will do all
    the instructing and training if the PO's and NCO's never re -enlisted
    due to their unfounded/lack of all the facts decisions that they will
    send to congress?

  23. I recently was told by a retired postal employee that I was under a false assumption that military folks were Govt Emplyee's–He insisted that we were contract emplyeeson a 2yr ,4yr,etc enlsitment contracts —-Interesting ….

  24. Nobody deserves to retire at 38 years old, period.

    • "Retiring at 38" means you draw some form of pension the rest of your life. That doesn't mean you sit on a rocking chair and never work again. For example, go look at what someone receives as an E-7 after serving 20 years. That retired E-7 has to go get another job!

      If it is such a great deal, I welcome you to join us. We get plenty of time away from family in highly desirable places like Afghanistan or Iraq. While there, we also rest well at night knowing people outside the base are always trying to kill us. If this sounds like a great deal, please sign up.

      • exkorling says:

        Right on Scott! I harken back to an old commercial from the U.S. Army I believe it was that stated "We do more before 6am than most people do all day." That is SOOOOOOO true!

      • Its not retierment its what we earned minus 50%. Why dont u try working 20 hours a day 7 days a week ,Then come talk to us, after 20 years we still have to go work full time to break even for all the benefits the ^&*gov, takes back from us.You just dont have a clue, and you never put on combat boots

        • Your argument would be better if you didn't start it with a falsehood. NO ONE can physically work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week for 20 years. That would be 4 hours sleep a night for 20 years.

          Yes, military life can be difficult, but NO WAY is it that difficult. I know, I had well over 20 years in.

          • You sir are full of kaka. Ok 20 hours is extreme. BUt the extra long hours are endured by the military without extra pay. The military is a salaried position without OT. We lose YEARS of our family lives. So you are an ass if you think the current "retirement" which is nothing but a gratuity for service render for specific period of time. We in the military have termed it a retirement. If you even for one minute looked at terminology and practices you would have known that little factoid. I earned my gratuity for services rendered. Just cause you did not means jack and kaka and jack left town. To the rest of you who serviec God Bless you and thank you for your service my brother and sisters.

    • Its not retirement, PERIOD. It is suplemental income that is below the poverty standard. Most have to get another career for the next 20 years or more. If your not behind our troops, please feel free to stand IN FRONT front of them overseas at war, PERIOD. You have freedom and are safe at home….They are in harms way so you can eat snacks with your family at the movies PERIOD. Enough said.

    • Dear Bob,

      Do you have both yours arms and legs? Lost an eye recently? Or suffer from PTSD? These are "real sacrifices" that our soldiers are making every day for people that don't understand or appreciate them. How sad!!

    • Bob have you ever been to another country where you not wanted or not sure when you will be returnig home to your family. You should try it, yes I did retire from the Army after 20 years but with what I get for a retirement pay, I can not support my family. So I am still working. If you think that we are truly prospering from serving 20 years and collecting a retirement check, you should join up yourself, if not, do not talk about what you do not know!

    • you suck , Its your choice stop complaining and get a job.

    • It sounds like you have never served Bob. Try enduring through what most of our veterans do for over 20 years and I'll bet you change your mind on who DESERVES to retire. Plus retirement from the military is really not retirement, the pay is no where near enough to survive on, so most of us start a second career.

    • Bob (different Bob) says:

      Tell that to the Mayor in my town where all the Cops and Fireman retire at that age with six diget pensions.

    • You have not been sent to a combat zone. HOLD YOUR BREATH AN DIE!

    • bob , youve got a load in your diaper , when you get potty trained we can talk .

    • It is absolutely obvious that you never served in the military or ever had to put your life on the line as part of your normal every day-today duties. If you had experienced this you would see the realization of what it really means to be in the military.

    • Walk 20 years in my shoes and then ask yourself if you deserve to retire at 38.

    • You are truly clueless. First most of the promises that were made when we enlisted are worthless. Soldiers come back from deployment with various body parts burned/blown off. Then if they survive and are mentally able to pursue an education…there's no money for the tuition assistance that was promised. The free medical care for life costs us $460.00 and is about to go up again. Then at 65 they push you off on medicare (and yes we pay just like the rest of you for medicare). Let's not even talk about the fact that most enlisted soldiers spend the first half of their careers earning below poverty level. If they are sent overseas with their young families, there is no WIC or food stamps or any of the other programs that they sadly qualify for. If you are able to retire at 38 you are available to be recalled to active duty until your 50. So, should a war arise and the government need bodies, you get to leave your entry level job that you had to fight 100 pimple faced, no life or work experience college grads for, to go serve some more. Finally, there are lots of other tricks that come along. My favorite is to send soldiers overseas when they have 18+ years in and then tell them that they not only have to serve 3 years but they can opt to retire overseas or come back and serve an additional 18 months before they are eligible for retirement. So, you either get to retire in a foreign country which gives you not opportunity to network or prepare for a civilian career OR you get to add 3 years to your 20 year retirement. All of this for an ungrateful nation. Next time you exercise the right to freedom of speech to show your ignorance please take a minute to think about the service members who sacrifice so much to give you that freedom. If your ever in San Antonio, TX why don't you go to the Army hospital there and visit some of the 18 and 19 year old soldiers in the burn unit whose organs are laying out of their bodies because they are so burned that they have to heal from the inside out before their organs can be replaced. Then tell me that they don't deserve every penny that was promised to them.

    • While I understand a lot of the civilian thoughts about our military retirement system that let's us retire, mostly between 38 and 48 years of age, most people that haven't served don't get it! We are the one's that had to leave families with little or no notice to go god knows where, or for how long. We couldn't tell our superiors "no" when told to do something or go somewhere. Quiting is never an option for a military person. The bottom line is we serve and protect so idiots like Bob can have the right to his free speach to say what he thinks we diserve. If you can read and write thank a teacher, if its in english that a member of the armed forces!

    • Try walking 20 years in my shoes and then see if you still believe you don't deserve to retire at 38. Besides after I retired from the Navy, I worked for another 21 years at several civilian jobs. I still don't have a "cushy" retirement income and just barely pay the bills every month.

    • Calling what you get from the military retirement is really misunderstood. Of all the miltary retirees that I have known, only one person actually stopped working. I found when I retired in 1999 (22 yrs of service) I still had 2 children in grade school, with high school and college still ahead. What I ended up with as "military retirement" was enough for a mortgage payment on not too large of a house. So of course like most retirees I began a second career to pay the rest of the bills. I certainly cannot retire all the way until I build up my 401K a whole lot more and start collecting social security.

      Changing "retirements" may cause a personnel retention problem.

    • MSgt Morgan says:

      It is clear that this idiot has never done any time in uniform to make a statement like that. If he/she had any time in they would now that you are not "retiring"

    • your an idiot. i have been deployed twice carried 160 pounds on my back for 15 months at a time. what do you think that does to the body. i have been blown up on several occasions. if you think you could do this till you are 65 then please join the u.s army infantry and come to my unit so i can tear you apart. jackass.

    • Retire from serving their country bob, they do still seek work as "retirement benifits" are no where near enough to live from for the rest of your life. You serve your country 20 plus years, then we'll talk!

  25. was promised free health care if i stayed in=ha-=nqw want to kick us out at tergiving our most producyve years-then starve till we reach old age-(not much demand for middle-aged riflemen) while families starve-will we do the same to police and firemen–must be awful dumb to acceept sucnh a deal=

  26. I keep reading the word "retirement" when, more accurately, the military maintains a system of reduced compensation. Which means, we are put on hold, paid at a reduced rate, until and if we are needed again. Those who "retire" young are still on the hook to be recalled.

    • exkorling says:

      PJ,

      Exactly. All services have a 30 year obligation whether you realize it or not. If you "retire" at 20 years of service, you are still eligible for recall to active duty up to your 30th anniversary and beyond if the government is really needy. Although I believe that after 30 you can refuse to return. Just ask all the guys who either got involuntarily returned or volunteer to return (Thanks guys!!) during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  27. I get really aggravated when I see comments posted about how great a retirement the military has. If they think it's so great, why don't they join? It's one of the most demanding jobs with some of the most responsible positions one can ask. Not just in combat. Multi-million assets, and lives are at stake when one joins (i.e. aircraft pilots, and maintenance crews). It is also rewarding as an experience, not in pay. I believe most do it of choice for the greater good. If the retirement is messed with, where will the experience come from. Most won't stay. Not because they don't believe in service, but because most have families to feed as do their civilian counterparts. The pay's not a windfall afterall.

    • I can remember Congress going on recess recently with billions tied up already approved for the FAA to go to work on airports. They didn't care that thousands would have had to go to the unemployment lines because they wouldn't have money for food/mortgages etc for their families. The bottom line is Congress doesn't care as long as they get their checks and health care. Just another example of how our lawmakers don't care about anyone but themselves.

  28. This whole idea has me disgusted. Our military men and women deserve better. To take away the benefits that were agreed upon is just another smack in the face.

    These men and women who serve could be in the civilian sector making more money than they earn in service. They choose to do so because they love their county. If it were not for them we would not hold the freedoms we do today.

    You have no idea what kinds of sacrifices our military members and families make unless you are one of the few. How dare you sit back and tell them their benefits should be altered or stopped altogether.

  29. CBwrnchtrnr says:

    Rick,

    Forgive me if it appears that I am piggy backing on what others have stated before me. With that said….

    1: On behalf of those I serve beside, both past and present, YOUR WELCOME. Because of us, you still have the right to speak your opinion. You also still have the ability to voice that opinion against your govt and anything else that you "deem" as outdated, or hurts your feelings.

    2: The draft; You can bet YOUR life it will be reinstated. I can say this because as an active duty member, EVERYONE I serve with will quickly walk away from this. Why do you think we stay 20 years? The experience? The adventure? Stories for the grand kids?!?! I dont think so. So what happens then? You really think the govt wont force it down the peoples throat? Or would it not matter cause you have friends in another country, or Your safe by going to college? Get over yourself.

    • other Bob says:

      A draft will no longer work. Remember a Draft Dodger later became president. Next time they have a draft no one will go.

  30. CBwrnchtrnr says:

    3: You continue to go to your cubicle / job site / or whatever place of work everyday, and continue thinking of reasons why I dont deserve a "retirement" at 40 years of age. While your at it you do me a favor and walk around the perimeter of that work place and you tell me how many people you have to worry about who want to see you dead, just because of where your from. Then as you contemplate that, you think of how many times over 20 years you'll have to worry that you wont make it home to see your family, or worse you'll have to go home and explain to a buddies family why they didnt make it home. Get off your high horse you pompus (insert explitive).

    5: You sit up there on your little hill casting judgement thinking we dont deserve it. Quite frankly, we deserve more than many others in my opinion. No worries though, when the next draft comes, I'm sure we'll see you there.

  31. sfc hansen says:

    i served 6 years active duty and the rest with the reserves. during that period i was injured a few times and recieve a disability which adds up to 40 %. im now told that i cannot recieve both my pensiion and disability i have to choose the higher of the two unless i have a higher disability. for one i joined and served twenty years because, and as for the injuries i had no idea i would be hurt nor did i ask for it, im guessing i was put in harms way under my own signature . but i would not have stayed the twenty if i were told this by my va rep. i also was injured before i was activated for iraq and was recieving disability when i went to iraq to find out after i recieved a bill of $1700 after i came home. i was told i could not recieve both disability and active duty pay, so i had to pay it back.

  32. After Serving my country for 26 years through 3 wars, numerous deployments, and now disabled and getting older every day our government wants to cut my retirement and my disability. These are contractual obligations that should not be touched without serious consideration. There are better ways to solve the debt crisis then laying this country again on the back of its veterans.

  33. martha angel says:

    regarding our mil. benifits all i can say is the whole of WashingtonD.C. buearcrats needs to look in the mirror and thank their lucky stars they have free benifits package the minute they get elected, without even serving 2 years. it's unbelivable they want to cut mil. benifits and not their own benifits. their should be an uprising about this…. sick of the B%$%#.

  34. I don't believe individuals join the military out of patriotism anymore. I believe they join to have a job. If they don't like the benefits or feel like they are being taken advantage of, then find another job. The military is not a democracy, they are public servants.

    • Why don't you join the Military. I spent 20 years there. If you were never in, then you don't know what your talking about.

    • You should join…then you'll know the pleasures of working 16 hour days and getting mortared every night…lucky if you get 2-3 hours of sleep a night. But in summary….YOU DON'T KNOW SQUAT!!!

    • I just retired after 22- years of service.
      You are full of CRAP!!! You haven’t served a day in your life. Until you walk in tge boots of my Brother/sisters in uniform you won’t understand just like the majority if those on capitol hill.
      The proposed change in retirement is a bunch of BS! This will cause a shortage in manning levels. Why u ask… Because who in there right mind would stay 20+ years for something they might not get, if they live that long. Another point, with the possiblity of personnel only staying possibly 5-7 yes, if we go to the new change, who will be tge senior leaders and senior NCO’s??? There won’t be any!!! They would have to offer special pay to keep folks in just so there will be continuity and leadership.

    • exGI37343 says:

      I retired in 1979 after 20-years of putting up with BS from civilians like you. In case you don't realize it, you are free to run your loose mouth because of the thousands that have lost their lives and the millions that have suffered life changing injuries. These same people have put up with continued loss of benefits because of ignorant civilians that have no idea what they're talking about.. I agree with Fred, OldMSG and Tom, if you ain't been there, shut your garbage hole until you have.

    • I am very proud I served. We all know what we are in for, but these politicians like to look at the military for cuts that aren't there and act like we haven't paid our dues. Much is asked of our military and sometimes they ask too much and give less. the political machine needs to chip in. military families and all that serve give up much knowing that they are following and serving as those who came before them. Very hard to save when you don't get overtime or have a union bargain for your next raise. Try starting over at 40 when you had attained so much only to retire and start over again. Let Mccain give up something. They make all the rules and we pay for it. They even control the promotions. Less money when less deserving people don't get promoted even when you had pretty good scores on tests. Hey you people who never serve. Bite IT and to the politicians, go on social security like the rest of us real Americans.

  35. What most do not realize: Tricare cost $520.00 per year for a family of two upon retirement then when you turn 65 you get dropped from Tricare as your primary and tossed into medicare and must enroll in medicare Part B at $99.00 each per month for a family of two and now McCain wants those of us 65 and over to ante up another $200 each for Tricare for life as a supplement to medicare Part B.

    We served and endeavored for twenty plus years to earn Free Medical care for life and now it's not free. Thanks politicians!

    $520 per year until age 65 per couple.
    $2376.00 per year for a couple 65 and older plus McCains extra $200.00 each.

    $2,776.00 cost at age 65 and older.

    Thanks politicians for making my Golden years so much more affordable

  36. SSG RET. DOUGLAS says:

    Bob,
    People like you should be flushed down the toliet, with the crp for brains, PERIOD!

    • I very well see why this guy retired a Ssgt.

    • exGI37343 says:

      SSG Ret, sounds like one of those 90-day wonders that went through some damn school to get his rank. Either that our his ol man is a congressman and he is living off his daddies retirement.

  37. This administration as well as some in Congress are clueless on what the effects will be as regards "modernizing" military retirement and charging fees for health care for both active and retired members. We're a drop in a bucket representing savings compared to the waste and foolishness this government spends daily on aid to other countries, fraud, and outright nonsense.
    All of them, as well as our turncoat McCain, will see a deterioriation of talent in the service as well as a high number of JOB hunters if changes come to pass. The real talent will turn to finding another career calling. Military people today and yesterday are significantly different in the way they think and in no way should be compared to the civilians and how that applies to salary and retirement benefits. Find the savings elsewhere. Lord knows there is an abundance of savings in EVERY other area of spending. Leave the military alone fools.

    • other Bob says:

      How many planes did McCain wreck. How much would they have saved if they had stopped him from flying after the first one. OH! that's right his father was a senator then.

  38. In 20 years of active duty, we worked 40-60 years of 8 hour days…with no overtime pay ! Why would anyone pick to work 10-24 hours days, be away from family for months to years at a time and place their lifes on the line then get nothing but a civilian 401K retirement ? If they want to put the military on a civilian retirement system then start paying us civilian wages, my active duty pay of $2000 a month would then be $20,000 a month (and I did was fix aircraft) , think what a civilian wage would be for a 24 hours a day grunt ground pounder ………..!!!!!!!

  39. There are Health care providers in Florida, who are giving the $98.00 Medicare Part B back to the medicare patient. It appears Medicare is giving these health care providers too much money for what it costs them to provide health care. Now they want us to pay not only the Medicare Part B, but an additional fee on top of that. It looks like they are looking in the wrong places for savings

    • I work for a neurosurgeon and I and he are both retired Air Force (I am disabled). I can promise you that Medicare Part B does not pay doctors excessive amounts. We have talked time and time again about cancelling our contract with Medicare, but we don't do it because of the servicemen and women who are on Medicare. So, we deal with the tiny payments we get, about 10 cents on the dollar, no joke, and see Medicare patients because someone has to see them.

  40. No one including officers and I'm a retired E-8 on permeant disability can afford to live off the pension the military offers. Now they require Medicare B to even be eligible for Tricare. We pay for medical insurance both from Medicare and Tricare both. This is absurd. Congress walks out with over a 100K a year for a pension for just a 4 year term. They can't even make up their minds on passing a budget and waste hours/days/weeks, and years to just decide on what a budget is. This is nothing but insanity. In the military we have to make split second decisions to save lives and Congress/Senate can't even decide what seat they should sit down in without being told. Can't blame it all on Obama it's been that way for years. But they won't take a pay cut only a raise year in and year out.

  41. Let's cut congressional benefits and their retirement first. All they do is sit around and pontificate anyway.

  42. If you're in the military or even served, please sign this petition:
    http://signon.org/sign/congressional-reform-74

    If you agree, please pass it on to everyone you know as well.

  43. Most of us have short memories. We forget the names of the so called law makers that screwed us. We end up due to some misguided party loyiey and reelect them. It's time we as a block of military retirees vote thesemisguided people out. Remember this on election day.

  44. Don Miller says:

    Here we go again. This will never be veiwed by the people it pertains to, but I wonder who all agrees. Congress first should start having to pay for their medical while in office. There is no good reason why they should leave office with a pension after a two or four year term of office. after 20 years they can be eligible for retirement at only fifty percent of there pay.

  45. As usual some civilian running his mouth about something he knows absolutely NOTHING about. We all signed a check when we enlisted. It included everything, including our lives. Thankfully most of us didn't have it cashed but some have, too many. Others lost eyes, legs, arms. But they signed that check to protect you and yours. We are suppose to get a COLA increase on Jan 1st. I believe it is 3.6%, the first in 2 years. On October 1st we also got an increase in the cost of our prescriptions, generics went from$3 to $5 with name brand going from $9 to $12. So as usual they are taking our raise away from us BEFORE we even get it.
    The president want the military to have comparable benefits to civilian government employees. I say when those civilians have 6 month or 12 month deployments at sea, or spend 12 months or more in the sandbox away from families, gone for their daughters birthday, gone from the Christmas mornings and SO much more, then they can have them.
    Until you have walked in those combat boots you have NO idea.

    • I think you are very right I think the government should get NO pay raises, cut out their travel and make them pay medical for their family. These people have never had to be away from their family for any reason except for when they wanted to

    • Obviously Rick and Rich have no idea what the facts are. Civilians have a say whether they put themselves into harms way…every time. Military members are told when and where to go. That could mean into harms way and that could mean to a remote assignment otherwise away from their family. Civilians also don't have to work the weekends, holidays, nights, or 60-70 hour weeks, except a few positions or infrequently AND they get excellent compensation when they do.

  46. Just the same load of crap from representatives on both sides of the isle. Don't blame just the R's or D's only. It's both their faults. We need to elect people who support the active military and retirees. To those of you who comment that we retirees get too much don't seem to realize how much we give up. Not counting wars, forced separations, etc. most of us took a lot lower salary than our civilian counterparts. It's the same old story-in war we're all for the troops afterwards to hell with us. By the way I'm a 20 year disabled USAF vet and Nam vet 70-71 so if you haven't served SHUT UP.

    • Ron Paul served in the military and seems to be one of the only politicians whose nose doesn't grow when he speaks. I don't agree with everything he says, but at least you know he's saying what he believes in, rather than tell us what he thinks we want to hear like most of the rest of them.

    • boomerbodycoach says:

      Thanks for saving me the effort to type the same thing. You are so right. this stinks. If they want to change the rules, do it from now forward. We signed up under certain agreements, now they want to change the rules when we have no way of earning any more income? huh? I don't even know where to start to say how unfair and offensive this is. Let me guess. Congress still gets their perks? maybe we should cut back on benefits for persons who are here illegally before we cut back on benefits of those who have served our country proudly. I'm feeling scammed.

    • Try being disabled by TBI — which wasnt a disability til '08 … Before that it was a syndrome – a what? a syndrome…thus non disabling … and anything the military medical system did to you to correct the syndrome ?? – once under that category is also non-disabling.

      Once my record had a history of Brain Syndrome — service connected or CRSC – either way, they then not only cut my jobs ( not due to my capability but due to my medical history) they then were able to deny promotions — due to lack of job history and career potential!!! – You see, a history of TBI (now a service connected medical condition) can then be converted into a way to then force you out… Once passed over they then tried to deny retirement – for being passed over from the same disability!!! Then they offered reduced retirement but with zero disability!!! They didnt instate or reinstate disabled retired pay until in my case — 12 years later. Now that I am labelled 'disabled', I can not hold a clearance – not because i couldnt do my job, but because they didnt want to accommodate the issues for TBI – so I could.. So now, I cant do what I did 'cuz TBI is a cause to lose clearances. Just take what your given and be thankful. You are right – both sides of the legis aisle are deceitful and loathsome – and same goes for recent senior military who have since pushed to receive full pay in retirement – for being there so long— YGT kidding me…. You want to be a superpower? and run amok in places we shouldn't be? – fine pay for it ..

    • Charles Ive noticed in the past that the (R)s are a lot more eager to stick you with a voucher settlement , than pay the promise of a long term retirement , like voucher medicare , like voucher education , and Im sure that they would be glad to invest your money on wallstreet for you , I dont see the(D)s trying to cheat you out of one penny of your entitlement . but of course thats just me . Check it out Charles .

  47. McCain is nothing more than an Obama puppet. He needs to step-up and volunteer to lead the charge to get congress to start paying for their benefits.
    I to am fed up with being lied to by congress,

  48. Ken Loveland says:

    Congratulations, McCain. You have Dissed all those who spent years in Hanoi Hilton, and all of us who fought with you and tried to get you and your buds out. Now you have $ Millions (and your congressional perks) you forgot how many hours you spent at ( $.01/Hr or less) enjoying your stay there. How about you match up Congressional retirement and medical benefits with the military and and make sure it's an hour for hour match – one hour military service (including at Hanoi Hilton) with an hour as a Senator. Think it is fair??? Pull your head out of wherever you have put it and reconsider your position on charging for TFL.

    • lonewolf1_1 says:

      I couldn't have said it any better myself. By the was from from one vnv and expow to another…welcome home brother, I'm glad you made it. Now what are we going to do with this McCain fellow. It didn't take near as long for him to forget…as it did the rest of us.

    • ROBERT A. LACROSS says:

      Tell him Ken at mccain.senate.gov go on the internet and send him a message..Do it now!

  49. Lon Hebert says:

    I cannot believe that some pencil neck suite will determine whether my daugher with 11 years will get her 20 year retirement in 9 more years. those idiots do not have any idea in hell what it means to serve in the military for 20 years. I spent 21 years 10 months and 22 days. a majority of that time I was either overseas in the western pacific(by choice) or in san deigo on sea duty. these guys do not understand that the military goes out and gets shot at. they are not IMI not like civilian jobs. we deploy and guys shoot at us and we shoot back. the pencil neck suits need to listen to the senior enlisted and senior officers from each branch. ol navy saying 'IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT!

  50. It looks like life long retirement will be ousted out We no longer have people in the Military Service beyond 20 years. or more I stayed long as I could tolerant If I was too unfit to pass The PRT 's But Pass them with Flying colors on Active Duty I guess something is wrong here. I found out the hard way. The whole ideal of getting any training in Navy Reserves is help support the Active Duty Crews to back these forces up. Now I hear you can not recognize the difference Years ago back in the early 1990's The Reservist were always treated as SELRES Commonly known as Selective RESERVES Now Since the shortages of manpower in Both Active Duty and Reserves The Active Duty people are respecting both Reserves and their own counter-parts I just don't want to leave force out from another, I respect all Service members Even if I knew they were Gay or lesbian. No matter what sex too Male or female. That is another reason why 60 % of those who serve now I hope they will be continue to serve for at least 15 to 20 years or more. These members of Congress Attempting to Save money from here to there Is just plain Stupid- ass Yes I knew about those in the Navy full Time Support Which was called before 09-11 TAR program They had a retirement program going for them And before I retired from The Navy Reserves I found it was going broke. So If these Members of Congress do not want wake up and fix things first instead of blaming others Those who already retired Those who are pending retirement Such as myself Congress gets all it wants and wares WHY blame others sacrifice any Service members Retirement I hope members of U S. Congress can look this as salubrious rewards for the service members High year tenure was a joke in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

  51. WifeofRetMarine says:

    The person is correct that we will have the draft again. There will be no retention, the young will join for 4 years to get their college paid for, why stay any longer.
    I guess we should know by now you cant trust what the government promises you!

  52. Retired CPO says:

    If you want to change the Military Retirement system and TFL you should consider changing the retirement and medical care system provided to Senators and Members of he House first. Lead by example. Reduce your benefits before you reduce ours.

  53. ROBERT A. LACROSS says:

    You may wish to comment on the report that Sen John McCain is recommending to the Select Committee that Retirees pay $200/yr for Tricare For Life. ( as a starting point) and also recommending that the Co-Pay for Prescription drugs increase to $45 per prescription with increases in coming years. (may be tied to the CPI). His address on the Internet is (all lower case): mccain.senate.gov
    Suggest we make our voices heard. Robert A. LaCross, TSgt (E-6), USAF Ret, DBA

  54. i would be appauled if they got ride of the 20 year retirement. i have 9 years in and fact of the matter is the retirement is what everyone strives for. There is no other reason to do 20 plus. Now i do love "working" or "serving" the country. It makes what i do matter and it makes me feel good about myself. Either way though, there is nothing that is more important than providing for my family and setting up their future. If they did cut the 20 year retirement then most everyone with 8 plus years would bounce cause there is no more insentive. Not only that, even if they did bring back the draft it wouldn't do anything, because what would the military and gov't really be getting? All they would get are a bunch of disgruntled individuals that don't really want to be there in the first place! So what kind of product would the military be putting out? It can't be a good one in my opinion because even if someone was drafted the consiquences of doing your time and just half assing everything you do is basically nothing.

    • I only wish to comment on the draft. Originally, I was drafted during the Viet Nam era and somehow escaped going to Nam and ended up in Alaska as infantry. After my 2 years, I remained out until 82' then came back in to retire in 05'. When I was drafted, I had no structure in my life and the service turned me around to become what I am today, and while I'm not rich monetarily, I still have much of the structure I had from my time in and I attribute all this to the military. It is my opinion that every person in this USA should have to serve for 2 years of their life. I see many children in my occupation that range from 18 up, and many of them need just the structure and discipline that I lacked in my life way back then.

      • i completely agree that people could use 2 years of service to get some stucture, however, it isn't the 1980's anymore. ( and i don't mean that in a rude way) what i mean is that in todays society i believe we are spoiled. i'm in the Marine Corps and all the 18 / 19 year old kids coming in today volutarily are so spoiled and hate taking orders. i feel as if kids today were forced to do something they don't have a say in that they would just half ass everything and take orders from no one. and this comes with the knowledge of working with about 10 Marines back in 2008 that were re-called back to service to go on the 31st MEU. they hated life, they listened to no one and basically worked when they felt like it. the only reason they did do any work was cause they didn't want anything to happen to their GI bill just because they had to go back to active duty for 6 months. plus after the 6 months was up their inactive reserve time was finished. but my point is that we are very spoiled as a society and don't like to be told what to do. that is why i think the draft would do more harm then good.

  55. The people getting drafted would either finish their time and get the free college (well basically free), or they would get kicked out early and be right back to what they were doing before they got drafted which is what they wanted in the first place. Plus there wouldn't be any structure. I mean, i know if i were drafted and had to do 4 years, what kind of insentive do i have to listen to my superiors? nothing really, if anything it would be an insentive not to listen because then they would just kick me out which is what most of the people getting drafted would want anyway. so in actuality there wouldn't even be a rank structure anymore, just a bunch of kids not wanting to be there or listen to what they are told. The product the military would put out would be horrible!

    • In the first place the tour of duty for a draftee is two years, not four. Secondly, after serving the two years of active duty you are still obligated to be in the reserves for and additional six years. Thirdly, getting "kicked out" means that you have a less than honorable discharge which means that no civilian employer wants you, and you basically lose a lot of your rights (i.e. can't vote, can't own a business, etc.). Getting "kicked out" of the military doesn't mean you can just go back to being whatever you want to be as a civilian. It means that you are somebody who is disrespected by the entire civilian society, you are basically a dirt ball.

      • Ever heard of an OTH discharge? (other than honorable) when people at companies see that, they don't know why they got an OTH, they just see OTH. and the people apply are not obligated to tell them why they got an OTH. and even with an OTH you still get all the rights you said would go away listed above. the only discharge that would take those away is a dishonorable. OTH are given out all the time for military memeber who constantly break the rules, do drugs etc. infact i wouldn't be surprised if there were people you either work with, for or just know that have a OTH and you don't even know it.

  56. tankertoad says:

    All you guys should quit picking on poor Rick. This could be a very good thing, making the military like a civilian job. Just think, the next time you get orders you don't like, you just quit. That what civilians do when they don't like their job. Right???

    • Nice try, but that will never happen. The military has a different set of rules that civilians will never understand. In the first place, beside all the laws that civilians have to obey, the military also have to follow the laws of the UCMJ. Unlike the contracts that civilians might have with their employer, the contract military members have does not have an option for "quitting." If you walk off the job in the military its' called "desertion" and depending on whether it's in a war time situation could be punishable by death. No civilian job has that penalty for leaving.

      • tankertoad says:

        Well bdowns, that desertion thing could be a problem; I guess McCain and the rest wouldn't want to change that part of the contract. What about this; every civilian employee of the governement has to go through basic training (and keep going through until they pass) in order to qualify for employment. That way we will have a ready reserve force and maybe they will have a better understanding of military service. BTW, the military 'contract' is the only one I know that allows only one side to arbitrarily change the terms at will.

  57. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2766… Read anything by William Black. He was the top government regulator in the savings and loan crisis. If you want to know why they are taking our retirement and "free health care for life" then you really need to understand that it's not about politics, it's about money. To be more precise, it's about hundreds of billions of dollars that is being paid for interest to central banks that does not need to be paid but is being extracted from all of us, but especially from the military personnel.

  58. I was in for 20 years and I agree with those that feel betrayed by the system. I will say however that many in the military have it much better than I did. I went into the Air Force in 85 with promotion rates an abysmal 7-12% unlike it has been since 2000 where the promotion rates have been 20% and up. When I had gotten out in 2006, it was unlikely that you would see a service member not have a new cell phone, new car, house, etc…. I currently make 80,000 a year and take home less than I did while in the military after taxes, union dues, medical, etc… Many in the military even claim a state of residence outside of their original state just to avoid state taxes. Being in the military, I was oblivious to the real world since I was coddled under the military umbrella of security. Those of you that always quote something about losing an arm or leg, I sincerely hope that you have been in combat like many Marines and Army personnel. I know that in the Air Force, the majority were many miles if that close to the actual fighting, yet I would hear people throw that out like it was nothing. Also, don't forget that many in the civilian world do put their lives on the line daily or are in dangerous jobs like myself and do it to provide a better way of life for those around us.

  59. Brunomusarra says:

    I served for 18 years, and was released from duty in Iraq to take care of a familial obligations. My military career ended and I recieved nothing for my years in service. I would have liked to retire and under the proposed system, that could happen.

    • Unless you were seperated under less than honorable conditions, or were not reccomended for retention you have the option of reenlisting to finish your 20 years and get your retirment. It sounds like you chose not to reenlist and now you might be beyond the age to reenlist.

    • I agree – many military are not able to complete 20 years but did provide honorable service to their country. see remarks above by RANI

  60. Comments like that are usually coming from adolescents that have no idea what they are talking about. Grow up!

  61. If congress passes this change to the current retirement system it will be the end of the "all volunteer" military. For all those that are old enough to remember what the draft was like, get ready for more of the same crap we had during the 60's. I just hope if they do bring the draft back that nobody is exempt. Including females. Females in the military have argued for years that they can do just as good a job as men and have changed the way they serve in the military. So be it, then all females should have to register with selective service just like 18 year old males. The only people who should be exempt from a military draft are those who are "4-F" no exemptions for college kids, rich kids, or anyone else who is physically and mentally capable of serving.PERIOD!

  62. Sven Blit says:

    First there NO draft. Has been a draft since 1975. Anyone who joins volunteers to do so. If you choose to stay that also is a volunteer agreement. If military service was that great then no one would ever leave and hence no need for recruitment. However the reality is that that military service is not for everyone and the only way to find out is to actually join. I am a fully retired vet who served 26 years. I do feel that there should be a 401 type arrangement for those who join but it be a plan which does require that the service member also contribute and have the same restrictions as a civilian 401. The major premise of the All Volunteer Force was that pay and benefits were to be the major draw for service. In that we have been at war since 1990 has meant that everyone in the military has to sacrifice. With no draft or any requirement for national service the burden has been borne by a few. The rest of the population gets to contribute what amounts to slogans and an occasional free ticket to a ball game. Meanwhile the 1,2, 3 or more wars on (name the topic) continue and except for a few major exceptions not one member of congress, the White House or any families have seen fit to sign up. That says a lot. But the bottom line is that as a Nation we have said we pay for a military and if we do not or stop the paying then we get nothing. The proposed reductions in forces are the exact same thing that has happened after every war. But no DOD contractor will lose a contract and no member of congress need fear that a single contract will be dropped. Anyway the gays got to be allowed in and there was no riot and also there was NO rush to sign up. Everyone wants a free lunch.

    • sven blit says:

      Sorry meant to say there has been NO draft since 1975.

    • well there was no riot, but now there are lawsuits charging that the military doesn't give the same sex spouse/significant other the same benefits. The gays don't really want to joint the Army because they love the trenches (not coats) or combat, Bruce wants Maurice to get spousal preference, free health care, BX privileges, GI Bill Rights of family, etc. It was never about serving their country.

    • H_Preston says:

      Sven Blit you are full of it….the 401 type (civilian fund) plummeted when the banksters were revealed in all their glory. The Federal Reserve is just a private bank. It has stockholders and owned by private corporations but insured by the Government. The only security (if any left) is within the Military structure that abides by it's own courts and rules, supervised of course by a female Sec. of Defense. How much time has she spent in the trenches ..yeahhhhhh what ever.

    • H_Preston says:

      Get off the site Sven…you first said 22yrs now it's 26. B.S. isn't note worthy here.

  63. SSG(RET) BUNNER says:

    Other than the idiots who have obviously never served (BOB) making thier usual stupid, uninformed comments, I agree and second what has been said here. Don Miller, you hit it on the head. If the politicians get the same benefits as us, they should serve the time, same as us. After twenty years, they get fifty percent of thier base pay. Of course, we all know that would mean the politicians would have to have to give up the summer home in Florida. Also, I cannot remeber who posted it earlier (sorry) but LEAD BY EXAMPLE POLITICIANS! OR IS IT "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO"?

  64. Make sure John McCain gets this info…of all people…!! Course we all can not be so fortunate to marry a millionairess….; He thinks nothing of the military vet giving more and more…!He can go fry ice….!! Not only that he is ALWAYS so ready to send our young men and women into any fight on earth regardless…Does he think there would be enough to fight all the wars he would like us to go into ;;;if he keeps cutting WHAT WE EARNED…AS SMALL AS IT IS….; HE HAS LOST MY VOTE….FORGOOD..

    • Navy Seabee Ret. says:

      just think if he had been elected President , there isn't a war he seems not to like. He is a true American hero but he also ret. As a Capt. in the navy,collects as salary of a U.S. Senator and is married to A Millionaris. Not to shabby so why worry about our retirement and healthcare.

    • cgcharlie says:

      AMAZING HE A VETERAN AND HE WANTS TO CUT EVERYTHING FOR THE MILITARY. he should have be left in that hotel , what town was that in o i think it was called Hanoi

  65. This is BS! What the HELL do these politicians have in their heads. We sacrifice our life's and also our families to protect this great nation! Put their asses out there in the front lines, away from their love ones etc., and supposely they will change their way of thinking. There is a phase that I heard sometime ago, "While everyone sleeps and rest, others are awake protecting," something to that affect.

  66. For anyone who believes that congress should have term limits, I suggest that next election (and every election from now on) you simply "VOTE THE INCUMBENTS OUT" and we can enforce our own term limits on congress.

  67. Bobby Burke says:

    If they want to cut benifits and charge veterans more why not start with their
    great benefits they recieve by being elected. They do not take cuts in benefits
    to help the budget

  68. While in the uniformed service you are not a civilian, treated like a civilian or paid like a civilian, Why shoud the retirement benifits be civilianized? Congress should think about their own benifits. How many would be running for office if there were no life time benifits after seving only a few years, staying in plush hotels and not doing their jobs. Think about it. When was the last time a budget was passed on time?
    The men and women defending our liberties deserve everything they get and so much more. God bless our heros.

  69. How do you repay someone that has been away from their families for 20 or more years, missing birthdays,deaths,graduations, etc. These service members deserve everything they get, and more. I remember most of my youngers years in the military as struggling just to survive because of the low pay. Today my retired pay and benefits really only mean a little security. I am 62 this month and I still have to work. Do I deserve less. All of those civilians got to be with families, had the opportunity to build up strong community ties when they were young, and were able to enjoy the benefit of stability of not being forced to move every 2 or 3 years. It is NOT the same to compare the military with the civilians.

  70. Chief Browne says:

    Hey, I have an iade. Knock off starting war all over the ploace and getting us military all killed and shot up. No boubt that would reduce the demand and cost of artifical limbs and lessen the need for VA bed space: you bunch of moron congressmen!

  71. What so many are forgetting is that several of the jobs that are in demand only in a military carreer does not guarntee a job once they are retired. So many of them count on their retirement for support once out and barely earning much on these type of jobs. This needs to be taken into consideration.

  72. What the hell is happening to our country? I joined the U.S. Army back in 1964 and served for twenty-six years, retired as a MSG. I retired in 1990 on pay that was pretty damn good but not by today's standards. Anybody bought gasoline for their car lately? Anybody having any difficulty trying to make ends meet when it comes to basic cost of living? The jerks that want to make changes do so with diminishing the benefits we have (had) and most of them doing the decision making have never spent one day in the service of our country. Our last VP for example got 5 deferments during the Vietnam era. And what unit was Obama in? That's right he wasn't.

  73. I strongly believe there should be changes: Military should have same TSP benefits as civil service. Military serving in combat should rcv TRICARE for life for themselves and tricare for 1 yr for family and one year basic pay when they choose to seperate. Anyone having served 5 to 10 years should rcv 6 months severance pay when seperating and 6 months tricare for self and family. After 10 years should rcv 1 year severance pay and 1 yr tricare for family and tricare for life for self.. Military should start accumulating 2% of basic pay as "retirement" after 5 years to be effective at 10 yrs (10%) – not to be payable until reach age 40. ie 10 yrs = 10%; 20 yrs = 30% and 30 yrs = 50%. After 20 years should rcv 2 yrs severance pay, Tricare for life for self and dependents up to age 26; and start rcving retirement pay immediately.

  74. I agree there should be some benefits for those having srved but for one reason or another do not reach 20 years. OBAMACare is all about everyone is entilttled to health care – lets start with those who have honorably served in the military

  75. congree should realign their health benefits and retirement to fall inline with the military as they feel the military has it so good.

    I agree with Rani — after 5 years service or serving in combat severance pay and medical benifits should be provided as militasry transition to civilian life –

  76. Greyeagle says:

    Hey, this is cool. Doesn't anyone get what is going on? Change the Armed Forces to civilian pay. Why not? Then they can easily privatize the military. After all, we have "Blackwater" the overpaid mercenaries that so many in Congress want. That bunch wants to privatize everything else like Social Security, Medicare, Medicad, Education and what else. Why not the Military? How about the Fire Departments, State and Munnicipal Law Enforcment and, OH YEAH, how about the Border Patrol, Customs and Immigration. We can use more undocumented workers for those industries that cannot send their factories to low wage countries.

  77. Greyeagle says:

    I am 22 year USAF Retired Major with 11 years enlisted and 11 years Commissioned. I would have been delighted to avoid all the tours around the world (WWII, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba Crisis, etc) without my wife and three daughters. I did not see one of them graduate highschool, and could never afford college for them either and, I cannot count the number of birthdays I have missed, nor earn a college education under the WWII GI Bill that rightfully benefitted so many Veterans after they sacrificed so much in defense of the unserving civilians in Comgress. "Duty, Honor, Country" doesn't seem to buy much anymore,

    • You have my respect, sir, and you don't have to buy that. You and all the others that served, and their spouses and families.

  78. Greyeagle says:

    Why should Congress care, they have already privatized themselves as employees of Wall Street Banksters, multinational Corporations and the monied elites who only care about their own Patriotic Code of Honor, "Money, Power, Influence" all without a tinkers dam about the middle class of this country who achieved and produced everything good about America since President Franklin Roosevelt and until the deregulators took control since Reagan.

    • Actually it started back in 1913 when the FED was allowed to take control of the nation's currency. Until then, there was no inflation and we did not have to pay hundreds of billions of interest to the private bankers. That's what Occupy is all about, not politics, but the financial system and the lack of equal enforcement of the law.

  79. Greyeagle says:

    BETRAYAL is the only word to describe my feelings of the insideous and largely unreported destruction of our American economy since the 70's, and the attempt now to put the financial and emotional burder on the backs of the many who have died serving, and still serving, in defense off our country. I am also extremely proud of the "Occupy" movements in the many cities and towns around this nation. It is about time that someone stands for what is right and against the powerful vested interests who are controlling our governments (state and federal).
    The old Pogo saying is still true "We have seen the enemy and it is us" – my generation.

  80. My God, now retirees will pay $200 in year2012, then$296 in 2013, then they say it will go up every year after that. I am begining to wounder why I spent 23 years in the military. Yes I am proud of my country, and I would live no place else. I fail to see the resoning of punishing the military, active, and retiered for servcies rendered. I will say up front, Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain, you will NOT recieve my vote in 2012. I hope all military active and retired follow the way I feel. I cannot not vote for anyone else in our congress, only McCain and Obama, but if I could I would vote against every current member. Let us start over with new members. How can we me any worse off.

  81. Any politican including the president need to spend time in the military on the front line prior to office not hiding under the desk, and during office,,when a person spends their life in the military they should be treated with respect by the Government, those who try to take away what that Person is suppose to receive after years in the military and have spent their life doing what was required to protect the United States of America, our Country. The Military member should be given what was agreed to be given to them when recurited. Those who try to take it away or do not honor them should be sent to prison, be impeaced especially the President, who has no respect for the people who have protected Our Country,, anyone can speak words its how they truely feel that makes the difference,, but now you can tell that McCann and Obama does not respect the military personnel and should be impeached now for what they are doing or trying to accomplish in taking away the person retirement. Both of them and any polition who belittles military personnel should be sent to prision and have their belonging confiscated and all fianices confinscated.

    • the senate,including the president and all the politicans work for the people. The people don,t work for them,they were hire by the people. FIRE THEM ALL . give back AMERICA TO THE PEOPLE,AND GAVE THE MILITARY MEMBERS WHAT WAS AGREED TO. WE pay for TRI CAROR LIFE, OUT OF OUR S.S.CHECKS. before we get it and it goes to midacare or we done,t get TRICARE FOR LIFE"""thats hundred for each of us a month,now they won,t use to pay,$200.00 more each a month.thats not right

  82. And We the People should watch carefully who we vote in office,,, and all politions should be held responsible for what they say during their campain speeches so they can get elected and be proscuted for their false statement. Come ON people what happen to Honor and Respect for the People. Lets start standing up for ourselves,, we are not sheep…..Lets bring honor back in our politices and for those people in the Offices that are suppose to honor the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA, no more lies, no more waste of our tax dollar nor mistreatment of military personnel. Let's get back the respect and honor that the people deserve.

    • It doesn't matter who you vote in unless they are honest and there aren't many who really say what they mean. I think Ron Paul is one that believes in what he says. Although I don't agree with everything he says, I would rather have someone who talks straight than one that says what he/she thinks I want to hear.

  83. Adamwestiii says:

    Let's see – McCain draws retirement pay, 100% disability pay, in addition to his overpayment of being a "Senator", (a stupid one at that!). He's also married to a multi-millonaire and is still trying to screw the troops. When I entered service in 1949, I was told if I retired, I would have 100% TLC and do to changes of personnel in the Hse & senate, they are trying to screw us and it appears we just sit back and take it -but I disagree. We should get what we were promised.

  84. Shaping the military retirement system based on civilian compensation packages is not appropriate. Please show me the civilian that goes into an office daily, that could wind up in the most dangerous places in the world on short notice. There is no guarantee of surviving even the training that takes place prior to departing the US to engage in activities all over the world. If an individual takes on the burden of enlisting in service, and completes their 20 year or more committment, then there is an extremely reasonable compensation package waiting for them. It is fair, and by god it has been earned. What it is not is an entitlement, this is not a gift, but an earned compensation.

  85. First off, thank you Senator McCain for your service. However, I feel that you and anyone else now currently serving in our Congress, Senate and yes, the White House who may have served in our Military have lost touch with the meaning of Duty to God, Service before self, and Integrity in all we do. So sad. I am a 38 year Air Force and Air National Guard Veteran. I served in Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Operations Northern and Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and obviously am a veteran of the Cold War. These have been tumultuous times. And, anyone who has chosen to serve their Nation in this way deserves more than what you are trying to shove down our throats and you of all people, a Prisoner of War Survivor should be ashamed. I would like to see term limits established for all sitting and newly elected law makers, see them paid only a stipend with no retirement and no Goverment Health Plan. Afterall you are wealthy and can afford it. Try that for awhile. Give up your self voted pay raises. I retired in 2009 and have seen and experienced many changes in those years. Some good and some not so good. Change is good in some instances but quit trying to take away what we have earned.

  86. Everyone serving in congress should be discharged immediately with reduced retirement for time already served!! They definitely aren't doing much of anything moreover, the House gets to take off for one week after every two weeks of (so-called) face-time in congress!! There has got to be a revolution in this country because the 1% who now control the everyday life of everyday Americans, are destroying the very fabric of life that we have fought and died for!! Enough is enough!! And the imbecile John McCain, should be ashamed of his rotten self……the nerve!! Just a 22-year veteran of the the Gulf and Cold Wars!! I am disgusted with the corruption in our great government of these United States of America!! Dear God, where are you?

    • Steve & Debra says:

      As My Wife and I are both long term Vet's we Completely agree with your statements, But every-time Congress needs to bail out there overspending, they screw Vet's first, then active duty. How do they justify serving 2,4,8 years, doing little or nothing, and collect Better Medical,Free Travel, and Retirement then those who Truly Put their lives and that of their families through hell for twenty plus years, for country that no longer respects them??

  87. Wayne Miller USAFR says:

    This is the way I see it.
    When I joined the USAF in June 1962, retired from the USAFR in 2004
    I was told and have a contract with the U.S.government, that I would be
    given a pension, also medical benifits, and certain other benifits,
    I have given most of my life to the US of A and now they owe me.
    a contract is a contract. not like the elected members of congress and
    senate that after a few years get medical and other great benifits for only
    service a few years. they should have to serve a minimum of 20 years
    to get their benifits and have to be at least 60 to start drawing them.
    that would save on our latent cost.

    • 1. If you retired in 2004, you should have known about Tricare costs, etc. The changes happened in 1995.

      2. ONE MORE TIME – Congress does NOT get great benefits for a few years service. For 5 years of PAYING INTO THE SYSTEM, they are vested and can get 8.5% of the average of their top 3 AT AGE 62. Their maximum pension, BY LAW, is 80%. To get there, they would have to serve until into their 70's.

      Feel free to recommend we change to their system. Be prepared for a major pay cut when that happens. I for one prefer the 50% after 20 years, and the possibility of 100% after 40 years.

      • Retired 11C says:

        Well, it won't happen to the congress, prepare for the pay cut to retirees anyway. ….but you already knew that , right?

        • Look at HR3813 – recommended out for floor vote on the house. Congress will cut their retirement benefits (for those with less than 5 years in Congress) drastically.

          And I'm not certain what your point is – I pointed out that IF we go to Congress's system (as some have recommended because they think it's "2 years and 100% for life), we'll get what they actually get – 34% after 20 years, pay for it while on active duty, don't collect before 50.

    • Do you really want someone to be in congress 20 years? That just nuts!!! They should be gone after two terms.

    • Imjussayin' says:

      Now THAT is the truth and superbly said. They (Congress/Senate) are not REALLY looking to make sensible cuts and reform to spending or they would look in the mirror first.

  88. Bonnie Hausner says:

    Why are we just sitting here commenting, when we should be MOVING to get these guys out of office??? I have written so many letters to the White House & everyone else putting the screws to the vets. They don't care! So this, is wasting my time & yours. Do I feel better because I wrote it? No, just frustrated & angry!

  89. exkorling says:

    Rick,

    I think the majority of the group agrees that you're one of those that just loves to stir the pot and make controversy. Now that some senators and congressmen have actually read the report that started all this, they see, like we do that "civilianizing" the military retirement system is not only stupid but about as workable as dried cement.

    Let's leave the retirees alone and go after companies that were given billions of tax payer dollars in bailout money and then went belly up. There's savings to be had without further taking from those who've already given so much.

  90. I FEEL NOTHING BUT BETRAYAL. fOR A LITTLE WHILE i WAS A RECRUITER AND CAREER COUNSELOR. THINGS LIKE FREE MEDICAL CARE AND OTHER PROMISES I MAKES ME A LIAR. I WAS ALWAYS BROUGHT UP WITH PROMISES MADE MEANS PROMISES KEPT. DON'T FORGET WE SIGNED CONTRACTS. LET'S SEE, I WAS IN FROM 1960-1980. THE ONLY WAY I CAN SEE OUT OFRTHIS MESS IS TO REIMBURSE ME BY COMPENSATING ME WITH COMPARABLE CIVILIAN PAY FOR THAT PERIOD, PLUS OVER TIME, WHICH WILL BE CONSIDERABLE FOR TIME IN A WAR ZONE,PLUS BEING ON CALL 24 HOURS A DAY WHEREVER I WAS STATIONED PLUJS INTEREST FOR 31 YEARS. I BELIEVE I HAVE ENOUGH PROOF MORE THAN ONE CONTRACT WAS BROKEN. ONE OTHER THING.IF THIS IS THE MEANING FROM THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS THAT THEY KEEP SAYING THEY NEED TO HONOR AND TAKE CARE OF OURSTROOPS, AND THIS IW WHAT THEY MEAN, I PASS.

  91. This is by far the worst president to ever be our Commander in Chief. What a disgrace and hardship he and the 2 Senators have brought to our Military retirees. They all disgust me. I served 31 years in the Air Force and retired as an E7. Every retiree and active duty member should vote against Obama and these jerks for what they have done. Obama has only apologized for this great country and was shamed into wearing the flag lapel pin. He didn't even know how to salute when he first became president. A sorry excuse for president. His first interview was to Al Jazerra 6 days after being elected. We have a Muslim sitting in the oval office !!! Look at how he handled the Fort Hood shootings and how his administration hushed it up just after it happened. He has done a number on this country.

    • It is not just Obama it is the whole goverment if we were rich.we could pay for what laws to pass.just like all the congress and senitor who make the law of this country.Retire e-6 Vet Nam vet

    • william says:

      read the ryan budget, which cuts military retirement by 1/3. if you think that there sould be tax cut for millionare and billionare in a time of war, then you will get these cut in military benifits. the US has the best laws and policy that money can buy, why are so many surpriced, what is needed is a super pac for military issues.

  92. We as retired military personnel were toldwe would hve free medical benifits for life when we retired. If the president is so concerned about what it is costing for military medical, then why doen't he start having the members of congress start paying for their medical. The Military have given a lot more for this county than any onr an say. They have lost parts of their bodies and their lives to support military actions. Congress needs to WAKE up. Give the military what they deserve.

  93. Sergeant Coe says:

    The only way for the armed services military personnel to deal with Congress, and the Executive Branch is to become as a union with representation. Politicians want a contract with America….start with the military men and women and their families. The military active duty, reserve and all veterans can also play hard ball….we honor contracts.

  94. President Obama is our greatest president in recent years and he is not the blame. Blame the politicians who protect the wealthy Americans with huge tax breaks.

    • USN-RET says:

      You are dire need of a drug test……..

    • craig savage says:

      Ken I am ashamed that you have the same name as my son. The good thing is that he brings honor to the name. I assume that you have very little understanding of reality or you are in a situation where you are not a productive part of society and rely on the government for everything. It is people like you who would sell this country down the river for a bowl of rice and a box to live in just so you can set around all day and watch tv and smoke dope.

    • Obama hasn't done anything in his 4 years except increase the debt of the United States, but agree he's not the only cause the politicians on both sides need to be replaced.

      There should be limits on the number of terms these people serve as well and no golden hand shake when that term is done.

  95. After twenty the goverment said I would get 50% of my base pay when I retired in 1989. WELL I am still waiting for the the 50% when I got paid only 25%. Plus I was a E-6 and they are paying the same as a private.I have to buy my own dentail
    and heath insurace. I would like to see the congress and senitors live on our pay and we are not to complain about it..How can we live on this pay???????

  96. We thought Carter was bad, Obama can't chew gum and walk stright if nothing else he walks with a crooked cain like his Chicago buddies. I have no problem if I have to dig a little deeper not like i'm rich close to the poverty line but won't cry about it. JUST GET SOMETHING DONE, I would staer with his socialistic heath care boon doggle.

  97. Splintair says:

    @ Ken… Sorry to say, but Mr Obama is the golden lamb chosen to lead the USofA into Socialism. Open your eyes, America !!!!

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