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Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 12:33 AM   #1
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Military "benefits"

Rather than trampling further on what's left of the "20 Years" thread, I guess this should be broken out on its own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead*
Nords: Not shooting the messenger here, but I find it incredible that an active duty military individual can refuse a combat assignment, and not be subject to a severe run-in with the U.C.M.J. (Brig time & at best BCD).

"I'll take your benefits, but when the s--- hits the fan, somebody else can do it."
Inf---ing credible !
Well, I agree, but did you notice that you just don't see Marines in these stories? Besides in today's multi-threat-axis war zones there's no longer a "rear" for the REMFs. If there ever was a "rear"...

The military discharge does not mean what it used to. I used to have to come across as a total jerk just to hand out a well-deserved OTHD, not that a civilian employer recognizes the difference anymore. You don't see a BCD for anything less than a major felony-- large-scale drugs or grand larceny or grievous bodily injury-- and a DD probably requires treason or first-degree murder followed by Leavenworth.

Don't miss that part of the military one little bit. Oddly enough I don't get called for jury duty, either.

So when high school kids start asking me questions about the military, I talk as long as they want and I try to put the services in a good light. But if they keep coming back for more or even visit a recruiter, then I gently make the point that joining the service means they're expected to be ready to break things & kill people. Occasionally that lights up the eyes of the future Marines, Rangers, & SEALS, but otherwise it puts a real damper on the conversation. Doesn't make their parents very happy, either.

But it ain't all bad. My nephew the Army Ranger & USMA cadet has been part of their Combat Weapons Team for three years. Before USMA he did quite a bit of breaking & killing in Afghanistan & Iraq and I don't think his acquaintances have any illusions about why they're in the Army. In his last e-mail he was incredibly outraged (as only a 20-something can be) that USNA's alumni coughed up $200K to fly Tulane's football team to a game while USMA's CWT was looking for spare change in sofa cushions to buy ammunition.

Our pediatrician's son, USMA '05, majored in history and minored in Arabic studies. He's fluent (well, as fluent as you can get without being there) in Farsi & Pashtu. I don't think he has any illusions about how he's earning his military benefits this year.

The son of a high-school friend just accepted a USNA Alumni Foundation one-year scholarship to a prep school followed by joining USNA in July '07. He decided to pass up football to join the rifle team-- I think he gets it too.

On one hand I'm still searching for charities where I feel my money or time would be put to good use. On the other hand I have no doubt that buying these people's textbooks (and their ammunition) is a good use of my contribution!
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 08:10 AM   #2
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Re: Military "benefits"

I met a black E-7 who refused to go and told his Command General that he would not fight for the rights of the Vietnamese when he didn't have all of his rights here at home.* The General, who did not want a civil rights uprising and just wanted to keep it quiet, sent this E-7 to Greenland.

Somebody, of course, went in his place.* Wonder if that somebody got killed or maimed.

When I met the E-7 he was close to retirement.* He had no regrets and was proud of what he had done.

I find this dispicable, of course.* If you sign up, and this was all-volunteer USAF, you need to fulfill your obligations.* Even if all you wanted was the benefits, too bad.* Most career officers and NCOs are honorable.* Those who are not and disobey orders should do the brig time Jarhead talked about and should suffer public disgrace. But, today, we seem to honor the malingerers, the Muhammad Ali types, instead of the real heroes.* *
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
, the Muhammad Ali types
In Ali's defense, he spoke out against an unfair conscription system from the start.* He didn't join, snorkel through all the benefits he could get, and then suddenly have a personal epiphany.* I hope I'd have the courage to do the same in his position.

In today's Naval Navy Reserve there are a huge number of people who demobilize and immediately transfer to the Inactive Ready Reserves.* They feel that they've done their time and should be allowed to complete their eligibility years on their own schedule.* They probably feel that the social contract has changed, too-- they originally signed up during the Cold War for one weekend a month & two weeks a year, only a decade later to find themselves sucking desert sand for a year.* If they want to change the deal by leaving drill status then I don't have a problem with that, either.* They're using, not abusing, the rules to take care of themselves & their families to the best of their ability.

What really chaps my hide is the people who join for the benefits... until it gets a little too risky or difficult for their comfort level.* They don't do their annual dental exam or their physical fitness test or even their HIV blood test.* (Which means that they're not "able" to mobilize without significant delay.)* They don't complete their training requirements and sometimes they don't even show up for drill weekends.* The chain of command starts checking up on them and they "catch up" on their compliance until they're off the delinquent lists (or until their chain of command transfers).* Some of these bottom-feeders have been exploiting the confusion to their advantage for years.* Spouse has made it her mission to hunt these people down, set them clear compliance deadlines, and then either turn them into performers or transfer them to the IRR or even discharge them.*

It's the first time in our military experience when the goal has been attrition instead of retention, but she's managed to adapt to the changing requirements...
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Military "benefits"

The military, along with a lot of civil service positions like police officers, firemen, etc. has become a well paying job.

Lets see.....go to college and make 30k(or more of course) a year or make 30k(or more) a year right out of high school.....

Maybe I'm just naive, but I've always thought of people going into these positions as people who want to help society, but it seems like the attitude nowadays is more of a shrug of the shoulders and "Its a good job".

The last thing I want is to be paying(taxes) for services that are being done for me by the same motivation that puts the cover pages on the TPS reports.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomSimpsonAZ
The last thing I want is to be paying(taxes) for services that are being done for me by the same motivation that puts the cover pages on the TPS reports.
Hey, don't make fun of that guy! A big part of my job is doing TFP reports (Transportation Facility Permit reports).

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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:31 AM   #6
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomSimpsonAZ
The last thing I want is to be paying(taxes) for services that are being done for me by the same motivation that puts the cover pages on the TPS reports.
Well, consider the alternatives... one of which is that they're doing it so that you don't have to.

I don't think anyone joins the military for the money. Maybe there's an aura of employment security and (*gasp*) fun. But the patriotism eventually surfaces, and I don't think there's any more abuse of tax dollars by the military than by any other govt agency.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 11:04 AM   #7
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I don't think there's any more abuse of tax dollars by the military than by any other govt agency.
This is probably worth its own discussion, but I don't won't to go there. What I do want to say(IMHO) is if you really want to see abuse look at Govt contractors. The political system understands the military and civil service well enough over enough time to have controls and balances. But the contractors rarely lose money and have no constraints on their profits. Their "risk" is guaranteed and their profit is "privatized".

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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 11:13 AM   #8
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Re: Military "benefits"

I've never served or gone through the recruitment process, but my dad and my uncles have.

Their story is that the recruiters laid out a story that they'd get all the "good stuff" and downplayed or didnt even bring up the "going to war" part. To a bunch of guys with no skills and limited employment opportunities, the military life sounded pretty good. Travel the world, lots of girls in every port, fun and games with your shipmates. Free education, free room and board, what more could you want?

Then they all got stuck on a destroyer and sent into the korean war.

I guess if you're going into the thing with your eyes open and you're well aware of what you're getting yourself into, thats one thing. Selling someone a bill of goods or slick selling to someone who isnt smart enough to understand, dont be surprised when they arent enthusiastic about being used for cannon fodder.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
This is probably worth its own discussion, but I don't won't to go there. What I do want to say(IMHO) is if you really want to see abuse look at Govt contractors. The political system understands the military and civil service well enough over enough time to have controls and balances. But the contractors rarely lose money and have no constraints on their profits. Their "risk" is guaranteed and their profit is "privatized".
Yakers:

Your ignorance is showing
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 11:42 AM   #10
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Re: Military "benefits"

In Panama, firefighters are all volunteers......since some people on this board live in Panama, can you tell us how well that works out?

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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 11:43 AM   #11
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Re: Military "benefits"

All volunteers are issued a bag of marshmallows and an eight pack of italian weenies.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 11:45 AM   #12
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Re: Military "benefits"

And a six pack of their Panamanian beer of choice. Consume, wait 30 minutes, and have a pissing contest to see who can extinguish the largest amount of smoldering rubble and ashes.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 08:51 PM   #13
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
This is probably worth its own discussion, but I don't won't to go there. What I do want to say(IMHO) is if you really want to see abuse look at Govt contractors. The political system understands the military and civil service well enough over enough time to have controls and balances. But the contractors rarely lose money and have no constraints on their profits. Their "risk" is guaranteed and their profit is "privatized".
If you're talking Boeing & General Dynamics, then you may have a point. I suspect that on balance there are more good employees at those companies than there are bad apples, but one rotten core can do a heckuva lotta damage.

If you're talking about the half-dozen guys who form a small-business outfit and start chasing contracts, or my buddy Juan who teaches PACOM military how to use their cool HQ computers when he's not drilling with the Reserves, then I think you're waaaaaaaay off the mark.

Many of you think the civilian business world is a master of the slow payable, but I suspect that many more of you know that the government is the slowest payer of them all.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 09:41 PM   #14
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Re: Military "benefits"

Two POVs: I met one manager who said if you don't make great $$$$ from a Fed contract you are a fool, as an HR person with a Fed contractor I asked "do we REALLY need these"

IMHO Fed contracts are only for those who have no cash flow problems and are comfortable with the copious paper work. Not me, no how!!
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 09:45 PM   #15
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The military discharge does not mean what it used to.* I used to have to come across as a total jerk just to hand out a well-deserved OTHD, not that a civilian employer recognizes the difference anymore.* You don't see a BCD for anything less than a major felony-- large-scale drugs or grand larceny or grievous bodily injury-- and a DD probably requires treason or first-degree murder followed by Leavenworth.*
Good for you Nords for doing what you had to do.

My dad, his work buddies and uncles on both sides of the family were all WWII or Korean War Vets. They used to start most military stories with "The g** d*** *(Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) mades us_________ then they_______ ...

It was also obvious that they were proud of their military service and that they had no use for guys with any thing less that an honorable discharge. *

Funny how times change...

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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:45 PM   #16
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
The military, along with a lot of civil service positions like police officers, firemen, etc. has become a well paying job.
Here's the pay scale for the military.
http://www.dod.mil/militarypay/pay/b...Basic_Pay.html

The far majority of people are enlisted without the specialty pays. Yes they are paid for housing and food. If you were to compare the pay to the civilian counterpart, then yes they are paid well. But what mechanic knows what an auto-injector is and how to use it. What mechaninc or cook has to know how to inspect clean and care for all personal issued equipment, because failure to do so could result in ther deaths or the deaths of many other people. So yes they do get paid well but not nearly as well as they should.

I can't speak for the fire fighters, but police officer's I can. I make under 40,000 per year. I've been doing this job for 15 years. I have a four year degree. I can retire at 25 years if I want, but on this salary it isn't very likely. The DW makes over twice what I do and she has been in her field for 8 years, and has no degree. Her benefits as comparable to mine.

I look around and see truck driver's, mechanincs, and construction workers making more than I do, with half the responsibilty and danger. Last time I looked none of those people walk around with a concealed pistol to protect themselves or their families from some bozo who was arrested last night and has a vandetta against the officer.

So where's the money I want that job?
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-12-2006, 07:17 AM   #17
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Re: Military "benefits"

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire

I can't speak for the fire fighters, but police officer's I can.* I make under 40,000 per year.* I've been doing this job for 15 years.* I have a four year degree.* I can retire at 25 years if I want, but on this salary it isn't very likely.* The DW makes over twice what I do and she has been in her field for 8 years, and has no degree.* Her benefits as comparable to mine.

I look around and see truck driver's, mechanincs, and construction workers making more than I do, with half the responsibilty and danger.* Last time I looked none of those people walk around with a concealed pistol to protect themselves or their families from some bozo who was arrested last night and has a vandetta against the officer.

So where's the money I want that job?
With absolutely no disrespect intended, I will play Devil's Advocate for a moment.

Do the truck drivers, mechanics, construction workers get an iron-clad pension (and maybe retiree health benefits)? Not bloody likely. Police work is like a lot of gummint service: the pay is back loaded into reetirement compared with the cash on the barrelhead typical of the private sector.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-12-2006, 08:10 AM   #18
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Re: Military "benefits"

Does the military get paid well. Yes, better today then in the past. Do we get a solid pension(50% base pay) and med. benifits upon retirement...yes.
But some of you need to back up and see the big picture. Any individual who has the personality type to milk any system, AKA loser/bottom dweller, etc. is very unlikely to last the 20 years required to qualify for a pension or medical benifits. From my experience, both civilian and military, these types never stay long in any career. It's like any group of people. You have those at the top of their game and those who barely get by.
The military today is very unlike the one from our past. Todays military unloads big dollars to train individuals in the newest technology and to keep their skills current and up to date. The U.S has learned that dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars to train individuals only to see them leave after 4-6 years is a waste of your "TAX DOLLARS." The increases in pay and benifits is aimed at helping to keep people in and save all of you money. There is great pride in military life but it comes with a price. Every year I wonder if I'll spend Christmas with my family or in a different part of the world. Will my children have to go through the pain of not seeing Dad for another 6 month stretch. I hope I come back to them like last time. How long will these 15 hour shifts last and when will I get a day off. When I do get a day off why do I have to go to a required class or do training for 12 hours. I go TDY ( temporary duty assignment) at least twice a year to where ever I'm told. This is just a piece of my life in the military. Do I complain, sometimes sure. But at the end of the day I'm proud and feel great pride in what I do. I PROTECT MY COUNTRY AND FAMILY. If this is something you would do then come and join our team. And thanks to all you tax payers for making my life a little easier.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-13-2006, 12:38 AM   #19
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Re: Military "benefits"

Brewer--It depends where you work as a police officer. In my area there are 15 agencies. Five have a good pension, 75% after 25 years, mine included. The rest are the same as you would receive in the private sector, a 401 type plan without employer match, typically with a mandatory 5% contribution by you, but it can be higher if you want.

The medical benefits are great, if your single. They're paid for. Since this job is a small community we constatntly compare benefits with other agencies. Most are similar to mine. If I have a family I will pay 1/3 of my paycheck for medical only insurance no dental. If you think about that for a second, about 38-50% of wages are spent on medical and saving for a retirement. I made less than 40000 last year so that would effectively take my pay to 20000-24000 per year. Granted it can be done in retirement. It is not easy with a family. Forget about buying a house with that income. Well you could buy one, but you'll live next to the drug dealer you arrested last week.

My corporal literally had to take a second job, and roommate so he could afford to replace a worn out beater car. I thought he was a bad money manager, until we sat down and started talking. His only debt was a credit card he paid off each month. He lives in a decent apartment. He does have a kid, but got out of child support with the hook that he had to provide health insurance. If you barely make enough to live on you have a real hard time saving extra to retire on.

I agree the benefits are where it's at. If it wasn't for the DW I would have to find a full-time job when I retire from this one.
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Re: Military "benefits"
Old 01-13-2006, 08:28 AM   #20
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Re: Military "benefits"

Somehow the "tax" part of the family budget has gone from like 2% to 40something% in the last 50 years.......


Is life 20x better now than the 50's?


I wasn't alive back then, so I don't know, but my parents and their brothers/sisters talk about it like it was the good ole days.
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