David Wood: After decades of lavish benefits, Military personnel face cuts

| March 11, 2013

Yeah, that what he said – “lavish”. David Wood at Huffington Post wrote today that it’s a cryin’-ass shame that military pay has caught up with civilian pay. The above title of my post was taken from what Wood’s post was titled before they changed it to be less inflammatory.

But, basically, Wood, who has never been in the military, by the way – he’s a Quaker and a conscientious objector – says that the last two defense secretaries warned that paying an armed force what it’s worth is dangerous. Of course, those last two defense secretaries both served under this president. The last one, Panetta, didn’t mind spending DoD’s money to fly his command post to California every weekend irrespective of the costs.

Base pay and housing allowance boosts the income of an Army master sergeant with 10 years of service, living at Fort Drum, N.Y., to $84,666.48 a year, according to the current Pentagon pay tables. This sergeant would pay a tax rate of 15 percent, a $6,417.40 tax advantage over civilians.

An Army captain with six years of service with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, earns $85,330.80 a year in pay and housing allowance — not counting bonuses, tax-free danger pay for service in a war zone and other benefits. A brigadier (one-star) general at Fort Drum, with 16 years of service, is earning $131,652 a year plus a housing allowance of $2,247 per month.

Now, think about it for a minute – I’ve lived at Fort Drum and I know what housing is available there – it’s not like these guys are living in McMansions. Does Wood think the Army should pay military members less than what their housing costs? Or should they just shut off all housing allowances? And what’s lavish about paying for living costs?

When I left the Army as an infantry platoon sergeant, I was responsible for $8 million worth of equipment and deploying with more firepower than a World War II infantry battalion – what’s that worth? Probably more than the $25,000 I was being paid at the time.

I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but I did back in 2008.

Thanks to ROS for the link.

Category: Military issues

Comments (71)

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  1. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @49 and 50. You two sound like Pentagon material to me.

  2. CC Senor says:

    @47 Oh, yeah, well, we’re not gonna’ put any Quaker State Oil in our OD engine neither.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    @52 – Why? Quaker State oil is a brand of the Pennzoil Company.

    You guys are really grasping at straws.

  4. DFK says:

    This is the same idiot who claimed that only 12% of veterans on the GI bill were making it through college. The SVA just ripped his story apart recently and all his sources disowned him. He’s a moron, treat him as such. If anyone questions the article, point out that he selected one of the highest cost of living posts in order to puff up his numbers.

  5. SFC Holland says:

    They sent us to war for 12 years. Did they think we weren’t going to get wounded and injured, and incure life long injuries? That is the elephant in the room. Why send men and women willing to sacrifice everything, the best values of America, to a place that doesn’t mean a damn thing, and get torn up body and soul, for nothing? We come home, and we did our part, but now we are too expensive??? Who writes about that? War is expensive, that’s why we should have paused before considering this. No one wants to take care of us now, but they didn’t hesitate pulling our trigger and unleashing us on goat herders. Fuck them, fulfill the contract. We paid for the countries war fervor, now pay us. Sons of Bitches!!! This infurates me so much. Meek sheep want protection, but want the warriors to go away once the killing is done.

  6. CC Senor says:

    @53 Ex-PH2It’s a put on. Sailors got no sense of humor?

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    @56 – I know. I just want to see how long they plan to drag it out.

  8. ComancheDoc says:

    As long as the straws they are grasping at dont have wild oats in them, i hope it plays out longer, i enjoy word games…

  9. Mike says:

    I heard about this guy on NPR (yeah yeah) he is a super deuche.

  10. Hack Stone says:

    Ex-PH2, I won’t be eating any Quake ceral in the near future, although I could go for some Quisp. Do they even make Quisp anymore? Anyone out there get a Quake miners helmet that they used to give out in the mid to late 1960’s?

  11. xbradtc says:

    Hondo @39 is spot on target.

    And while the direct costs of paying for troops is bad enough, paying retirement and healthcare for retirees and their families (and Tricare for AD family members) is killing DoD.

    No, troops aren’t living a lavish life. But they are expensive. DoD probably won’t cut pay for troops, but don’t hold your breath on any big pay increases in the out years.

    Frankly, pay for troops isn’t bad. It may not be generous, but it is hardly stingy.

    I’m against balancing the budget on troops backs, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that there isn’t a huge pile of money sitting around either.

    Support for the troops is a mile wide… but it’s only an inch deep. Don’t fall into the trap of seeming to be another bunch of whiners or just another special interest group.

  12. Hack Stone says:

    They could offset any budget cuts to the troops by supplying them Obama Phones. Obama Phone! Romney Sucks! It’s only been a few months, and I already miss that lady.

  13. Isnala says:

    Tommy – Rudyard Kipling

    I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
    The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
    The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
    But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
    But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
    But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
    But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
    But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!


  14. Hondo says:

    xbradtc: military retired pay appears to have been removed form the DoD budget in 1985. I believe it has been paid from a separate appropriation since that date.

    In FY2013, total DoD healthcare costs are projected to be just under $49 billion.

    http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/FY13_Green_Book.pdf (see p. 137)

    http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/FY2013_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf (see p. 44)

  15. Robot Wrangler says:

    @36 Well the comments are now swinging into the “You’re an ill informed hack” lane. Seems that current and former military and spouses have gotten word about him saying how lavish their lifestyle is and they are in the process of administering a little wall to wall as it were.

  16. Twist says:

    @57, I will no longer be buying Quaker Plastic Pool products. 🙂

  17. Ex-PH2 says:

    To those of thee who mocketh me
    I have but this to say
    I hope thy crotch seams do give out
    On one cold, snowy day
    And I will giggle up my sleeve
    As thy complaints I hear
    While snow and cold freeze off thy nuts
    And blister up thy rear.

    (Composed on the Spur of the Moment by Moi)

  18. A_Proud_Infidel says:

    We’ve done our job, now we vets are considered a burden that they want to place in a box with a front window that says “Break glass in case of war”. F$&k all liberals.

  19. AGEFMB says:

    @55, SFC Holland, well put.

  20. AGEFMB says:

    @68 Also well put.

  21. Ex-PH2 says:

    @55 – Meek sheep want protection, but want the warriors to go away once the killing is done.

    This is the way it has always been and will be until something changes. They want us when they need us, but when the ‘event’ is over, please go away. Oh, and we might need you again, but otherwise don’t expect anything from us.

    The only change I can foresee might be the unlikely event of reinstating the draft, for men AND women, and requiring XX years of service, but that assumes there is an external threat that does not now seem to exist.