Report Calls for Changes in Military Pay

After two years of study, the DoD’s 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, has made its recommendations. The changes include replacing the combat zone tax exclusion, making changes to drill pay and reserve retirement, and increasing hostile fire pay.

The report includes the following findings and recommendations:

  • Officer pay is higher than 83 percent of civilians who hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90 percent compared to civilians who have high school diplomas or associate degrees.
  • The current tax code favors high-ranking officers through combat zone tax exclusion benefits, who see less direct combat than junior personnel.
  • Each military service should have its own process to determine incentives for military and civilian personnel.
  • Servicemembers believe that current combat compensation is unfair.
  • Hostile fire pay should be increased.
  • DoD should annually recertify combat zones.
  • Imminent-danger pay should be tiered based on the varying levels of risk at different locations.
  • Further study of compensation for wounded warriors, their caregivers, and survivors is needed.
  • Reserve-component drill pay should be aligned with active duty pay.
  • The reserve-component retirement system needs to be changed to allow RC retirees to begin drawing pay on the 30th anniversary of their initial date of entry.
  • An overall career incentive special pay authority should be established that isn’t linked to specific career fields like nuclear, aviation, or medicine.
  • The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) – Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) offset should be changed to allow surviving spouses to keep at least half of their SBP.

Read Tom Philpott’s Military Update for a more detailed article. You can also download a copy of the 11th QDR report in pdf.

Check out the Pay Calculator to forecast your pay based on the 2012 changes.

About the Author

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

    Until the Polititions revamp their own pay, entitlements and retirement system, they need to leave the military alone. Unless they are willing to give up of themselves, don’t ask the middle and lowere class to give more so they don’t have to give any. PEOPLE, look up how all the Federal Poliitions are paid, all their benifits and especially their Retirement package. Even if they only serve 2 years, the get 100% of their wages for the rest of their life plus benifits.

    • retiree

      Sigh. Do people even read these boards? Congress is under FERS and FEHBP, same as the Federal Civil Service. They get 0% after 2 years – they need to serve at least 5 years to qualify, and that gets them 8.5% at age 62. By law, their maximum retirement pay is 80% (which would take over 60 years of service to earn). I KNOW this has been posted several times.

      Congressional Retirement Plan:…

      Congressional Salaries and allowances…

      History of salaries of Congress

      Proposed changes to Retirement (affects Congress)

      Length of time to earn 80%
      CSRS: 32 years
      FERS: 66 years
      Average Retirement:
      CSRS: $69,420
      FERS: $38,460

      Congressional Health Care:…

      Many of the proposed changes would IMPROVE the benefits to junior enlisted – to include increased incentive pays and increasing pay for service in areas with increased risk. If you want them to leave military pay alone, you’re happy with someone in a non-combat zone receiving Hazardous Duty Pay (which is paid for 1 day in country) getting more than someone in an actual combat zone (Imminent Danger Pay), which is pro-rated.

      • H. Allan Jemison

        Thank you. I too am tired of correcting those who never check out the claims given in those chain emails. I don’t know if it’s just laziness on their part or their desire to accept unsupported or out of comtext statements to further their own agenda.

        • Charles

          H. Allan Jemison,

          Yep, same old DEBUNKED chain emails getting posted here everytime a new article is posted.

    • Kelly

      Also, if the politition should die their surviving spouse gets their full retirement.
      That is not how it is for the military spouse!

      • retiree

        Did you read the links I posted? Congress is under FERS, same as the Civil Service. Like the Civil Service, they have SBP – exactly the same one as us. So no, their surviving spouses do NOT get their full retirement.

  • a random private

    Im not sure that the combat pay based on varying levels of danger is wise. Sooner or later if that takes effect you will see a story of some private who got himself and his battle buddies killed beause he put himself in increased danger for the extra money to pay off a loan or something like that

  • Jack Closson

    I agree somewhat with “a random private”. But it makes sense in some respects to tier combat pay based on location. As for “Teddy”, while I believe Politicians should realign their pay and benefits, this new structure seems to be a proper move for now.

    • Bill

      Listen, the proposed changes will result in most soldiers/officers getting less money – simple as that

      • Charles


        “Listen, the proposed changes will result in most soldiers/officers getting less money – simple as that”

        Please explain.

    • Charles

      Jack Closson,

      Yes, absolutely a tier system.

    • wil

      I don’t agree with any of this…for one, there is no amount of money or compensation that can replace uncertain expectations of life or the fear one goes through combat or even the thought of having to do combat and its possible individual disabilities for maintaining our American Way of life in accordance with whatever the Citizens of our Great Country (mostly the whims of Politicians deem required) desire and expect from Military Personnel. The hype of Performing Military Service for Honor, Glory and and Love of Country is NOT the whole Story. For many of us it is a JOB to Support ourselves and Family. This side of the story is seldom told. We are proud because we strive to be the Best at what we do . . .We have to be the best to survive. No amount of compensation can replace the required effort and sacrifice required to accomplish what the American People and our Leaders require of Military Personnel. Yes affordability is an issue of concern . . . But present compensation is is already accounted for in Budget . . . Why are additional programs being installed when it is already know that thay will exceed the available funding . . . Because the protection of our RIGHTS are not as important as the desires of some Special Interest Group That may or may not obtain votes for a Politician????


    PART 1
    Remove the tax free status and watch the number of reservists who volunteer (or can go at all) dwindle sharply. That tax break allows many a reservist to take on this service and be able to keep their pay even for their families at home. The tax credit “solution” is a joke. You can’t pay your mortgage this month with a weak tax credit that will come sometime after April.

    I would say almost every reservists serves out of pride for country and not money. The report seems to think we are all getting crazy rich on 4 days pay for 2 days drill (Overpaid? Work for the month starts and stops with the start and end of drill?…..yeah right lmao!). At the end of the day if it costs you money to go or will lead to foreclosure who in their right mind would go? Yet that is essentially what the report’s authors are “recommending” with their changes.

    • retiree

      No, it is NOT saying reservists are getting “crazy rich” on 4 days pay for 2 days drill. Currently reservists get 4 days BASE PAY for 2 days (4 IDTs). They get NO BAH or BAS for that time. Nor do they get active duty credit (improved retirement benefits). The proposal is for 2 days pay (Base, BAS, BAH, incentive if available), and it would count as active duty time. That improves the ability to get to 1730 active duty points (20 years active duty), and reduces the accounting. Now does 2 days base, BAH, and BAS equal 4 days Base pay only? Depends on rank and location.

      The tax credit vs tax-free again depends. You bring up a good point. the flip side they point out – at a $10K credit, the junior enlisted make out much better than the senior enlisted and officers. Current system favors senior enlisted and officers, as they have a higher pay to be tax-free.

      • retiree

        Correction to self – it’s 7300 points for active duty retirement (20 x 365) – sorry about that.

      • GO NAVY

        Tax credit vs. tax-free….trades one problem for another. So it is a better deal for the jr. enlisted but now you can’t get senior enlisted or officers (reserve) to go because it would lead to financial ruin. Even the jr. enlisted would have to agree that there is not much of a force if you can’t get senior NCOs and officers to stay in because an IA is not worth losing a home/putting their family on the street.

        One critical IF on the pay side, that assumes they give you the BAH for where you live and not the crazy live in box BAH2 that we get now when we go on AT. They do that, then near everyone is at a loss. With the gov I assume nothing espeically if it is for the good of the member.

        • retiree

          If you have financial ruin because you don’t get tax-free status when you deploy, you need to start looking at your finances. You MAY NOT deploy to a war zone – especially for reservists you may deploy as back-fill here in the US. NEVER count on the tax-free status- instead assume you won’t get it, and then use it when you do to pay off bills, or save, or otherwise use it as a bonus.

          Not certain what BAH2 you’re talking about – as a reservist you can either get BAH at your duty station or at your home of record. Depending on where you deploy, one or the other is better.

          • GO NAVY

            You only get BAH (full based on your zip) when you MOB, go on ADT orders over 30 days, or take an ADSW. For AT we get BAH2 which is some number they use based on a “national average”. For my last 14 day AT it amounted to something like $350 doallars. If my real BAH was used then I would have gotten $1100. So…..if they use BAH2 you can see that pay would take a serious hit. Since the rule is under 30 days is BAH2 then reserve pay would take a serious hit.

            And yes, I COULD be called up for a state side recall but when I roger up to go to AFG (with the tax free status factored in as there was no mention of this when I rorged up) and then they speak of pulling it then I say it very much feels like changing the rules of the game.

          • GO NAVY

            As a ref:

            BAH II (Reserve Component/Transit)

            BAH-II (RC/T) is the housing allowance for members in particular circumstances, for example, reservists on active duty less than 30 days. It also applies when a member is in transit from selected areas where no prior BAH rate existed. It does not vary by geographic location. BAH-II (RC/T) was set based on the old Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), which was based on the national average for housing. BAH-II is published annually and is determined by increasing the previous year’s table by the percentage growth of housing costs.

          • retiree

            Which would not apply to a long-term recall (no one is activated for 30 days to go to Afghanistan), which is what I thought the comment was about. Sorry.

            Personally I would like the same BAH rates to apply to all active duty,

          • retiree

            EIther way, the proposed 1 days pay (with BAH and BAS) for one day’s drill would NOT be 1/2 the current 2 days pay (no BAS/BAH) for one day’s drill. The exact relationship would depend on BAH rate.

          • STATMATT

            I disagree with the tax-free status upon deployment. They state that the enlisted makes …% more than people of the same degree and status in the civilian sector. In most of my Soldier’s cases that is not true. Almost everytime a mobilization opportunity comes up I have half of my company volunteer until they find out which section under title 10 the orders are or if they will qualify for the combat zone tax exclusion. Then about half of the number that volunteered have to pull their names b/c they will be taking pay cuts of 20 to 30%. It just isn’t feasible. I don’t care who you are you are not going to plan your budget to your military career which takes a little more than 10 percent of your year and adds to your annual income not takes away from it. I manage my wealth to make more wealth and sometimes that means taking risks with large ongoing monthly payments. Something that being mobilized cannot support. I’m also enlisted, so none of that officer privlige bologna!


    PART 2
    Think it is a reserve only issue? When the reservists start dropping like flies because large swaths can no longer afford to serve the AC side will be sent on even higher tempo. Last number I have heard was (in the Navy for example) the RC side represents 20% of the manpower but over 40% of the IA billets and growing. That is a big gap to fill and that means many more from the AC side of the house will get their boots sandy in our place.

    Take away the tax status AND increase the operational tempo for the reserves….sounds like the formula for ending the reserves. Only a “Dr.” of economics with no service history or risk of deployment (or financial disaster from this proposal) could come up with something so Ivory Tower and unreal.

  • greysides

    Just another reason to have a clean sweep of Congress this November. Will we have to march on Washington again to preserve what we were promised and earned in our contracts with the government? Not if we vote them all out. The military vote is essential to politicians.

    • retiree

      So you’re against improved pay and allowances? (hint – READ the article. Most junior enlisted get BETTER benefits under the proposed changes than they do now).

      • Bill

        I’m not sure that junior enlisted will get better benefits – the proposals appear to reduce tax advantages for officers/senior enlisted and most junior enlisted will not get more money

      • Bill

        I’m not sure that junior enlisted will get better benefits – the proposals appears to reduce tax advantages for officers/senior enlisted and most junior enlisted only improve situation by comparison

      • Bill

        Spent 6 years on active duty and 24 years as a reservist with some overseas tours – only 1 combat tour to Iraq. You really can’t make reserve pay and active duty pay exactly 1 day for 1 day – for example I know active duty while not deployed get most weekends off and get 30 days of paid leave – this is at least 100 days of pay for not working – so if reservists get 24 days of pay for not working it’s OK plus most reservists pay their own way for assignments over 200-300 miles away

  • Being a soldier is tough. We’re the ones with the potential risk of not being here tomorrow every single day whose pay and rights get changed and cut the most (maybe not the most but much too often). This makes no sense to me. Pay scale based on danger in a combat zone? How the hell are you going to regulate that? It’s called murphy’s law. The garden of eden could turn out to be hell in fractions of a second.

    “Officer pay is 83% higher than civilians with bachelor’s and masters degrees.” “Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90% compared to civilians with high school diplomas and associate’s degrees.”.

    NEWSFLASH: …….Civilians don’t fight wars.

    Are those who proposed this nonsense serious? The government needs to quit toying around with its own.

    • retiree

      News flash – the military is NOT about getting rich.

      • Dennis Clark

        News Flash,,,,,I don’t recall anyone signing the contract so they would be the next millioaire. I can remember living from payday to payday just hoping I could pay the rent, feed my family and then leaving them for a 8 month deployment. Come on people, the entire country is overpaid, just ask my CEO.

      • Dwight

        I agree that the military is not about getting rich but I also don’t agree that we should be making less for putting more on the line. I made more as a civilian with only a high school diploma than I do as a member of the armed forces. I accept this fact but there should be more equal pay across the board.

        • Charles


          I agree it isn’t about getting rich, but at the same time, I don’t think soldiers are underpaid either.

          Note, I can see you possibly making more in salary, but there is no way when you add in your benefits that you made more. Of course this is just my opinion.

    • Charles

      Isaac A. Shepard, Part 1

      “Being a soldier is tough. We’re the ones with the potential risk of not being here tomorrow every single day whose pay and rights get changed and cut the most (maybe not the most but much too often).”

      Actually, I’ve never seen any cuts, only more and more monies and benefits added.

      “This makes no sense to me. Pay scale based on danger in a combat zone? How the hell are you going to regulate that? It’s called murphy’s law. The garden of eden could turn out to be hell in fractions of a second.”

      Makes a lot of sense to me after I read the report.

    • Charles

      Isaac A. Shepard, Part 2

      “Officer pay is 83% higher than civilians with bachelor’s and masters degrees.” “Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90% compared to civilians with high school diplomas and associate’s degrees.”.

      No, that isn’t what they said at all, not even close. I would attempt to explain, but it is in the report.

      “Are those who proposed this nonsense serious? The government needs to quit toying around with its own.”

      I think if you were to read the report, it would explain a lot of what talking about.

      • Komplikator

        “No, that isn’t what they said at all, not even close

        If that is true, Charles, then the author of this article flat lied

        “Officer pay is higher than 83 percent of civilians who hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
        Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90 percent compared to civilians who have high school diplomas or associate degrees.”

        That is cut and paste.

        ‘Couse there is no way to compare the responsibilities of a Liberal Arts major 5 years out of college doing almost anything with those of a 1st Lt commanding a Platoon, either, is there?

        Or how can you compare a E-6 Platoon Sgt’s responsibilities with those of some one driving a delivery truck or working in a neighborhood service station (not a dealer shop)

        • retiree

          Higher than 83 percent of the civilians is NOT 83 percent higher. Learn math. Same with the enlisted. Basically, we get about what the civilians get in base pay.

          Oh, and if you want to get rich, don’t join the military. It NEVER paid as well as it has now, and NEVER approached civilian pay as much as it has now.

          Again, if folks would read the article, it mainly talks about INCREASING benefits (including incentive pays) for military. Try reading the article instead of instant venting. You might not sound like an idiot.

    • Chief

      Let’s look at the pay of the jerks that did this so called study. The civilains who decide what the military personnel are to be paid get paid way too much.

      • Charles


        So, before a study can be taken seriously, we need to find out what those doing the study make a year?

    • IDon’tFeelRich

      Interesting how those stats are viewed as “military is paid too much” rather than “the civil work force is paid way too little” considering my grandfather, who just ran a small grocery store, was able to make enough to buy a new car every few years without financing, like everyone else. How many of you can buy (not finance, straight up BUY) a car every few years?

      We shouldn’t be getting paid less, everyone else should be getting paid more. Didn’t the CEO of Oracle just buy 98% of the island of Lanai?

  • Mike

    I think they will shoot themselves in the foot by cutting the reservist pay.
    1)We have to stay current with the AC, and you can’t do that one weekend a month, it involves much more dedication.
    2) Why put yourself at risk, of deployments every 2-4 years put your life on the line for $100 a weekend.
    3) I make 50% more at my civilian job than my military job on AD.
    I am super loyal and patriotic, but I don’t see the same leadership in congress that the Army expects of me. Maybe we should reevaluate Congresses perks?

  • Charles Black

    They think if reservist is paid 2 days Army pay for a week-end is fair. Most civilian jobs pay time and a half on Saturday and double time on Sunday plus you get to come home at night by supper time. If you are to stay at work all night Friday and Saturday you get into double time and per diem, not a tent. Plus why should a part time soldier need to serve combat tour after tour because the miltary decides a draft is not needed so junior and their parents don’t have to protest or leave the country like my Vioet Nam days. I dare congess to screw around with the Guard and Reserve – who is going to fight the continious wars they want to fight – not those fat boys in Washington

  • Big Blue

    I just returned from Kuwait doing customs and let me tell you… I was definitely OVERPAID. We may have worked maybe 15 hrs a week. We don’t get paid to work we got paid to stay away from our loved ones.
    As a tax payer I was outraged. We also have free food to eat at the DFAC’s (dining facility) and we were still paid about $325 for food costs. We also got $3.50 every day just for “miscellaneous.” I always felt bad because our Army forces coming from the battle field were getting paid just as much as we were. We received Hazardous pay and Immenant Danger pay as well and we were no where near danger.
    Oh, and junior officer’s are definitely OVERPAID. I love serving my country but enough is enough. Our debt is far too great to continue like this.

    • AFRC Retired

      I concur with the over payment! I was @ the “Rock” in 04, no idea where my chem gear was, & we would go down town on outings! They need to pay according to actual imminent danger!

      • Charles

        AFRC Retired,

        Good to hear some first had accounts of what this article is about.

        • TSgt USAF

          Charles that is not everyones first hand expierence. The hazard pay does change depending on your location. We all dont get to go downtown on little outings. If you want your own first hand expierences join up and go to the middle east yourself dont listen to someone who has not been their in almost 10 years because alot has changed.

    • Rocafella

      The funny thing about the situation is, the civilians come to these same combact zones and get over paid. These same civilians have HS diplomas. Im really want to know what make them so much better than us. 3 times what we are making. Guess it dosent pay to want to fight for your country now a days. We still have loved ones we have to take care of. Then god forbid if we done make it back home. O……thats right our wife gets chump change for her lost. Wow………where do we go from hear!

    • Army CPT

      So if you were so outraged, it didn’t stop yo
      u from collecting you paycheck. Explain to me how junior officers are overpaid??? We are the front line leaders that have to make the life and death choices in the heat of battle. This article should be about the greedy military contractors that are lining their pockets with boots money from my fellow Soldiers. And You worked fire them. Be a power of the solution and not part of the problem and don’t support these over payed contractor jobs! CPT, OIF Vet

      • robert

        if you were an army Cpt did you take writing in college i have to wounder. But as to overpayment let thoes people taking pen in hand to down sixe our military serve in the uniform and combat kit they must carry in there backs. Breaking down there Young strong bodies till after a 20 year carrier there’s not much left to start a new job that will pay there bills if they get full retirement. Let the suits survey this how many retired Military Vets have to get a full time job to live, and look at the civilian who did the same who retires and does not have to. Whos over paid yes civilian contractors are paid many times more than the military.

        • potorkettle

          robert – seriously? Criticizing Army CPT for his writing? Did you even go to high school?

      • robert

        Well civilians are more important than or military men and woman serving in hot sport around the world. and for Congress men and woman lord only knows who or what they serve. It not the public they should be serving, It is but them selves look at there pay and allowances WTH. So Our Son’s and Daughter’s server for many reasons least of which is the money, Look at all or soilders who have to ask for welfar just to suport there family and that is with all there so called over pay Well From this retired Vet i say Bull We did not lose our friends and fellow soliders for money we did and they do they jobs because it is a calling See it is not a draft Military they asked to served and serve to do what they feel is wright to defend the right of all people around the world to be free to life there lives from birth to death with out fear of being killed. Think about this then ask your selves what that is worth to sleep at night with no shelling or gun fire in your back yard and then maybe you all will rethink what you have said about our military being over paid what a said day to have read some bull like this.

    • James

      let met explain something to you.If you feel that way give your money back or give it too a charity. People like yourself are the main reason why the people on the hill want to cut benefits to soldiers now. Everyone’s situation in the military is different. Think about that before you make idiotic comments. Just so you know, I have been in the Army for 18 1/2 years and have been stationed all over the world. If you were not enlisted before the year 2000, during the Clinton years, you have no room to talk. We had no money for equipment, and hardly any benefits.

    • TSgt USAF

      Big blue if you think you are overpaid in your little cush office job when you go to the middle east dont go stay home. For the Airman, Soliders, Marines, Sailors, and Cost Guardsmen who have to convoy and leave the airconditioned office to work we earn are checks and the $325 a month for food cost goes to the family members that are left behind and if you multiply the $3.50 a day you get $630.00 for 180 days for incidentals. The people who are over paid by the government are the ones on unemployment and other government funded programs maybe we should cut their pay. The hazard pay and immenant danger pay does differ from spot to spot.

    • Charles

      Your an idiot i was in Baghdad we worked 14 hr days doing detainees ops. We had the deck of cards personel there and you say no danger you lived the life of riley in Kuwait you jack wagon.

    • Buzzy

      Big blue let me in on your job! How can I do that in Kuwait? Give me networks/ connects… Did you the customs gig as a soldier or civilian?

    • John

      Well then maybe CUSTOMS should take a pay cut! Because I spent a year in Kuwait working 15-18 hour days running convoy security in and out of Iraq daily. And that part about no danger in Kuwait is total BS and you know it! Stop stumping for the Libs and remember we are not always paid for WHAT we do so much as what we are WILLING to do, which is 99 percent more than the average American!

    • GO NAVY

      @Big Blue

      Maybe you would like to write the families of every 03 and below who gave limb, mental state, or life and tell them their loved one was OVERPAID. I am sure the wifes/husbands/mothers/fathers/sisters/brothers/daughters/and sons would LOVE to hear your perspective on who is worth what in the military.

  • Spc in the tn national guard

    i fully agree with gonavy and random pvt on it the way it all stands now there are a lot of us that do it for pride not pay take me i didnt get extra money when i got in and when i reup dont expect any than either i do it out of pride thats it

  • Coastyl

    Translation – Cut pay, benefits, and retirement !!

    • Charles


      I first joined up in 1969, and retired in 1995. To this day, I have never, ever seen a pay cut, benefits cuts or my retirement cut. What I have seen, is my retirement pay and benefits go up, never down.

      • Dwight

        As they should!! You gave your country your time which is more than what can be said of the majority of the population. I’m sure you didn’t do it for the money but you should be paid for your sacrifice. If you don’t want the money, you always have the option to send it back or give it away!!

        • Charles


          Never said I didn’t want the money, I was only defending against what was said by Coastyl “Translation – Cut pay, benefits, and retirement !!”

          IMO, the statement he made was false!

      • robert

        but does you pay match your civilian counterpart i dont think so

        • Charles


          According to the 12th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, yes it does for a large percentage of us.

          “Officer pay is higher than 83 percent of civilians who hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

          Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90 percent compared to civilians who have high school diplomas or associate degrees.”

    • retiree

      Hm. Increase incentive pays. Increase combat pay. Reduce age at which Reservists can receive retirement. yep, sure sounds like cuts to me.

      Do you read the article, or just automatically post ventings on the military?

  • kkaiser

    Comparing the pay and benefits of folks in the service with those in the civilian sector doesn’t wash. Although I am retired I don’t think things have changed much. As pointed out by some civilian counterparts do not have to go to war or anywhere else they are sent at a moments notice. Secondly most civilians work an 8 hour day vice the 12 or fourteen hour days I recall. They are not asked to stand watches i.e. additional time away every two or three days. Looking at it from the Navy side the compensation CO of a carrier (responsible for a 6000 person organization and the billions of dollars of equipment or Submarine with a smaller crew but greater risk for instance is significantly less if their even was a civillian counterpart

    • Charles


      You said “Comparing the pay and benefits of folks in the service with those in the civilian sector doesn’t wash.”, yet you turn around and do the same thing in what you posted, and others continually want to compare themselfs with Congressmen and even the President.

      • kkaiser

        I am not sure what you mean. What I meant was that comparing the civilian sector with the Military makes several invalid assumptions. First of all as many have said, the civilian sector doesn’t get shot at, secondly they put in an 8 hour day on the average while the military day can be 14 to 20 hours, in many cases the military doesn’t give you a weekend off, civilian life is stable you are not forced to relocate from a house that cost you 125000 to an area where an equivalent house runs 350000. There are so many intangibles that are not taken into consideration in studies like this. That is what I mean by it doesn’t wash. I never compared that to the salary of the President or Congress.

  • Joe

    Maybe we should do a study on congressional pay so we could screw them like they’re trying to screw military personnel. They must have been playing with a wegee board and smoking dope to think up all this crap.

    • Charles


      HUH. Just how are they trying to screw the troops?

    • retiree

      Increased incentive pay. Increased combat pay. Reducing the retirement age for reservists. Yep, sure sounds like they’re “trying to screw military personnel.” Did you even bother to read the article before you posted? They actually want to INCREASE our benefits.

  • Topboom

    This is setting up a big cuts in pay to our military forces. How about we do a pay/compemsation study on Congress? They ‘work’ less than 105 days per year, and have benefits that make military retirment benefits look like ours are ‘unearned’. How bout we look at this President’s compemsation? More than 100 trips to the golf course, untold numbers of basketball games, 16 + vacation, and all in 3.5 years.

    Our military forces put their lives on the line. Senators, Congressmen, and Presidents don’t.

    • Charles


      “This is setting up a big cuts in pay to our military forces.”

      What big cuts in pay? Have you posted to the correct article?

      • retiree

        Looks like most folks here have an automatic posting mode. Why bother reading the article before commenting? That might mean they actually have to think.

        Increased incentive pay. Increased combat pay. Reduced retirement age for reservists. From the postings here you wouldn’t believe it was in the article. And they wonder why Congress and the public ignores them.

        • CS2

          I would have to agree with you. Congress is just compairing our pay to civillian pay. I am active duty and my husband is reservist and I am glad that they are looking at revamping the reservist pay to make more since and I am also glad that they are makeing it easier for reservist to get retirement. The reservists are also civillians that leave a job and support their country and get payed crap in my own opinion. that you for look at the reservist side and trying to fix it. And alother thing leave the active duty pay and benifits alone. Retiree that you for noticing that most people do not read the article and they should before posting.

        • 30 yr vet

          When the study says enlisted and officers are overpaid compared to their civilian counterparts based on outmoded ideas of education levels of the force, you don’t think that is setting things up to reduce pay?

          • Charles

            30 yr vet,

            Nowhere in the article or what the article was based on did it say enlisted and officers are overpaid compared to their civilian counterparts.

          • retiree

            Where do you see it saying we are overpaid? I read that we are paid at the higher end of the scale for those with similar backgrounds, but an 90th percentile means 10% with a high school or associates degree still make more than the average enlisted person.

          • eye in the sky

            overpaid compared to civ counter part- well that only depends on your job. There is alot of jobs in the military that pays less than their civ counter part

          • Charles

            eye in the sky,

            This article about the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation doesn’t say that any of us are overpaid compared to our civilian counter parts.

    • chris

      You are right brother…. we all know they will be looking to cut our pay in the near future to pay for their travel expenses to Europe, 15 dollar donuts, and the list goes on and on. Congress was never intended to be the way it is. it is supposed to be a part time gig, and then the congressmen go home to their consituants. The president has spent millions and millions on vacations to Hawaii, and expensive resorts – oh wait, that was his wife at the $100,000+ a day resort. they need to cut their wasteful spending before they look at us.

      • Charles


        This article is about increasing our benifits not about President Obama.

  • tunafisher

    The ones who are making this bullshit up hasn’t served! You want to change it stand a post first!

    • Charles


      This is about better benefits. Have you read this article?

  • walt. AWCS

    The article said that enlisted pay was 90 percent higher than the pay of civilians who have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree. Enlisted military personnel deserve a higher pay than civilians with HS diplomas or AA degrees. A HS diploma or AA degree virtually have no meaning, and a Bachelor’s degree almost has no meaning. That is except entry level 10 dollar an hour job. Enlisted personnel deserve higher pay by virtue of the jobs they do. Any bureaucrat, civilian or military or government that fosters cutting enlisted pay need to ask one themselves one question. Do we really want to bring back the draft? If so, then everyone is eligble to be drafted including the so called elite and priveleged class. It is the enlisted ranks that make up the military might and do the hard work.

    • Jim

      I agree with Walt.AWCS (and being a former P-3 Engineer, I don’t agree with AW’s often…just joking..) In addition to what Walt points out, military pay is also based on a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week agreement with Uncle Sam, not the standard 8 hour a day fare that civilians are use to and no guaranteed domicile, married or not. Someone calls – we go – It’s as simple as that. Let one of the bean-counters/hacks that did this evaluation try to be come to terms with being “owned” like military people do and see how long they’d last, let alone how much they’d want in “fair” compensation. One thing they point out that is worth looking at, is how much Junior Officers are compensated, but in the context of what they do in comparison to Senior Enlisted personnel.

      • rdp

        Seriously Jim! Being a former P-3 Pilot and JO you are full of it. Please explain to me what a JO does in comparison to Senior Enlisted and why you think a JO is over compensated? Who makes the ultimate decision? The MC/PPC and you know it! To say that an Senior Enlisted did more work than me is rediculous.


      OH wait and you all forgot. We only have boys. If the draft comes back in the days of equal rights for women. It is time the girls have to register and be drafted as well.

      • Charles

        AF SPOUSE,

        I feel that drafting women in the military is nothing but a pipe dream. Never going to happen!

    • Dwight

      There is no way any enlisted service member that supposedly makes more than their civilian counterpart should ever qualify for govt help programs like W.I.C (ask me how I know)!!!! No, I didn’t join the military to make it rich. I knew going in that I would be making less money but I do it anyway. That is not to say that I wouldn’t like to be better compensated for the time I do spend away from my family and friends. My average day is 12 hours while in garrison and any where from 14-20 while deployed. What gives anyone that does nor serve the right to start talking about the military is overpaid? We are definitely not compensated enough as we should never have to worry whether or not we can make our house payment, car payment, utilities etc. Nor should we ever have to worry about our family being taken care of while we are gone! So me one politician in Washington that deserves to be paid 6 figures? How about we start paying them like an enlisted solider? First year in office, you make E-1 pay, second year, E-2, etc. If they get caught in a scandal or any other kind of trouble, you go back down in pay and if you have passed the allowed time to serve at that level, you are booted out like they do with the military. Pretty sure we would be rid of most of these career politicians and have people that really want to be “public servants” again. Sounds like a good idea to me but it would never happen as congress could never ever consider cutting their own money for the sake of the greater good!!!

      • Charles


        As I’ve seen it, bing on W.I.C. is self imposed, just like those service members on Food Stamps.

        As to the military being “overpaid”, maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see the article above say anything of the sort.

        Seems to me that most of us don’t like the comparison of soldiers being made to civilians is very much disliked, but then many of us turn around and compare ourselves to Congressmen. Just a note, using the same factors they used for this 12th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation doesn’t fit when comparing us to Congressmen any more than comparing soldiers to what CEO’s make.

        Note: Congressmen have not had a pay raise since 2009, so they have cut their own pay.

      • Doug

        What gives anyone that does nor serve the right to start talking about the military is overpaid?

        It is very simple…..YOU joined the military that is controlled by the civilian world…YOUR boss (civilian) decides what your pay and benifits will be. YOU may choose to stay in your job (military) or enter the competitive word of being a civilian and sell your skill set. I left the military after 6 years in 1974 because I felt like I wanted more for my family. I have never regreted that decision, we have done very well. I was successful in the USMC (E-6 under 6 years) and have been successful “out here”. If you are unhappy with your life in the military come join us and see how well you can do. Now that the war is over you will probably see many changes in the military, including a tightening of the pay scale and promotion oppertunities. It has happened after every war in our history and I see nothing to suggest it will not happen again.

        • Charles



    • retiree

      No, it said it was higher than 90% of the civilians – which means it’s in the 90th percentile.

      If you want to get rich, don’t join the military.

      Now, read the article – increased incentive pay. Increased combat pay. Earlier retirement for reservists. Sounds like INCREASING benefits to me.

      • kkaiser

        There is one niggling little question that doesn’t get addressed. If the military sector is so much better than the civilian sector why aren’t more civilians joining the military? Why are folks making 3-5 combat tours when there should be so many folks lined up for the cushy overpaid military?

        • retiree

          Because the military is capped. Recruiting for the last several years:

          2006 Recruiting Data

          2007 Recruiting Data

          2008 Recruiting Data

          2009 Recruiting Data

          2010 Recruiting Data

          2011 Recruiting Data

          2012 Recruiting Data… through April

          Bottom line – we’ve been getting all the recruits we’re authorized.

          Why multiple tours? Because the military is capped, so the same folks need to do the same tours.

          You want more people in the military? Lobby Congress to expand the Army again – and be prepared to pay for it.

          • kkaiser

            I would not have a problem paying for it, but we should not have to pay for it if we cut other programs. There are agencies which no longer serve a useful function, their are programs funded by the government that are not a government function we provide aid to countries that turn around and stab us in the back.
            Also having also worked defense for several years on both sides of the fence I am aware of programs within DoD which could be cut and changes to aquistion policies which would reduce acquisition costs. There are lots of ways to skin the cat that would reduce the impact. Weigh that against increases in PTSD and other related costs because of repeated tours and which would you rather reduce.
            Finally if the Congress and the public (more media) would let the service members do the job rather than try to hamstring them at every turn and pull support once folks are committed to the field then the costs both human and fiscal would be reduced

    • Charles

      walt. AWCS,

      “The article said that enlisted pay was 90 percent higher than the pay of civilians who have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree.

      The article didn’t say that, it said “Officer pay is higher than 83 percent of civilians who hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

      Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90 percent compared to civilians who have high school diplomas or associate degrees.”

    • retiree

      enlisted pay is higher than 90% of those with such diplomas, NOT 90% higher. Learn the difference.

      If you want to get rich, don’t join the military.

      Increased incentive pay. Increased combat pay. Reduced retirement age for reservists. Sounds like wins to me for the military.

    • Dee Ann

      My “normal” work day was 7:30 am-4:30 pm. Any idea how many times and days I worked outside that norm in 21 years of active duty? PLENTY! I didn’t get overtime pay, I just continued to get the same pay no matter how many hours I worked. The whole point is that military members get paid for a 24-hour, 365-day work year. When you boil it down to an hourly wage, it’s not much. So, how can any sane person who is using common sense compare a military paycheck to a civilian paycheck? Military members are an easy target because we can’t fight back through protests in the streets and we can’t go on strike. However, we can VOTE! So VOTE THESE JERKS OUT OF OFFICE IN NOVEMBER!

      • Charles

        Dee Ann,

        “My “normal” work day was 7:30 am-4:30 pm. Any idea how many times and days I worked outside that norm in 21 years of active duty?”

        Most likely a lot, but like me, you had the very same options I had, get out or continue to “reenlist”.

        “I didn’t get overtime pay,”

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but the like many civilian workers we don’t work by the hour, we work for a salary. Can’t really compare those working by the hour to those on salary.

        Seems you mad about something, and claiming we are an easy target. Guess you didn’t read this article, because it’s about giving the military more, not less as you have implied.

        True, we can’t fight back by protesting or go on strike, but you can sure stop REENLISTING, become a civilian and make the big bucks.

    • Doug

      I served 6 years in the USMC 1968-1974 and served 2 tours FMFWestPac. I earned $26,000 in those 6 years, left service as an E-6.
      I do not think I would have been a better Marine if I had been paid more. I entered the service without any real skills and the military paid me while they trained me to be a 2861 (Radio Tech). I now have a AA degree in Nursing and have worked the past 34 years in critical care units, approximately 21 of those years in a VA hospital. I do not believe my AA degree ” has no meaning”. I experienced the lack of respect we Viet Nam vets lived through for decades. I was happy to see the current military getting the respect they deserve but the war is over, and civilians have a short memory. Be prepared for cuts in pay, benifits and life-style. God bless you all.

    • PaulaBlock

      90% higher? Read again oh ye enlisted. 90% of civilian pay not 90% higher.


    Congress needs to stop messing with the pay of the military to include messing with S B P> Hands off you bunch of overpaid do nothings.

    • retiree

      So you don’t want the proposed improvements in pay?

  • SAM

    The whole White House needs a reboot, fire everyone from the President down to the guy that cleans his toilet for him. Though it will lead to the same s*** because we let the corporations have such a hand in the way power swings in this country. This will hurt those on shore tours more than anything. I know for a fact my base pay wont cover by apartment rent (Japan) as well as other costs of living (food, gas, maitenence for the car). So fed up with the government cannibalizing its military so they remain fat themselves. Put a rifle in the Presidents hands and I can guarantee he will tuck tail and run at the first sign of danger like all the other pollywogs in the House. They all will be the first to jump ship when the warship engages in a battle it can’t win but still it fights for the sake of the people back home even though the battle will be a loss.
    I would highly recommend that all of them commit seppuku, to save what “real” honor is left in the country.
    US Gov MK2 Rev. 2 please, thx.

  • Docs Wife

    I would appreciate a story on pay for active duty physicians. Retention of good physicians is low. The Army and other services need to do a better job keeping the good docs in

  • H.L.Shaw

    Military personnel earn every cent of pay that they get. Civilians don’t belong to Uncle Sam 24 hours a day – don’t put their lives on the line 24 hours a day. I served 25 years to retire at 64 percent of base pay. Congress can serve one term and draw full pay the rest of their lives — doesn’t seem quite right to me……

    • Charles


      “Congress can serve one term and draw full pay the rest of their lives — doesn’t seem quite right to me……”

      Totally not true, Congressmen get nothing for the rest of their lives for only one term.

      • Dwight

        They should get nothing any way!! They are suppose to be “public servants”!!! The only way to get back to where congress actually works for the people is to take away the money and then you would actually get people that give a damn what the masses truly want. Then maybe we can get back to the majority rules instead of special interests and minority rule that we have now!! Probably never going to happen but we can dream!

  • Michele

    Basically the moral of the story is the entire military needs to quit and go work for congress, then your benefits and pay will be safe. (ok, maybe not the ENTIRE military because some are definitely getting paid more than they are worth surfing the web and facebook for a majority of their work day or worse)

    • retiree

      Increased incentive pays. Increased combat pay. Reduced retirement age for reservists. Sounds to me like increased benefits.

      I guess i’m one of the few who actually READ the article (and some of the associated material). Most of this is actually a GOOD NEWS STORY. Instead of saying “Great, but there are a few problems, or things to work out” everyone here goes into instant gripe mode, knocking Congress and the report writers for things they DID NOT SAY.

  • CW3 Retired

    Most people today serve with multiple ideas of honor and benefits to be derived from service, schooling, skills, experience, or money. In a career most hope they never get disabled in any way. The life of a serviceman (no PC) of any service does not have ANY comparable civilian job when the following are the criteria for comparison; indoor toilets, toilet paper, potable water, designer clothing to include vests and back packs, sleeping companions, sleep deprivation, choice of assigned weapons – or not, MRE’s verses Denny’s, 4- holers, and IED’s. The list goes on but you should have the point. A 20 to 30 year career will take the most productive years of a person’s life, and not a lot left over for the family. USA / USMC, 22 years of fun, travel and adventure and it was only interrupted short periods of shear panic and terror. So, a continuation of this path of multiple attacks on the services in pay, benefits, tours and size will probably lead to the reactivation of the draft. With the help of the ACLU will then include women. Semper Fi

    • Dwight


  • AF Spouse

    FYI if you are retired and pay $400 for health insurance because you were “promised” it. You all should be ashamed of yourselves when there are other famililes in the united stated making the decision to pay 8000-10000 a year. Seems like some in the military are selfish and give the rest of us military families a bad name and that is why alot in the country say it is time to cut the military. You all are bitting off your nose to spite your face. Especialy when I keep hearing from retired people they are bringing in 70,000 a year retired. More than 50% of current active duty make.

    I’d like someone to do an article about the military nurses never getting any bonuses like the doctors do and alot of other career fields in the military. It also takes a nurse forever to make rank.


    Also on the reserve issue. How can you tell the active duty that their twenty years of 24/7 is only worth 10 more years as compared to the reserves 20 years of 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks tour and what ever else they may or may not do. Seems like the active are really taking the hit for everyone else.

    As far as spouse benefits how can you now take survivors benefits from them. If they sacrifice for 20 years, I do not feel it is right to take the military survivor benefit from them. We loose our careers every time we move. Take huge pay cuts if we ever do get a good paying job and then have to move. We don’t all want to be teachers or work at the bar or just in retail.

    How about we cut the stupid spending on furniture and other crap that is not needed just to spend the money so we don’t get cut next year.

    Think people. Nothing is free in this world. It has to come from someone and the people currently working are getting tired of paying for those just collecting. Whether you think you were promised the cush life or not.

    • CSM P

      you have to understand the reserve retirement system before you make comments about it. It is the reserve soldiers that get screwed. Your years in service are reduced to equal active duty years based on the number of points you earn (the formula is actually to complex to repeat here). So after being in the USAR for 30 years and having muliple deployments my retirement pay is actually only equal to 10 years or so of active duty service. On top of that I can’t collect it until I turn 60.

      • Charles

        CSM P,

        This is true, so what is the point/advantage of anyone staying in the USAR.

        • retiree

          1. You want to serve your country.

          2. Eventually you get a guaranteed retirement pay, as well as the same healthcare as retired active duty. Right now at age 60, under this proposal potentially as early as age 48.

    • Michael

      AF Spouse, Reserves retirement isn’t the same as active duty retirement.

    • Paule

      You need to look at the reserve retirement before you make this statement. You get 4 retirement points per drill weekend and then you get 1 point for every active duty day. Then you times that by what they say the value of the point it.. For a O4 with almost 30 yeas with 4260 points X 49 cents a point . My retirement at 60 is 2087.00 a month where a O4 with 20 years active is a hell of alot more than that.. Plus I have to go to all the schools required by active componets and keep my civilian bosses happy too. Plus when there is a need call to State Emergency duty at the drop of a hat..

    • Charles

      AF SPOUSE,

      “Seems like the active are really taking the hit for everyone else.

      Just when in this article do you see where the active military are takig the hit for everyone else?

      “As far as spouse benefits how can you now take survivors benefits from them.”

      Based on the article, just where does it state “they” are taking SBP away from the spouse?

      “How about we cut the stupid spending on furniture and other crap that is not needed just to spend the money so we don’t get cut next year.”

      Based on this article, what cuts are you talking about?

    • army medic

      AF Spouse, first I do thank you for supporting your soldier. I grew up a military brat dad retired from AF after 22 years, its rough on a family. Know with that being said. I have been on both sides. I am a retired SSG Army. I was both active and reserve. The one weekend a month and two weeks are year is a thing of the past. Just ask those of use who were in the same sand box as the active duty soldiers. This change in the reserve retirement is one of the fairest thing I have seen get done for reservist. Do you thing its fair for a reservist to do multiple deployments some even more then the active duty soldier and to come back lose family just like active duty, lose jobs and after they did their twenty or more years to have to wait another twenty or so years to collect their little bit of retirement. I thing drawing pay at the 30 year mark is very fair and about time. I hope it approved.

    • GO NAVY

      AF SPOUSE…….really? It has been said above but you clearly don’t know anything about the reserves or what we do (have been doing).

  • joe Ripp

    Never worried about being over paid for the 20 years I served out of that 16 years were with combat arms. 16 hour days were the norm on a first name basis with a different tree many nights. The 4 good years were training troops and I knew I would be home at nights. You cannot compare civilian pay to military pay, apples and oranges!

  • retired462

    Time to bring back the draft.

  • ECoast

    So, they are saying that as an enlisted personnel I make more than 90% of civilians with just a Diploma or AA. Highly doubtful! When I stood 48-72 hour duty periods at a SAR station as an E-5 my pay averaged out to be around $2.50 an hour. Or underway for months at a time, you don’t get days off at sea. Calculate those months into days then hours, then divide by your basic pay……it’s pennies! It’s not even close to minimum wage! Think of all our soldiers over in stadium, if you calculate their pay into an hourly wage the country would be ashamed that our troops make so little. No civilian works the hours that we do, does the jobs that we do, put their lives in danger like we do, or makes the sacrifices that we make. What civilian is separated from their family and friends for months to over a year at a time in service to their country? I mean get real! I am so sick and tired of them threatening the military’s pay. We deserve every benefit we get! Either talk about giving us pay raises, or leave us the hell alone!!

    • Robinson

      Its the same old story . In the sixties my military pay was crap, nothing has changed. You can never compare civilian pay scales to military. Who works 24 hrs a day and no days off ? Only the military

      • TX Army Wife

        I agree! My husband is at trainup for Afghanistan (his 3rd deployment in less than 7 years). He worked a 22-hour day Saturday, got 2 hours of sleep, then went back out to the field for a 14-hour day–all of this in the HOT Texas sun with full gear, body armor and all. I know it’s a volunteer army and that’s part of it, but to compare military pay with civilian pay is like comparing apples and oranges. I guess if they’re trying to get less “volunteers,” cutting pay and benefits is one way to do it. Maybe that’s what they’re after. ????

        • Charles

          TX Army Wife,

          Where in the article did you read they were cutting pay and benefits?

    • Charles


      No, they are not saying you make more than 90%. They are saying what you make is within 90% of those of those with the same qualifications.

      This article is not about anyone threatening military pay! Did you even read this article before you posted?

  • Desert storm


    Retirees splitting hairs about 90%?? I think we all know tha the article meant that enlisted soldiers were “paid more” than their civilian counterparts. BIG FN DEAL!

    When I entered the Army we had consistently taken 0% increases for years!!

    Our enlisted soldiers, NCO’s and Junior Officers are fighting on the ground…not some office or some place where you can take a ride into town for an “excursion”.

    Too many DEAD SOLDIERS to be bi#%hing about paychecks.

    If they make too much…pick up a rifle, a vest, a helmet and get off the couch and help them out!

    Then donate your pay to a charity…like one to help wounded soldiers maybe???

    • Bryan

      Well said. It very easy for bean counters to make cuts that don’t affect them. The problem here, is a restructure of pay and benefits may be warranted, but starting with cuts is probably the wrong approach. Instead why not consider reducing contracts and outsourcing first. It’s seems like we spend way more on contracts and outsourcing jobs the military could do for its self. Instead of increasing pay, give incentives to military personal to provide thoses services. This would be cheaper than a contract, but would motivate personal to produce more and provide services more efficiently. For example, gate guards. Why not boost a members pay $50 per week for gate guard duty, instead of hiring a contract, .contract bids cost more in the long run, because they have to allow for benefits and training in there bids. Most of our contracts that are outsourced are jobs we could do, but do to management and staffing, the task are not done quickly. Incentive pay could be a solution to this. Bottom line is, Money motivates. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be bonuses for rates they can’t fill.

      • Brady

        I think the military is in the process of doing just what you said. My MP husband has gate guard duty for the next 2 weeks. No $50 though.

    • Charles

      Desert storm,

      Just a note, since 1976 there has only been one year we didn’t get a pay raise, and that was in 1982.

  • armyguy

    90% of the soldiers in the military do twice the work that 90% of the civilians do so we should get paid more. Most of the soldiers put there lives on the line everyday and most of the civilians do not. makes perfect since that we should make more. If anything we should have better retirements than the politicians who get full pay for the rest of there lives, Cut there pay not ours.

  • Jay “Medical Retiree”

    I joined knowing it would take sacrifice after sacrifice. I joined because I still believe in my fellow man. I joined cause I love my country. I gave much cause I love much. I’m glad to see so many with a voice but as a God fearing man…God has given me all I have ever needed to fight the good fight. My fellow soldiers and families…I love you and thank you for all you have given and the fact that you are posting in here tells me that you to have been given all you needed to fight the good fight. God bless us all.

  • dean

    Every American should be made to serve their country then they might appreciate what they do for them.BMC retired

    • JohnB

      Concur 100%. CAPT USN(Ret)

    • PolicyWonk

      When the armed forces went all-volunteer, there is also an implicit responsibility of our political leadership to not commit troops to battle without a serious national security emergency. They failed this test miserably, and the consequences have been borne by those who did volunteer and their families.

      Hence – the draft and/or some form of national service should be required by all citizens, because then the population will PAY ATTENTION to our nations foreign affairs. Then our political leadership will have the heavy burden of proving (and scrutiny) to the nation that what they are doing is required to defend the nations interests.

    • Charles


      This article is about more benefits for soldiers. What does drafting everyone of age have to do with more benefits?

  • Luke

    “Officer pay is higher…enlisted compoensation ranked even higher…”

    I agree. And in a peacetime Army dominated by garrison duty, this is worth entertaining. But whenever a war kicks up…no. Bottom line is that there is no level of Just compensation for what we do in war.

    “The current tax code favors high-ranking officers through combat zone tax exclusion benefits, who see less direct combat than junior personnel.”

    More like “the current pay scale favors officers who see less direct combat than junior personnel.” This is a fact of rank and hierarchical organization.

    “Each military service should have its own process to determine incentives for military and civilian personnel.”

    Great. More disproportional perks for the Air Force.

    “DoD should annually recertify combat zones.”

    Nice. Maybe the pogues in Krgyztan and Kuwait will stop getting the same benefits that folks at Leatherneck get.

    “Imminent-danger pay should be tiered based on the varying levels of risk at different locations.”

    Agreed wholeheartedly. This has been a problem for quite some time.

    “Reserve-component drill pay should be aligned with active duty pay.”

    Sure. So long as they do their calculations to include 30 days of leave per year, BAH, BAS, clothing allowance, paid weekends and holidays, and all the military stuff we’re expected to do between drills on our own time.”

    “The reserve-component retirement system needs to be changed to allow RC retirees to begin drawing pay on the 30th anniversary of their initial date of entry.”

    That would be nice. However, this provision will be dropped because it will cost money, which isn’t what efficiency studies are all about.

  • Adam Lamar

    Show me a civilian job with similar suicide rates.

    • Jon

      I can see both sides of this one.

      Yes, pay is higher in the military than civilian side. When I was on active duty, even with deployments, it took very little thought to my financial situation to make it easily (almost everything is provided, and I spent the majority of my time as a junior leader with my senior NCOs managing the lives of my junior guys who didn’t have the ability to do it themselves).
      Bottom line; on active duty I easily saved 60-70% of my pay and benefits.

      Fast forward a few years, I’m a reservist, working 3 other jobs as a civilian. I make less in each of my jobs than the military, but work less total hours at all of them combined than when I was military…and I make twice as much, live well, and still save 60-70% of my pay.
      I don’t feel like I’m entitled to anything because I serve(d) my country for many years. When/if they cut military pay or allow it to stagnate, I’ll still do it and not complain. Maybe in the next few years the specialist driving a brand new 328i or mustang will go away again.
      What truly frustrated me about active duty is that I probably spent less than half the time actually training or training my soldiers, the majority of their problems were about money…with education and financial management, pay was the last of my personal worries.

    • BILL


  • just retired

    retired army, I think that the military pay is just about right for a 40 hour a week job. A little low when you you put in 24 hrs day away from family for months at a time. getting shot at or wounded or killed. Cut congress pay. Pay Congress by hours they work and make their retirment the same as ours based on year of service, like 2.5 percent for every year of sevice and give them the same plan like tri care for life for them. No better no worst.

  • Sgt Coz

    I enlisted in the Army Reserves just after I turned 17 years old. I will hit my 11th year in the Reserves next week. I agree with some of the stuff they talk about. Our number one priority should be The Wounded Warriors. Also, as a DA Civilian, they need to look into certain career fields. In my field, I had to sign a Mandatory Mobility agreement just as if I was Active Duty. I also PCS every three to five years. But, when we get deployed to a combat zone, we get taxed. We work side by side with the Green Suiters. DA Contractors DONT get taxed in a combat zone, Military DONT get taxed in a combat zone. So why should we get taxed in a combat zone? Also, when on Active Duty you can choose your home of record because you sign the Mandatory Mobility Agreement. As a DA Civilian who also HAS to sign the same agreement, we can not pick our home of record. Just a few things I have noticed over the few years I have served.

  • fastcharger

    It smells of Obama idea, pushed by his crownies!

    • Ret20yr&proud

      fast charger, I could say “This smell like the GOP’s idea, pushed by their cronies”. Cuts everywhere to cut back on spending (blame the president for spending too much, bail-outs, and spikeing up the US debt ceiling, but when each citizen has to tighten their belts to meet these goals, you say “It smells of Obama idea, pushed by his crownies!” For years both sides of the isles have targeted cutting the budget of DoD to satisfy some type of crisis during our country’s need.

    • the old chief

      Must be a teabagger …..can’t spell


    I was AIr FORCE ACTIVE DUTY for 12 years, Reserve for 12 years, i feel the reserves really get screwed in the whole pay, benefits deal…we workat least 40 days (Usually alot more, especially on multiple deployments) yet we get what compared to AD? NO BAH NO COLA, NO BAS NO LEAVE, NO HOLIDAY TIME OFF, and all this plus we get to retire at 60/65 years old??? REALLY???The reserves and Guard is doing sooo very much more since BEFORE 9/11!!! Yet we still have the same old Pay & Retirement scales,

    • BILL

      Lipock- You chose to leave a career after 12 years(bright!) to go reserves and now you are bitter. We all make choices – you can only blame yourself, partner.

      • 20yrvet

        LIPLOCK– did you research any of the pros and cons of AD vs. Reserve before you made the decision to ‘jump ship’? Have you enjoyed being able to buy a home knowing in the reserves you don’t PCS. Have you enjoyed not having to have to move your kids from school to school. Have you enjoyed not moving every 2 to 3 years? Have you enjoyed choosing your ‘deployment’ locations. Have you enjoyed being handed promotion(s) with little or no Competition?

  • Retired

    If the survey calculated the mandatory overtime that most military do each week, the pay difference would be non-existant. Plus, we are under contract that the government can cancel for cause, but we can not just quit and get a different job.

    AND, IF YOU WANT TO TRIM FAT, LOOK AT CONGRESSIONAL AND PRESIDENTAL RETIREMENT! We have to do 20 years to get 50%. They do 2 years and get 100% and their pay is 4-5 times ours to begin with while they work less than 1/2 the year!


    • Karen

      I definitely agree with you. The President makes $400,000 a year, and when he leaves, he has all of the medical, dential, life insurance, and he gets a book deal. HOW DOES THAT WORK US? IT DOESN’T.
      Senators stay as many terms as they can. There is no cut off time. There should be. They leave with full benefits also. This is a joke.
      The Justices, they are there for life. Pretty nice for them, but what about the little people in the country. No one thinks about us. We are the ones who put these people in office.

      Thanks for listening. Could go on more and more. BLAHBLAHBLAH.

      • Charles


        Run for President!

    • Charles


      “They do 2 years and get 100% and their pay is 4-5 times ours to begin with while they work less than 1/2 the year!”

      This is just plain untrue. This notion was debunked years ago.…

  • Lynne

    How ignorant to assume that all enlisted personnel only have an education as high as an Associates Degree or a High School Diploma. I know many enlisted members that have a Bachelor’s, Master’s and even Doctorate Degrees. Therefore, exactly how accurate can these comparisons be to civilian?

    • Hatchet Five

      It’s because a High School diploma is the minimum education requirement to enlist, being compared to civilian job that also only require a High School diploma to apply.

      • 30yrvet

        Wonderful. That works for newly enlisted members – but I promise you that in today’s military no one will reach Sr. NCO ranks with a HS diploma. To be competitive for SGM you almost have to have a Bachelor’s today – yet even SGMs are paid based on years of experience with “some” college. The study (at least this summary) doesn’t break it out by rank within the enlisted corps.

  • Brett

    12 Year AD Major speaking here. Unbelievably poor comparison. I and everyone (officer and enlisted) I work with put in huge amounts of uncompensated “overtime” and at a moments notice we can be sent to a skirmish anywhere in the world, placed in harms way and kept away from our families. We can’t “quit” or we go to prison and, for better or for worse, we can’t even really disagree with our superiors. All of us, better be making more than our “civilian counterparts”… not that there is any civilian job that comes close.

    • Charles


      The service men work for a salary, that is why we don’t get overtime! Yes, we can guit, in that I chose to continually reenlist until I put in my paperwork to retire. Just joining the military doesn’t make us soldiers for life.

      • GO NAVY


        How free were you to walk away once you signed that contact?

        What other jobs threaten to imprison an employee who determines they have had enough of that job/organization.

        Yes….you can walk away….but only when that window to reenlist is open.

        • Charles

          GO NAVY,

          “How free were you to walk away once you signed that contact?”

          Not free at all, but then I did sign up for 3 years. The option is there for anyone since we’ve had and “All Volunteer Service”. I chose a 3 year job verses those who chose to work a day at a time.

          “What other jobs threaten to imprison an employee who determines they have had enough of that job/organization.”

          That really doesn’t matter, in that being imprisoned is self imposed by the one signing up.

          “Yes….you can walk away….but only when that window to reenlist is open.”

          Yep, that window I chose.

        • retiree

          Yes, there are limitations on walking away – which you knew when you signed up (I hope).

          Right now the US Military is the best compensated it has ever been – and this report is about 60% that might benefits, about 20% that might decrease benefits, and maybe 20% that I don’t know at this point. As I believe I said elsewhere, rather than this constant “whine, whine, whine” on ANY posting about pay and benefits, let’s look at it, acknowledge the good, and work to improve the bad.

    • don

      one thing they have always said – military jobs do not compare to civilian. I spent 20 as an 88M, show me the civilian truck driver that drives like we do – they are limited to hours, have much better equipment, and don’t have to move every three years for their job.

      • Charles


        If it weren’t for these studies, we wouldn’t be getting the pay raises we have gotten.

    • Jim Laubach

      I agree. It’s a terrible comparison. No one works a 37.5-hour work week! And no one gets overtime. And it gets even less comparable from there. These men and women are offering their lives in service to our country. How can we even think of taking away their combat zone tax exclusion when we’re at war!! Morons.

  • WOW

    Reserve Pay is already aligned with active duty pay. I already take home less than what it costs my to travel cross country to drill. In addition, I am expected to expend time supporting the unit and active command between drills. Like many reservists, I have a full time job between drill weekends in the private sector.

    • Charles


      So what are the benefits for being in the Reserve?

  • retiree

    Go where and when you are sent and for how long and how many times? “Elites” don’t serve, millionaires in Congress because of LEGAL insider trading. Is there any doubt why so much money is spent getting elected? Overtime pay and bonuses, where are those in the Military? Every able-bodied American should serve a minimum of two years, especially those in Congress. Too many there have never heard a shot fired in anger!

  • Rolo Tomasi

    Amazing!!So easy to attack the American Serviceman by it’s own Government!

  • IamCrazy2

    As a reservist I was planning to stay in until age 60. However, if this goes through, I guess I will be retiring in about 2 1/2 years. There is now way, even as a Warrant Officer, that I can justify staying in for 1/2 pay. I travel 4 hours one way to drill, which is short compared to many others. I know a CW4 who travels 12 hours and has to pay for his room for 2-3 days . We also have to pay for all of our meals. Even the enlisted is on their own for the evening meals. We don’t get reimbursed for travel. We are also expected to reply to emails, do on-line training and conference calls outside of the normal drill weekend. That is where the 4 drills for 2 days comes in. Take that out and don’t expect to many TPU soldiers to stay in, much less come in. We are the cheapest and best force to support the war efforts. My guess is that hopefully congress will see the lack of reality of this passsing this and still keeping the reserve force in tact. So, I will be very surprised if they pass this. The retirement offer is only good for those who joined in their late teens or early 20s. If this does pass though, they better get rid of the gray area for Tricare as well.

    • John

      Chief Warrant:

      All you say is well and good. But you are not in the Service for the pay. You are there because you like the job, and usually, the people with whom you work. Although, I was recalled for Desert Storm (actually I recalled myself), I agree that the way that the Reserves are treated today is very unfair. To many recalls, too many deployments. The Civilian and Military leadership has forgotten the reason that the Reserve and Guard were formed. NOT to substitute for the Active Forces, NOT to support wars that never seem to end, and not to disrupt the careers of civilian/soldiers.

      Hang in there, being a Warrant means never having to say you are sorry.


      CWO4 John W. Mann
      USNR (Ret)

    • retiree

      You realize the proposal is to give you 1 day per day base pay, BAH, and BAS? Instead of 2 days base pay? Depending on your BAH rate, you may actually come out ahead. In no way will you be on 1/2 pay – since you will get (tax-free) BAH and BAS.

      And no one should pay for their room on a drill weekend if they live over 50 miles from their drilling station – lodging is reimbursable.

      • milt

        That must be something recent. I retired in 1994, after ten years of driving 400 miles (one-way) without fuel or lodging reimbursement. I did eat at the chow hall so meals were not a problem. Where are the rules that state lodging is to be paid for?

    • GI Joe

      the thing about reservists, you signed a waiver if you live more than an hour away from your unit. you knew what your responsibilities were to attend drill. if you made the choice to move farther away or transfer to a different unit, then the responsibility is yours to travel and lodge.

    • tuna noodle

      Why should/would they care what it costs you to go to drill? In an era where getting rid of bodies is the objective, go ahead and get out. That’ll be on less person who gets thrown out so they can make their reduction quota.

  • Fair pay!

    I really hope one day they will stop comparing us (all serivice branches) to the civilian sector. We are not civilians, and if we are then pay us as such: 401ks with matching, overtime, expense accounts to buy all the stuff we buy to survive/train, travel comp (at civilian rates), ability to apply to different jobs at our units, promotions based on job performance, raises(just about every year), increased pay for the responsibilty we have as compared to the civilian market ($$$$), the list goes on… so Yes please pay me for my “work” as compared to a civilian. that should make us .3%’ers very well off for the work we do, oh, that work is defending Freedom, and the The American Way of Life. Otherwise, I’m fine doing it with the 3% pay raise each year (should go back to it-inflation will kill us if we don’t in the next few years, and our pay raises will become bigger in the future to keep pace) , and the 50% retirement after 20 years service, and in my case over half during a time of “War”. btw does everyone realize the dod buget is only 6-8% of GDP, what about the 92-94%? work on the gorilla in the room, not the Eagle!

  • Army Navy

    Charles and retiree seem to be plants lurking with an agenda, because they sure seem to spend an awful lot of time here trying to push for the committee’s POV.

    It’s true, the report obviously isn’t about blanket cuts to compensation, but neither is it obviously about ‘increased benefits’ — the committee is advocating a restructuring of benefits (increasing some, decreasing others, changing some fundamental structure) that would likely have unpredictable consequences. Their ‘survey based’ analysis of possible force structure changes based on some of their proposed simplistic ‘silver bullet’ changes don’t carry much water other than as propaganda, and their underlying assumptions and expressed understanding of the complexities of the problems they address sure don’t give me much confidence they even did the background research (or got the expert advice) to understand the problem at the bluejacket/Joe level before coming to these conclusions.

    The report is full of poor logic and unsupported declaratory statements; it also seems to have been written from a ‘bird’s eye’ perspective by folks with little or no real experience with the actual services they ‘studied’ (just my opinion based on what they say and how they say it). It is written in the same smooth bureaucratic style as all such high level reports — another report could recommend precisely opposite conclusions and it would read just as reasonably.

    For example, the recommendation to reduce RC drill pay to 1/30th of regular active pay is an agenda that AC and CIV folks have pushed as ‘logical’ on a regular basis for decades, and it makes as little sense now in this newest iteration as it has in the past — unless the goal is just to accomplish cuts in federal spending on the back of the RC. It represents severe misunderstanding of (or just disregard for) most of the cultural and service realities of the RC.

    That said, there _are_ serious issues that need to be addressed with MIL pay, the disability system, and RC/AC integration. If these guys supported their statements a little bit better, provided empirical source data, and just in general sounded like they knew what they were talking about it might be easier to take them seriously and use this as a springboard for change. If they reached out to the folks on the ground doing these jobs at the NG/RC and AC levels they might have actually gotten a better handle on the realities rather than the beltway CW this seems to represent. Not that that’s to be realistically expected…

    As it is, it seems like just another propaganda piece for a barely hidden political agenda, or at best, lack of understanding of the actual situation — just another ‘good idea fairy’ at work mucking things up (albeit on a higher, more ‘ivy league’ plane than usual).

    • Charles

      Army Navy,

      Where is your data that disputes their data, and please, no need to make this personal between you “retiee” and myself.

      • GO NAVY


        Defend the logic….
        1. Combat Tax Zones were applied too boradly to cover some places that are not all that dangerous.
        2. Tax exclusion was set to end at highest senior enlisted pay
        3. Due to Tax Code and Earned Income Tax Credit SOME officers paid nothing.
        CONCLUSION: totally get rid of the Combat Tax Zone Exclusion and replace it with a credit that is geared to the benefit of an E3 or lower….all else will see a reduced benefit.

        HUH? You see this the optimal solution over say:
        1. Change the size and locaiton and timetable for combat zones.
        2. Amend the Earned Income Tax Credit so mil personnel can’t have both
        3. Lower the benefit back to max tax free base pay to E6, 7, or 8 at 10 years.

        So because those 05 and above were not paying taxes everyone between E4 to O4 should now get less. Really? You agree with this?

        • retiree

          Actually they do advocate a yearly review of where the exclusions are applied.

          However, if you read the example, it clearly shows how the junior enlisted benefits from the tax credit. Instead of $3000 in taxes they don’t pay, they get a $10,000 tax credit – which means an extra $7,000 in cold hard cash for their deployment to a combat zone.

          It’s not just that senior officers are getting the benefit (and, by the way, O5s and above DO pay taxes when in combat zones, as their pay is above an E-9), it’s that junior enlisted are getting very little benefit because their pay is so low.

    • retiree

      1. As Charles mentions, where’s YOUR data?

      2. I am not a plant. I’m someone who read the actual proposals, and realized that the majority of the proposals INCREASE our pay and benefits. Yet some (most?) of the posters here treat ANY posting on pay and benefits as a whine about how we’re “picked on” and complain. Many post KNOWN WRONG facts, in particular about Congress, “free healthcare for life” and other basic data that can be found with Google, and has been corrected on this board many times.

      Instead of complaining all the time about everything, folks need to recognize that right now the military compensated better than they ever have been, most of these proposals are to our benefit, some are not and should be opposed based on FACTS, and some need some more study.

  • oldvet

    A person should not be allowed to hold office as a Senator, Congressman, or President unless they have first served in the military.

    • Charles


      I doubt there will be a change made to the Constitution.

    • Elegy

      I agree, these idiots should be required to take piss tests too just like I did in the Army.

      • retiree

        Feel free to propose the changes to the Constitution. Article V spells out both paths for amendment.

  • Whocares

    Military pay too high? No, civilian pay is too low. It’s a race to the bottom. Stop the tinkering.

  • drocfsnco

    Here’s the way to save America money and have the Armed Forces stay relevant (because the days in the woods really are over). Most of the senior military leadership 0-6 and above have never been in a combat zone. I agree that most Officers are over paid, and especially in combat zones. I can say this because I spent 12 years commissioned and 18 years enlisted and there’s no doubt the Enlisted are smarter and use there experience to make common sense decisions. To give you my experience in OIF III my commander very seldom went out the gate. So here’s a 0-3 making $5500.00/ mo. tax free in 2004 and of course it’s higher now. It’s totally unfair to give 2% or 3% to every one. Most enlisted see a $25-50 dollar raise and the Officer see $100 -300+ and of course it’s gets worse and the gap widens as years go by. I think The Military should take over and man the TSA . Just think of the hundreds of millions of dollars that this country would save because you are already be paid to protect our country. With the shrinking military planned and the 10’s of billions of dollars being cut from procurement and just wasted on programs that never come to the field. also many of you would testify of all the waste of equipment and supplies in IRAQ and Afghanistan and now they want change. Knowing that pay and benefits account for 2-3% of the budget it’s unbelievable that they would talk about (re-arrangement) of benefits also know as cutting. The days of going to the candy store and picking what you want regardless of cost are over and the leadership and representatives better get the heads out on their behinds or there could be a mass exodus from those in uniform. There are plenty of soldiers who remember how training was 15-20 years ago, because of how those in (no clue of what’s really going on) charge are still in. I hope for OUR sake somebody with common sense can straighten this out.

    • retiree

      Personnel costs are approximately 1/3 of the DoD budget, or about 1/6 of the Discretionary budget.

    • Oh really?

      “I agree that most Officers are over paid, and especially in combat zones. I can say this because I spent 12 years commissioned and 18 years enlisted and there’s no doubt the Enlisted are smarter and use there experience to make common sense decisions.”

      Yes, but we all know as an officer you were the exception since you were prior enlisted and thus by your logic smarter and more common sense based than your peers. Right?

      Excuse me but I for one don’t see the need to say this __________ (officers, enlisted, grunts, Army, support troops, trigger pullers, etc.) is useless and they are all (over paid, dumb, cowards, etc.).

  • Mfpita

    Sigh, if the civilian side wants the same pay and benefits has those of us in service then join. The backbone of America is always getting screwed; Soldiers in all services are under paid for their service. Policemen across the country are way under paid for enforcing the laws of our great nation. Firemen are also way under paid to run in to a burning building. And lastly poor poor Teachers of America are way under paid. They educate the next generation of America and that’s hard to focus on when your pay barely covers your student loans. Americans every where to include polictions expect so much out of these BackBone Personal and give them next to nothing in return. Thanks America for shooting yourself in the foot and making this great nation doomed to fall much Like Roman. Cause whether you want to admit it or not that’s what we all are living through now. The Fall of the Roman Empire. SMH

    • retiree

      They do join – to the maximum extent we allow (the size of the military is capped by Congress).

      The rest of your posting may or may not be true (I agree with some of it), but really has nothing to do with the QRMC.

    • Elegy

      I’m a gov’t civilian and I think this is absolutely shameful. I have never complained and have never heard anybody I work with complain about what they make, I’m not sure who these people are talking to. I did about 5 years active Army and did a couple years in the Reserve and can say I wouldn’t have been able to survive if I made any less. Especially in the Reserve where, on average, you may take home $150 and these pricks want to cut it in half? I don’t know how much more the American people are going to take, there should be millions of armed Americans outside of the Capitol and WH telling these people their careers are over. We better do something very quickly, I don’t think we have much time left.

      • retiree

        To repeat another post of mine:
        Did you read the report:

        1. For active duty, they are not proposing cuts.

        2. For the reserves they are offering earlier retirement. They are also recommending some changes to how reservists get paid, cutting the number of categories. Part of this will change the current 2 x base pay for 1 day’s work to 1 x (base pay +BAH + BAS) for 1 day’s work. Depending on where you are and how they compute BAH, it may or may not be a cut, but it will NOT be a cut by 1/2.

  • retiree

    Yes, increased incentives for some fields – because THAT’S WHAT INCENTIVE PAY IS. I suppose you would prefer NO ONE gets incentive pay.

    The risk recalculation (which could increase combat pay) is based on the haz duty/combat pay and where you are. Right now someone in a small FOB going off the compound daily and getting shot at gets the same money as someone in some parts of the world that never get shot at, don’t wear armor or carry weapons, and go downtown in civilian clothes every night to eat, shop, and have entertainment. Personally I would like that guy in the FOB to get the compensation.

    I know exactly what the reserves do – and this proposal rewards them with a reduced retirement age. The shift on IDTs to active duty depends, and needs more study. However, a reservist on IDTs gets one day’s base pay for each point (2 days base pay per day), NO BAH, NO BAS. Instead, they offer 1 day active duty (which means it counts towards an active duty retirement), getting base pay, BAH, BAS. Depending on how it it worked out, they may even get leave credit (right now they don’t for either IEDs or their 2 week ADT).

    Tax free status changed to tax credit – the proposal would help the junior enlisted (they would not just get a tax refund, but actually get additional funds back), although it might cost your senior officers some. Could it hurt some reservists who make more in the civilian world? Yes. However, they right now run the risk of getting activated and ending up in a stateside position with no tax benefits – so they need to be ready anyway.

    I still see most of the proposals as a net win for both active and reserve.

    • GO NAVY


      As a (Navy) reservist I now of very few that had a MOB for domestic duty. Most who do domestic duty apply for ADSW orders which is different than a MOB. Maybe a MOB for CENTCOM out of Tampa but darn near everyone I know how has, is, or will be on a MOB did so in a war zone.

      For those, like myself, who rogered up to go under the premis that the tax free zone would be there a change like this seems like a dirty trick. For myself and many other junior officers who are going this change would essentially mean losing a home/family on the street. I love my country but doing that to a family is not worth it esp. when those were not the rules of the game when volunteered.

      The retirement for me, and again many like me, who entered the reserves in our mid 30s does not really do much for me. To gain access 1 – 3 years sooner really does not float mine or my peers boat (no pun intended).

      • retiree

        I know of several who got activated to Tampa and other stateside locations. And equally important – YOU DON’T KNOW. You can be called up WITHOUT your permission (that’s part of the contract). Better to be ready than hope you get the right call-up.

        As I said, it’s part of the contract you signed, so it IS the rules of the game when you volunteered. You may not like it. You may not be aware of it, but that is the rules.

    • GO NAVY

      @ retiree

      Follow up…..would not fit all on one post

      As far as risk goes, sure, but my point is where do you draw the line. Is an FOB dangerous? Hell yes. That much more than Kabul where a dude in a AFG army uniform can turn chow or a meeting into a blood bath? I would argue no…they are both dangerous as hell. There is the dilema…who decides just exactly how “risky” a place is and how much that risk compensates. Great and theory but out line the dollars and cents compensation and logic for basis of risk.

      Unless a reservist senior E or officer in general were in a special community where incentives will be increased. what is there to like about this? Sure, some will benefit from the retriment but many others won’t. You yourself admit that there is much to be fleshed out before the pay change can be deemed as “good” for the reserves . I did the math assuming BAH, BAS, and pay….I am under…not by much but still under.

      • retiree

        The haz duty pay does NOT just apply to Afghanistan (or Iraq) – there are many countries around the world it applies to. Note my example That is NOT made up – there are places receiving the pay where you are NOT issued weapons or armor, you go downtown in civilian clothes to eat and shop. And you get the same tax exclusion and haz duty/combat pay as that poor troop on the FOB in Afghanistan.

  • don

    one more thing they should have looked at – prisoner compensation. An E-6, convicted of rape, assault, and other multitude of charges, on a bad conduct discharge, drawing his pay until he is released from incarceration because, get this, he is still in the Army

    • Gi Joe

      you are an idiot. anyone convicted of those crimes would immediately forfeit all pay and benefits. There is no stipulation in any law that allows convicted & incarcerated felons to maintain their rank or privileges. They are reduced to E1 and forfeit all pay and any benefits, even if they had 20+ years service…all gone.

  • Rodger


    Charles and Retiree are disputing every single negative comment here in a pattern. Same comments, responses, and link posting over and over. They’re either trolls or have some other agenda to back up this report.

    • Charles


      Maybe, just maybe because what is being posted is just not true.

    • retiree

      Maybe posting same corrections to the same WRONG information? SO many here keep posting the same wrong information again and again.

      While the QRMC report is NOT perfect, it is mainly a positive report, with many proposed INCREASES in compensation, and some negative. It does NOT propose ANY cuts to base pay or BAH. Yet so many here are posting as if it is a complete destruction of military compensation – they have not read the report, but just want to whine. And that hurts our cause, as we become seen as whiners. Let’s acknowledge the good, work to correct the bad, and understand the confusing.

      • Charles

        retiree, Part 1

        I don’t think most here understands just what this article is about, so I am adding this to the conversation.


        The Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation is conducted every four years by law under the direction of the White House and provides Pentagon officials with analysis and recommendations on how to improve the compensation system for the all-volunteer force. This year’s QRMC marks the 11th report since the end of the draft in 1973.

        The report concluded military troops are paid well compared with civilians who have similar levels of education. After a decade of higherthan-average pay raises, military compensation for enlisted personnel is better than 90 percent of civilians in similar careers, according to the report; for officers, that drops to 83 percent of civilians.

        It’s unclear which — if any

        –of the new report’s recommendations may become reality. Proposals on combat pay, incentive pays and reservists’ compensation would require high-level approval by the Pentagon and changes in law by Congress.

      • Charles

        retiree, Part 2

        Historically, the QRMC’s record is mixed. The last one, in 2008, offered a detailed outline for changing the military’s retirement system, but that received little political support and led to no real changes.

        Yet some QRMCs do have an impact. The final 1997 report recommended an overhaul of the military pay scales to boost the reward for promotion relative to time in service.

        That helped lay the groundwork for a series of targeted pay raises over the next few years for certain paygrades.

        In 2002, the QRMC made an additional recommendation that education be considered when setting pay levels for the enlisted ranks, which also was adopted. Both proposals led to significant increases in pay for many enlisted troops.

        Andrew Tilghman (ArmyTimes) 2 July 2012

  • cougar

    Not quite sure after reading QRMC report what retirement plan is proposed for those in the reserves with over 18 years of service….. Would they be able to transition to the 30 years after entry pension or would they have to wait until age 60… The devil is in the details on the transition between these two systems.

  • Bob

    I think that cutting the reserve pay is a very huge mistake, many of the NCO’s and Officers put in on avg 3-5 additional days each month that they don’t get paid for. The reason we have to do this is to ensure that teh unit is mission ready. We have requested extra pay to offset them for there time and we get told that there are no funds available. The reserve units I have worked with as of late put in two days worth of work and much more in a weeked then our active counterparts. So if we need to start cutting anywhere lets start with congress and all the contractors that are doing work that the service used to do themselves many years ago. I am sick and tired of hearing the the servicemembers once again need to tighten their belts.

    • CDR Jimbo

      I retired a few years back. What you say is true, however I earned retirement point by reporting those additional days as Non-Pay (NP) building my retirement point to a 49.5% retirement [almost equivalent to a 20 yr pension. Granted I had a 13 year base on which to build the reserve points and beat the actuary tables, maing it to the age of 60.

      Now if the DoD really wants to raise some hate and discontent, vest all members, active and reserve, and make them wait/serve until they reach 60 before they can collect.

  • Bob

    I think the words are of rage here should be:Koch Brothers, Billionaries lining their pockets off defense contracts and KBR, ITT, and many other contractors have milked the DOD out of billions and now they are looking for ways to save some money. When we are all speaking a foregin language because some rogue contry takes over this great land we will have no one to blame but ourselves for listening to the clowns that have gotten us this way.

  • Josh

    anyone who believes this crap join, I made more at 17 years old working for Wal Mart than I do now at 25 as an E-5. I work roughly the same amount of hrs (60-80) a week when not in field as I did at Wal Mart. Only now I do not receive any over time compensation. So yeah lets make it just like the civilian world. Give me overtime the Government will be broke tomorrow!!

    • Charles


  • Elegy

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why I decided to ETS a couple years ago, I could see the writing on the wall. I’m currently a GS employee and am absolutely furious that these pieces of garbage would even propose cutting a penny from military pay, Reserve or Active. I did a couple years in the Reserve after 5 active, and it was barely manageable, financially, to spend $70 on drill weekend on gas(I lived 2 hrs away) and only taking home about $150 to $170 for those 2 days. I can’t even believe these idiots are proposing cutting that in half. If anything, the military should be getting pay raises. No other job in this nation requires you to go to a foreign land and put your life on the line.

    I don’t know how much more Americans are going to take before, we the people, decide to march DC with weapons, camp in front of the WH and Capitol until every one of those traitors leaves our buildings. These people in DC are the enemy. Heck, even the Pentagon has turned into nothing but politicians in Class A’s. Wake up people, there should be millions of armed Americans in DC right now.

    • retiree

      Did you read the report:

      1. For active duty, they are not proposing cuts.

      2. For the reserves they are offering earlier retirement. They are also recommending some changes to how reservists get paid, cutting the number of categories. Part of this will change the current 2 x base pay for 1 day’s work to 1 x (base pay +BAH + BAS) for 1 day’s work. Depending on where you are and how they compute BAH, it may or may not be a cut, but it will NOT be a cut by 1/2.

  • Broken Army

    I can barely feed my family on what I make now, please I won’t be able to stay in and be able to care for my loved ones. I will leave contract or others wise.

    • retiree

      Since the report does not propose cuts, what is your concern?

  • Ron Baker

    What a load of Bull____! As an Air Force Master Sergeant, I was the “foreman” of a 41 member carpenter shop in Alaska. I had a fleet of several vehicles and several hundred thousands of dollars in inventory to manage. I was making less than $2,000 a month. Now you tell me that a civilian supervisor with the same accountability and responsibility would take a job like that for that kind of money. NOT BLOODY LIKELY! Even with the so-called hidden benefits of “health care” and “free rent” the difference was vastly in favor of the civilian foreman. Our Congress is completely out of touch with how our military men and women are compensated for their obligation. I seriously doubt that there is a senator or representative, let alone our ill-suited “commander-in-chief” who have ever worked as hard as our troops in Afghanistan do on a daily basis. Yet they are more than happy to receive their exhorbitant fees for “services rendered.” Military compensation does not need overhauling. Rather, it should begin in Congress and the White House!

    • retiree

      1. No, it does NOT say that AT ALL. It says that, overall, enlisted personnel make more than 90% of those with high school or associates, and that 10% of those with associates or high school only make more than an enlisted person. Note that Bill Gates is one of those with only a high school degree.

      2. According to… the average civilian carpenter foreman makes $21,000/year. In Alaska it is $23,000/year ( Whether that has the exact same responsibilities (41 man shop, vehicles, etc) I don’t know, but it would indicate that carpenters don’t make all that much more than military with similar skills/responsibilities.

      3. This is the QRMC – which is a DoD study mandated by law using outside expertise. NONE of this can take effect until someone proposes it for law, and it is passed by Congress. The earliest you would see such a bill presented would be January. Based on prior experience with QRMC, MOST of this will not be proposed. However, it was QRMC that resulted in targeted pay raises a few years ago – hopefully the positive aspects of this review will ALSO be passed into law.

    • love my guns

      you could not have put it any better we who serve know that we may end up on another countries turf and we are expected to respect all we meet and even if they are the ones we fight at night until we know who they are at the time of contact. Show me anyone in the US that sleep with there gun and pray they wake in the morning because they don’t know when there enemy may attack. We have so few in this Government that know what it is to see there friends killed or try to help them with there body bleeding out. This Pres. even said because we signed on that we should help pay for our wounds. He Doesn’t Have a Clue

      • Charles

        love my guns,

        “This Pres. even said because we signed on that we should help pay for our wounds.”

        Don’t get me wrong, but this never happened!

        “But as administration officials made clear at the time, there was no proposal to force veterans to pay for treatment for their own injuries, or to make them buy private insurance if they did not already have it. In fact, administration officials told at the time that their proposal would have no financial impact on veterans at all.

        The idea … would result in no additional out-of-pocket costs to veterans even when their private insurance plans require deductibles before benefits are paid,” one official told us in an exchange of e-mails.”


    • sweetie

      Ron, my son is a staff sergeant in the AF, a weatherman. He has a 3 bedroom brick on 3/4 ac with Fireplace, 3 big screen tv’s, a man cave complete with exercise equipment, and a new SUV to tote his 4 children and wife around in. He goes to NFL football training camps and football games. He has been deployed to Kuwait and Qatar. Was he ever in danger? No.

      The private sector has experienced extreme losses since 2007. Time to share the financial pain…

      I agree with the article. Time to reign in spending on the military.

      • gatorskip

        What kind of drugs are you on maybe some of the ones your son is selling/ involved in. Never in danger what the h… are you talking about, I spent time in the region before I retired from the military and we were in constant fear of being shot at. Have you been there??? If not you might want to reconsider you position or just shut your mouth.

        • retiree

          I suspect you have NOT spent time in Kuwait and Qatar – or you are afraid to walk the streets in the US.

          Sorry, but I have spent time there as well. When was the last time someone deployed to Qatar had to wear body armor and carry a weapon to leave the base? Were restricted to base, unable to go downtown? Hint – the military used to run and R&R program IN QATAR.

          “Troops who partook of the program were able to participate in a number of recreational activities, including bowling, swimming pools, a driving range and miniature golf, and off-base trips to sand dunes, a local mall and for deep sea-fishing.”

          Yet the folks there get the exact same tax exclusions and combat pay as the soldier in Afghanistan wearing body armor and actually getting shot at.

    • R L Baker

      At one time I was responsible for over 200 men, and yes the pay was low, however that was many years ago. I drew retainer pay for ten yeras and was transfered to the Fleet Reserver (mothballed) and have drawn retirement pay for an addition 20 years. So it is being balanced out. No amount of pay will ever make up for the three tours in Vietnam, and I am sure that the same allpies to those who have sence made multiple deployments to combat zones.

  • Rob

    I Served 6 years active and 20 years in the National Guard. As a 1SG in the Guard I spent countless hours of my own time making sure our weekend drills were productive. I can’t see how the RC can sustain its staffing numbers if our leadership in DC decides to cut reserve pay in half. Many of our “Part Timers” dedicate their own time to their unit’s missions daily. Yes, I would love to receive my retirement 17 earlier than expected! But not at the cost of losing some of our nation’s finest to attrition. Why don’t we just start paying our Retired Reserve at age 55 instead of 60!

    • retiree

      Except they’re NOT cutting it in half. Currently a reservists gets 2x base pay for 1 days work. Under the new proposal they will get 1 x (base pay+BAH+BAS) – which may or may not be a decrease, but will NOT be a decrease by 1/2. In return, not only do they get retirement earlier, but a) these points count towards an AD retirement (7300 AD points), and b) this makes it easier to activate them – because the restrictions on what they can do while on duty are removed.

      Will it be sufficient? This is one of those pieces I think is in the “more study” part of the report.

  • jhs

    Enlisted is 90% higher than civilian counter-parts? Are you kidding? Instead why dont they talk about closing the gap between Enlisted and Officer. Our SMSgt at 24yrs TIS doesnt make close to what the idiot Capt down the hall makes at 8 years TIS. And how many jobs have been created for civilians by the military, only to have the military member retire and take that position, now they’re getting paid retirement and as a GS.
    Instead of ‘retiring’ at 20 years at 50%, why dont they make it age 60 with 75%…with the cutoff age being lowered [to get in the military] or after a certain age you’re limited upon how much retirement you can get, say 60% instead of 75%

    • retiree

      No, enlisted pay is higher than 90% of the civilian counterparts – and less than 10% of the civilian counterparts.

      Based on earlier QRMC’s, Congress authorized targeted pay raises to help adjust enlisted pay. However, officers ALWAYS have been paid more than enlisted – due to their increased responsiblity. If you want officer pay, become an officer.

      No clue what you’re talking about in terms of adjusting retirement age – are you suggesting cutting active duty retirement pay?

      • rdp

        Thanks for the comments retiree. I was enlisted for 10 years and now I guess I’m that idiot Lieutenant! Not only are officers paid for increased responsibility, but they have to make the decisions when needed and are responsible for the personnel under their charge. I’ve flown missions in a multi-million dollar aircraft all over the world while keeping my crew safe. Also, depending what branch of service you are in, there are plenty of enlisted folks receiving bonuses that officers do not receive until much later in their careers. Unless you’ve been on both sides, you truly don’t understand the difference in the level of leadership and responsibility required…especially as you become more senior. There is no doubt that an officer deserves the higher pay, no doubt at all. Like you said, if you want officer pay then become an officer. And to ease your mind jhs, if an officer isn’t worth the pay he is receiving, it won’t be long before he not selected for the next paygrade and asked to leave the service!

  • Proud2Serve

    Civilians holding an Associates Degree or HS diploma do not have the duties and responsibilities that an Enlisted service member has. They are asked to perform only tasks commensurate with their level of education. Service members from the time they touch down at their first assignment are responsible for thousands and in some cases millions of dollars of equipment and resources as well as for running programs that protect the nation’s security. If you want to pay the military what their so-called counterparts in the civilian sector are paid, then don’t ask or expect so much. Service members’ responsibility is two-fold, they are responsible for their specialty and responsible for all duties that fall under the profession of arms. A kid working in retail does not have to qualify on a weapon, be morally, mentally, and physically fit, know how to perform life safety techniques and combat maneuvers, or have to supervise or account for anyone but themselves. Service members are ‘on the clock’ 24/7; there is no overtime or holiday pay. The pay is the same If they work 60 hours as it is when they work work 40. Making a comparison based on formal education is bogus and faulty. The level of responsibility and the amount of pressure does not compare. The Legislative Branch is starting down a slippery slope. They will see retention problems like they have not seen if they keep this up. Its foolish to expect blind loyalty when a system is not loyal to you. Contrary to what some might think, service members are not lacking in intelligence. They love their country but not to the detriment of their families. Shame on you.

  • Navy Wife

    I wish the politicians would look at civilian jobs with comparable responsibility and number of hours worked and time away from home…NOT just education level! Yes, now that my husband is an E7 the pay is fairly good…BUT that is after putting in 10 years of sea duty averaging about half the year away from home plus all those duty days..etc. I would like to know what civilian jobs they are comparing military pay to…making burgers at McDonalds?

  • More than 1,200 retired New York State school teachers and administrators are entitled to annual pensions of more than $100,000, according to pension data posted today on, the government transparency website. The database from the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) includes name, benefit rate, retirement date and last known employer when available, for 136,644 people collecting pensions in 2010. That should be a fair compensation for Retired Military members, or were the NY Teachers not included in the survey on Military Pay comparisons?

    • retiree

      1. How do you know they weren’t included? The report says that officers make in the 83rd percentile of those with bachelors. That means 17% of those with at least a bachelor degree make more than military officers.

      2. And the STATE of New York (potentially) overpaying retired teachers has WHAT to do with the Quadrennial Report on Military Compensation – which is a recommendation on the FEDERAL benefits?

      This report recommends increases in pay and benefits – specifically incentive pays, combat pay, and reduced retirement for reservists. While there are a few areas that are negative, and some that warrant more study, for the most part this report is calling for INCREASES in our pay and benefits.

      • Charles


        Just to add to what you’ve posted, is that even if we as a whole were getting the same amount of retirement that those Teachers are getting in New York, someone will aways just pick another profession that makes more in retirement than we do and then suggest we get the same. IMO, people just don’t understand what this Quadrennial Report on Military Compensation is saying.

  • Josh

    If they want to base everything on education, why not offer incentive pay based on education.
    For enlisted: $50/mo for Associate’s, $100/mo for Bachelor’s, $150/mo for Master’s
    For officer: $50/mo for Master’s
    At least this way, the board would have accurate numbers to make comparisons.
    I’ve had my degree for years and yet I’m lumped in with a high school graduate working at McDonald’s.
    Show me a fry cook that trains his new manager like a SNCO mentors a CGO!

  • Pat

    Describe how you put a price on the risk of body and life loss. Seperation from spouse and children, and other family and friends. The responsibilities of employees as Supervisor. Oh, I forgot and are you constantly doing physical activites in harsh conditions of Nature. The military worker is being paid for a constant 24 hour work day, not eight hours per week. What is the hourly pay discrepancy of the civilian?

    • Pat

      PS: Pats’ reply was meant for 40 hour week , not eight!

    • Charles


      “Describe how you put a price on the risk of body and life loss.”

      The price is set based on Enlistments and Reenlistments.

  • r v reynolds

    on behalf of military wifes an family for you to compair what military makes compair to civilian, is a POOR AN UNDERSTATEMENT. our love ones is call on all threougt the nights, or call on some (tdy) or you move an you house one month an get orders thirty days later not once but sever times our our children went too nine different schools. and ever time we move even though the goverenment paid for it ,it did not take away the stree that familys goes through,an when our spouse retires,it is very hard to ge adjust to the civilin world now that i am a widow it was very hard to get my widow incom an till today i still cant draw his social security after (43)years of marrage and (23) years of service no one who never been an the military should not sit and make decision on what military familys need,we have so meny who serve with great pride in come out with nothing. you need to look at your over officer in goverenment in start your cuting an try to get some of our peoples off the streets,we hav a great country,we need to work to gether too keep it tha way….


    The next time troops are needed for a major conflict, congress should draft some of those civilians. Who gives a damn about what civilians pay checks look like? I did twenty years and retired because I knew that this country didn’t give a crap about me. Every time there is a budget problem, congress wants to take back my benefits. My retirement check is taxed federal and state, soon, they’ll want to take out something else.

    • retiree

      What benefit takeback? Did you read the report? More incentive pay, more combat pay, reduced time to receive reserve retirement.

      You’re right, we shouldn’t care about what a civilian earns – we could go back to the 1960’s pay scales (oh, wait, it was civilian comparisons, among other things, that GOT the pay raises we got).

      Regarding your retirement check being taxed – that’s probably because it’s INCOME. Last I looked, active duty paid taxes as well.

    • retiree

      Recommend looking at the interview with the director of the QRMC at MOAA

      especially this one –
      With your reporting that enlisted pay today is at 90th percent and for officers at the 83rd percentile, is that reason to argue the military is over paid?
      I wouldn’t say that, because we didn’t do the analysis to see what the appropriate level would be. As I said, we need to validate that. What we could observe is that we are meeting our recruiting and retention goals. That’s an indication our compensation is working well. But I would not say the QRMC thinks the military is overpaid. We didn’t do the analysis to make that statement.

      They used those comparisons because it enabled tracking with previous QRMCs – not that they made a value judgement on whether we were / are overpaid or not.

      He also said:
      You can’t just look at pay in itself and say we’re in a good or a bad place. When the department looks at sustaining the all-volunteer force you look at compensation [but also] at recruiting [and] at retention. You look at the operating environment we’re in. Those factors all go into whether people are willing to serve and, if already in the military, willing to continue to serve. So pay is obviously a big factor, but it’s not the only factor. And that’s what we wanted to point out. We didn’t want someone to say, “Oh, the military. Look how well they are being paid,” and forget about all the other requirements of service. We know servicemembers are making great sacrifices … and we didn’t want that to be lost on people.

  • Darryl Voight

    I’ve been in the AF for 24 years (7 AD, 17 AFR). I’m not sure who looked at the calculation about decreasing reserve/guard pay, but when we are in drill status (IDT), we get paid 2 x base pay and NO allowances (BAS, BAQ, VHA, COMBAT). But when we are in AD/Annual Tour status we get the same pay as any active duty forces (1x base pay + allowances). When you compare the two rates, they are basically the same, because the extra allowances are not taxed but the IDT pay is taxed fully. So if reserve/guard get paid only one base pay for an IDT day then we should get all the allowances as well just like an AD day. Otherwise, reservist/guard will only get HALF pay for the same day of work. On top of that, many people commented that reservist often do work from home for NO pay. I have a CAC card reader at home so I can check email and prepare/work on AFR tasks as needed, including some training items and of course completing orders requests and travel vouchers at home on my own time. Would someone please tell me why it took 2 years to study this and nobody figured this out? Must not have had a reservist/guard member on the panel!!!

    • E-8 Sam

      Retired with 12.5 years active Air Force and 22 years Reserve and an ART for 3 years. You know what you signed up for. Bitchin doesn’t get any thing done! Contact your representatives, en-mass for fair compensation! All they asked us to do was, be willing to die a little” if you don’t it works out pretty good.


    Imminent-danger pay should be tiered based on the varying levels of risk at different locations. And who decides this? Some bean counter in DC who’s only concern is money? Is anywhere safe in Iraq or Afghanistan? Seems it’s safer in the desert than in Kabul lately. This might have worked in WWII but not in the conflicts as of late.

    • R L Baker

      I doubt that the writer has spent any time on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier at night let alone the day. RLB USN (ret)

  • Bob Weins

    Daryll Voight did a good job of addressing the Guard Pay issue. I would be truly ashamed of spending two years putting together this shoddy report that can only point to either an overriding bias or incompetence.

    There is also the point made in the report about officer pay being 83% higher than civilians with bachelor or masters degrees and enlisted personnel pay being 90% higher than civilians with high school or associates degrees. That is inappropriate for two reasons. First the information is available in the DEERS system to readily access accurate data on the degree distribution for both officers and enlisted which could provide a more accurate comparison. In my last guard unit we had about 60 enlisted personnel most of whom had at least a bachelor degree, we also had at least 5 masters degrees and one PHD in the enlisted ranks. The actual report mentions the raising the enlisted education comparison level but did not indicated that any effort was made to accurately determine what that level was. It also made no effort to assess the other military training requirements such as DoD 8570 certification requirements.

    More importantly the study shows no indication that it evaluated pay to include overtime, family separation as in deployments (to include the financial and emotional impacts not only of separation but also of constant relocation. How many of the civilians in the control group are missing limbs? Now it could be argued that these factors were considered in the study just not included in this report. But I seriously doubt that the committee put in the effort to do a valid comparison on this issue when they did such a shabby job on the degree comparison issue.

    • gary dowler

      Get rid of the ART (air reservs technician) one of the most abused programs, especially the officers/civil service waste of money, cheats, “old boy” club ect.

  • Emil

    Our Government is broke. We can’t get blood out of a stone. There is only one way, (protest) with out weppons. This whole argument runs into what is happening in washington. Our country is off course and something needs to be done. I belive if we can get the V.F.W., American Legion, Amvets and other military organizations involved,we might be able to turn our country in the right direction.

  • MET

    Officer pay is higher than 83 percent of civilians who hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

    Enlisted compensation ranked even higher at 90 percent compared to civilians who have high school diplomas or associate degrees.

    I do not see civilians with the exception of police and fire risking their lives, leaving their families for “extended” periods or living in spaces while deployed that the United States Supreme Court would rule unconstitutional for criminals let a lone volunteers defending our freedoms and way of life. Let our legislative branch deploy for a tour of duty and they can even keep their current pay and tell us that they are being overpaid.

    • Nevin

      They deserve it, in fact pay them what a city gets.

  • Topkick

    Back when I joined the Naval Reserve, while in high school, in 1957, reservists drill four hours once a week during the week (Mon-Fri). At some point after that the government went to weekend drills of two eight hour days.

  • usaf retired e6

    I’m getting tired of hearing Our Great Nation. It used to be for sure–now we are no better off than a 3rd world country with an admittedly 3rd world president. I love this country and would have willingly died for it. I retired after 20 years, my retirement pay is halved between me and my cheating x wife. On top of that, Im 30% disabled due to back injuries sustained on active duty, and hearing problems caused by many years of high noise exposure. My retirement pay is decreased by 30% that the VA pays. Am I complaining about that–yes.I earned what I receive– my x spouse didnt. People who get a disability rating who arent collecting retirement get the full check and back pay for the length of time spent processing the claim. Who would have known it doesnt pay to retire?

    • USFSPA 2011

      Hey brother, you are one of many. Most ex spouses are the real crooks. They get this money because ‘they sacrificed and contributed to the marriage’ – They also contributed to the divorce and in many cases are the sole reason for the divorce. I’m in the same fight you are in.

  • Steve

    Steve__The first thing that I think is a necessity is something that I have not read in the above comments. That is the fact that anyone who is presently on active duty in the military service or has already completed at least 20 years of active duty service and is presently retired should not be affected by any changes in the retirement system since they were promised all of their benefits before entering their particular branch of service. A member of Congress is the one ripping off the Government and this is where the retirement plans need to be changed. If a member of Congress is impeached during their first year of service, the present law requires this person be paid the full salary for the rest of their life and this salary is higher than any military personnel. I believe that all members of Congress should have to serve at least 20 years to draw their full pension. ___

    • Steve,

      Name me one member of Congress that has ever been impeached.

      What Law are you talking about?

  • Kyle

    If there is a change in policy for military retirees, it is my opinion that any personnel currently on active military duty or currently in military retirement status should be exempt from the new policies. Any changes should only apply to military personnel who were advised of these rules before entering on active duty. If a change was made after a person has already made a committment, the great military reputation of not breaking promises made to them before making their committments to serve their country would no longer be respected.

  • 5QRMC member

    The comment that officer pay is higher than civilians with bachelor and master degrees. Is this pay or total compensation? If it is just pay then someone made a mistake. If it is total comp then you need to demonstrate civilian pay including contributions to 401K, IRA, health care benefits, benefit of sleeping at home every night, not having to deploy on a moment’s notice and the ability to own a home and develop equity. Military personnel can not do this and by the way the total compensation for military is reduced by the supposed contribution to retirement, health care provided, etc.
    There are many laws and policies, some of which date to the late 1500’s AD that have established the compensation system for the military. Congress regularly changes the law and each time the value of military compensation declines. For instance if you retired in 1970 you received dental care and eye care. If you retired in 1990 you lost that entitlement as did those who retired in 1970.
    Keep screwing with the compensation for the military and soon you will have fewer volunteers and a reduced capability to defend the country. Remember that you are trying to retain the best and brightest not the average person. Oh, and also remember that this job comes with a big variation from those civilian jobs they are compared with – You Can Die, be Killed, wounded, physically and mentally impaired for life and to keep the best and brightest you do need to provide incentives for the risk associated with being a member of the US Armed Forces. All service personnel that complete their term of service have contributed materially to the rights of all citizens of the USA to live free. Remember that when you start to screw with their compensation.

    • Otto

      Well said 5QRMC!

  • craig savage

    When I joined the military, it took me 7 years before my enlisted pay was at the same amount I made before I joined the Military. If enlisted military pay is 90% higher than civilian counterparts, then why do most E-1 pay grade enlisted qualify for food stamps and welfare. The last time I checked the counterpart civilians were not being paid on a 24/7 basis nor were they required to move every few years or give up a large majority of their freedoms and be subject to the United Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Most civilians are not required to be on call 24/7 or to be deployed to war at any time for any amount of time. Most civilians never hold the degree of responsibility at 50 years of age that a 19 year old holds in the military.

    Go ahead and reduce military pay and benefits and see who joins or stays in. No one loves or appreciates the guard or sheep dog until the wolf is at the door. See what happens when the sheep abuse and neglect the sheep dog that protects them at night while they sleep. When that wolf comes around that sheep dog may not be there to protect them or that sheep dog may just become the wolf and decide that if the sheep won’t feed him that he might as well eat the sheep. Sleep tight tonight sheep / liberals, for it may just be the last good nights sleep you ever get again.

  • craig savage

    The best thing the Military could do is become the 51st state and have our own representatives that come from military retired. Military vote as one voting block so we don’t have to vote absentee in each state. This would ensure the military had a voice in the government and military personnel are not disenfranchised as we are now.

    The only other alternative is for the current, veteran and retired sheep dogs to replace the liberal sheep who are running and destroying this country. We could then reestablish the constitution as the law of the land, used to guide and protect the people. The current sheep running this country thumb their noses at the constitution and only see it as being in their way and as outdated and obsolete. These sheep have nothing but contempt for our constitution. The lead black sheep is hell bent at destroying this country and its military so the US becomes a Socialist nation.

    • Ron Luis

      I think the problems in this country go farther then rhetoric. We are in deep trouble my friend, until both sides can worry about the prosperity and safety of this nation over, who funds there next stint in office, i am afraid that we won’t have to worry about retirement pay but, how we feed our kids when a wheel barrow in us dollars won’t buy a loaf of bread.

      I have anger just as you but, until we all step back and see the big picture for the future…
      We simply don’t have one…

  • SSG Pancer

    Mr Baker, you are so right.White House, and Congress need to be overhauled!SSG USA Retired.

  • Tilley

    I agree with absolutely every comment for the most part. I’m an active duty Marine and a husband. The amount of hours we work in a week not including deployments and field operations would have me a millionaire by 30 years old if I was paid like a civilian. We honestly don’t make enough for what most of us do and it’s the ultimate sacrifice. I don’t complain about my pay because its better than nothing and keeps my wife and me above water. To cut military pay would be insulting and demeaning to those of us who serve to protect civilians and to protect this country. I do more in a day than many do in a week and I do that for at least 60 hours a week and most weekends a year. So how dare anyone say that we get paid 90% more than a civilian counterpart because there IS no civilian counterpart. Order me to run into fire for minimum wage and I’ll find an alternative way to take care of my family. How can anyone sum up a statistic like this from behind a desk without first hand experience? Cut military pay and watch the decline of our civilization through the demorilization of our troops that fight for what we ALL stand for. We don’t just volunteer we sacrifice all comforts and freedoms. Make budget cuts where it is due. Where it won’t start a mass fued of internal chaos. Cut pay of police officers and watch crime rates skyrocket; cut pay of farmers and watch gorceries dwindle away; likewise with anything in life. I hope the president sure finds a way to sort out these priorites based on realistic needs.

    Oh and quite honestly, lets stop supporting countires that abuse their power at a government level and use our funding given to them BY us against their civilians. We, maybe unintentionally, cause foreign counterparts to use our funding in ways that create a worse outcome for their citizens. Maybe if we focused more on our own growth and independence instead of “freeing” other countries so that we can use them we wouldn’t have to use them. For example, if Molycorps had never shut down maybe all of our advancements technologically wouldn’t have come from forking over billions to countries like China. We only promote thier own economic gain. The way we support jobs over there because its cheaper to build and profitable to sell in the U.S. probably what got us here in the first place among other causes. Our system is flawed because we are governed by those who would rather capatilize rather than those who would rather take a cut to see a real profit for the future for our own economy.

    I believe that no matter how we treat and support our foreign allies when it comes down to it, they will remain conservative in an effort to ensure their own survival as a whole just like we SHOULD.

    • Tilley,

      “So how dare anyone say that we get paid 90% more than a civilian counterpart because there IS no civilian counterpart.”

      That isn’t what they said, read it again.