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Old 06-04-2011, 05:45 PM   #41
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Here is another little known difference between a military and civilian career. Let's say you are a pilot, and have 13 years in service. You fail to make O-4. You are out! No pension, no healthcare, just goodby. Then again it could happen at the 18 year point if you don't make O-5. That one is a little harder for the services, but I believe it is still it on the books.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:52 PM   #42
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You are out! No pension, no healthcare, just goodby. Then again it could happen at the 18 year point if you don't make O-5. That one is a little harder for the services, but I believe it is still it on the books.
That actually happened to a friend of mine. He was in great condition (could run rings around me) but his commander said he was over the weight limit. The doc recommended a waiver but the CO overruled him. Out the door after 18 years. Simply because the CO didn't like him.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:58 PM   #43
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Here is another little known difference between a military and civilian career. Let's say you are a pilot, and have 13 years in service. You fail to make O-4. You are out! No pension, no healthcare, just goodby. Then again it could happen at the 18 year point if you don't make O-5. That one is a little harder for the services, but I believe it is still it on the books.

I think that is what happened to my ex-wife's current husband. He was a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He was in about 13 years, an Air Force Academy graduate, instructor pilot etc. However, he failed to advance beyond 0-3 (Captain for you Navy pukes!) He was squeezed out of the Air Force, and for a couple of years, while he tried to get on with the airlines, he worked in a glass factory. He did eventually get on with one of the major airlines and I believe he's doing ok now. My current wife & my ex get along well, and I like the ex's current hubby just fine. We've fished together a time or two. Seems strange, I know but life's too short, and now that the kids are grown (I had custody of our 2 girls) there's nothing to fight about.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:58 PM   #44
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Here is another little known difference between a military and civilian career. Let's say you are a pilot, and have 13 years in service. You fail to make O-4. You are out! No pension, no healthcare, just goodby. Then again it could happen at the 18 year point if you don't make O-5. That one is a little harder for the services, but I believe it is still it on the books.
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That actually happened to a friend of mine. He was in great condition (could run rings around me) but his commander said he was over the weight limit. The doc recommended a waiver but the CO overruled him. Out the door after 18 years. Simply because the CO didn't like him.
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I think that is what happened to my ex-wife's current husband. He was a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He was in about 13 years, an Air Force Academy graduate, instructor pilot etc. However, he failed to advance beyond 0-3 (Captain for you Navy pukes!) He was squeezed out of the Air Force, ...
FWIW the rules change with the retention situation (and to some extent with the personalities), but the intent of Title X is that anyone reaching 18 years is guaranteed the opportunity to stay to 20. In the Navy that even includes a "continuation board" for those who don't select to O-5-- just to see if they can get to 18. Spouse encountered a similar situation a decade ago and we spent quite a few hours interpreting the differences between the enabling legislation and the service instruction. Many times the service instruction doesn't fully incorporate the enabling legislation (or contradicts it).

When I failed selection to O-5 I was "continued on good behavior" until I was "retirement eligible". Just before that happened I was on a staff with a number of officers under that system. When the military offered TERA, a temporary 15-year retirement, those officers were informed that they were suddenly retirement eligible. I think they had 120-180 days' warning. Not only that but their "50% of base pay at 20" became something much less-- IIRC 35%. Lawsuits flew to no avail.

A couple years later when my turn came I enthusiastically applied for TERA three different times and was turned down each time. The submarine force had already cut too deep. When I got to 20 my XO seriously offered to have BUPERS go to Congress to extend me for a year or two "on good performance" because of personnel shortages. There are submarine officers in YG96 who are practically guaranteed selection to command, let alone O-5, because we cut too deep in the late 90s. Shades of the 1970s all over again.

When spouse was in the Navy Reserve she encountered dozens of officers who, for one reason or another, weren't promoted to O-4 and were ordered to resign from active duty. For some reason they were allowed to join the Reserves, where a year or two later they had miraculously "rehabilitated" their performance (usually a different set of personalities) and promoted to O-4.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:17 AM   #45
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FWIW the rules change with the retention situation (and to some extent with the personalities), but the intent of Title X is that anyone reaching 18 years is guaranteed the opportunity to stay to 20. In the Navy that even includes a "continuation board" for those who don't select to O-5-- just to see if they can get to 18. Spouse encountered a similar situation a decade ago and we spent quite a few hours interpreting the differences between the enabling legislation and the service instruction. Many times the service instruction doesn't fully incorporate the enabling legislation (or contradicts it).

When I failed selection to O-5 I was "continued on good behavior" until I was "retirement eligible". Just before that happened I was on a staff with a number of officers under that system. When the military offered TERA, a temporary 15-year retirement, those officers were informed that they were suddenly retirement eligible. I think they had 120-180 days' warning. Not only that but their "50% of base pay at 20" became something much less-- IIRC 35%. Lawsuits flew to no avail.

A couple years later when my turn came I enthusiastically applied for TERA three different times and was turned down each time. The submarine force had already cut too deep. When I got to 20 my XO seriously offered to have BUPERS go to Congress to extend me for a year or two "on good performance" because of personnel shortages. There are submarine officers in YG96 who are practically guaranteed selection to command, let alone O-5, because we cut too deep in the late 90s. Shades of the 1970s all over again.

When spouse was in the Navy Reserve she encountered dozens of officers who, for one reason or another, weren't promoted to O-4 and were ordered to resign from active duty. For some reason they were allowed to join the Reserves, where a year or two later they had miraculously "rehabilitated" their performance (usually a different set of personalities) and promoted to O-4.
I think 15 years would have yielded 37.5% under TERA. It worked the same as going over 20, but in reverse. 2.5% per year, and broken down into months. There might have been some other penalty in addition to that, but it's been too long ago and I don't remember.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:16 AM   #46
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I agree with this argument. It was the deal coming in. The government and insurance companies would have us believe that insurance is a form of currency, which it is not.
Sure as I've said commitments should not be broken....but it all comes down to politics in the end. Tricare is obviously a good deal and the US tax payer is subsidizing military healthcare to a massive extent. So far no one wants to make a political point out of that as has been done with other groups like auto-workers and teachers. It's easy to demonize those groups and attack their benefits. It's harder with the military as most people respect them. Also the usual deficit hawks have a vested interest in attacking unionized workers rather than the military because of the way the groups tend to vote. But there's a point where the differential between healthcare benefits for the military and the rest of the population will become unsustainable and I think that point is any Medicare reform.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:37 AM   #47
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I think 15 years would have yielded 37.5% under TERA. It worked the same as going over 20, but in reverse. 2.5% per year, and broken down into months. There might have been some other penalty in addition to that, but it's been too long ago and I don't remember.
That sounds right.

I saved a three-inch binder of "important Navy paperwork" from those days, but I'd have to look through it for a long time to figure out if I kept a TERA message.

During the Cold War there wasn't much sympathy in the submarine force for guys who couldn't get selected for XO or O-5. Even if they were genuinely clueless (or incompetent) the feeling was that they weren't hauling their share of the load in building 125 attack submarines and 50 boomers. Extended sea tours and shorter shore duty were leaving everyone grumpy.

Of course a few years of the early 1990s drawdown, including 35-40% selection rates for XO, changed that attitude. Since the decommissioned boomers had two crews, 35-40% was about how many submarine crews were left. Add the Internet economic boom to that environment and a thundering herd of steely-eyed killers of the deep was heading for the exits.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #48
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The US taxpayer is asking military members, and in some cases their family's, to go in harms way! For this they lay out a series or rewards, pay, time off, living conditions, retirement, and yes health care.

In the above statement you can replace US Taxpayer with 'Employer' and Military menbers, with Employees. You can then replace 'go in harms' way with well say 'put on tires'.

At any rate you come up with the same thing. A promise for work performed. If you want to change this for new hires, no problem. If you want to change this for those working, no problem, as long as you fairly compensate those for the time under the 'old system'. If you want to change for those that have retired, big problem, yet for the military, no problem!
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #49
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The US taxpayer is asking military members, and in some cases their family's, to go in harms way! For this they lay out a series or rewards, pay, time off, living conditions, retirement, and yes health care.

In the above statement you can replace US Taxpayer with 'Employer' and Military menbers, with Employees. You can then replace 'go in harms' way with well say 'put on tires'.

At any rate you come up with the same thing. A promise for work performed. If you want to change this for new hires, no problem. If you want to change this for those working, no problem, as long as you fairly compensate those for the time under the 'old system'. If you want to change for those that have retired, big problem, yet for the military, no problem!
I'm with you that you should get what you were promised, as should everyone. I hope that those that want to protect mitary benefits also want to protect Medicare and the benefits negotiated by others as well.

I don't feel that the type of work the military does gives them any greater claim to fairness or social justice than any other group. The reality of the deficit and the inability of politicians to raise revenue means that everyone will have to sacrifice. Medicare benefits will change an I would hope that military retirees will support the nation by paying higher Tricare premiums.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:55 PM   #50
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My guess is you will never understand. Can you quit? Can you refuse to do something you boss tells you to do without going to jail? If your boss pays for you to go to school, are you legally obligated to work for him for say another 4 years? If you are a secretary, can you boss tell you to get a gun and guard the front gate, and you have to do it or go to jail or may be shot? If you are hired as a chemist, can your boss make you a fireman, and for four years you have to fight fires?

Yes it is an all volunteer force. Men and women volunteer based on the fact that they believe that their fellow countrymen will keep their word. You don't see the difference, and I doubt you ever will.

A side note that maybe Lionidas could fill in, yesterday, the Houston paper said that a policeman killed in the line of duty could collect $300,000 from the federal government, yet, SGLI for a service member is $250,000. Congress at work again!
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:54 PM   #51
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Can you quit? Can you refuse to do something you boss tells you to do without going to jail? If your boss pays for you to go to school, are you legally obligated to work for him for say another 4 years? If you are a secretary, can you boss tell you to get a gun and guard the front gate, and you have to do it or go to jail or may be shot? If you are hired as a chemist, can your boss make you a fireman, and for four years you have to fight fires?

Yes it is an all volunteer force. Men and women volunteer based on the fact that they believe that their fellow countrymen will keep their word.
My nephew is a Navy pilot. I've lost count of how many times he's been in a war zone and how many times he told us someone he knew died in the line of duty. You bet I think my tax dollars should fund great health insurance benefits for people like him.

But how about all the federal employees who also get health insurance subsidised by the taxpayers? Should we foot the cost of insuring an accountant working for OPM while so many of the taxpayers paying for this benefit don't have the same access to affordable health insurance?

DH and I are in a retiree group plan but pay full price - nearly $1000 a month. I don't mind our tax dollars helping our military but do have an issue paying for insurance for others while many American citizens are left without viable options.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #52
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Sure as I've said commitments should not be broken....but it all comes down to politics in the end. Tricare is obviously a good deal and the US tax payer is subsidizing military healthcare to a massive extent. So far no one wants to make a political point out of that as has been done with other groups like auto-workers and teachers. It's easy to demonize those groups and attack their benefits. It's harder with the military as most people respect them. Also the usual deficit hawks have a vested interest in attacking unionized workers rather than the military because of the way the groups tend to vote. But there's a point where the differential between healthcare benefits for the military and the rest of the population will become unsustainable and I think that point is any Medicare reform.
I believe teachers should be given what they were promised. A little different with Auto workers in the private sector. GM bond holders didn't get what was promised to them. The stupidity about the whole promise thing is that they are promising the services of the medical profession, a third party. That's like a few men drawing straws to see who gets to go home with Jennifer Lopez! I'm thinking she will probably have something to say about that.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:29 PM   #53
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I think Tricare will be the proxy battleground for fixing Medicare/Medicaid...
Excellent point!

Also, interesting regarding doctors unwillingness to take on TRICARE insured patients. Insurance isn't any good if it won't be honored as a contract for service by a clinician/healthcare provider. What that says to me is the clinician believes they can make a lot more money with other means and are unwilling to settle for less - i.e. the risk analysis tells them it's not worth the hassle. At least for now, you can't compel the clinician to take the business.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:50 PM   #54
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Purron, actually, I do believe the Federal Accountant should get what the government promised. So should the teacher, fire fighter, police and other government employees, IF they have earned it. By that I mean if it is a 30 year retirement and they worked for 30 years then the government should keep it's promise. If they have only worked a year then they are only owed 1/30 or maybe less depending on vesting. You don't change the rules after someone has played the game. The government can keep all it's promises to those that are retired, on medicare and SS. They can not do this and continue to spend money to keep the politician in office by buying votes.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:07 PM   #55
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Purron, actually, I do believe the Federal Accountant should get what the government promised. So should the teacher, fire fighter, police and other government employees, IF they have earned it. By that I mean if it is a 30 year retirement and they worked for 30 years then the government should keep it's promise. If they have only worked a year then they are only owed 1/30 or maybe less depending on vesting. You don't change the rules after someone has played the game. The government can keep all it's promises to those that are retired, on medicare and SS. They can not do this and continue to spend money to keep the politician in office by buying votes.
I believe you're right. It's just too easy to get bitter when you're paying nearly $12,000 a year for insurance. Dang, I remember when I made assistant manager in a bank many moons ago and was so excited to be earning $8500 a year

BTW, DH and I have worked for over 35 years each. I job hopped but he stayed working for the same local government for over 33 years. He started working on a trash truck and rose through the ranks to oversee water, sewer, and other public works projects.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #56
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A side note that maybe Lionidas could fill in, yesterday, the Houston paper said that a policeman killed in the line of duty could collect $300,000 from the federal government, yet, SGLI for a service member is $250,000. Congress at work again!

Rustic23, I'm in agreement with pretty much everything you're saying on this subject. Just wanted to let you know though, that SGLI max is now $400,000. It was raised to that amount a year or two ago, not sure exactly when.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #57
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My guess is you will never understand. Can you quit? Can you refuse to do something you boss tells you to do without going to jail? If your boss pays for you to go to school, are you legally obligated to work for him for say another 4 years? If you are a secretary, can you boss tell you to get a gun and guard the front gate, and you have to do it or go to jail or may be shot? If you are hired as a chemist, can your boss make you a fireman, and for four years you have to fight fires?

Yes it is an all volunteer force. Men and women volunteer based on the fact that they believe that their fellow countrymen will keep their word. You don't see the difference, and I doubt you ever will.
No I don't see the difference, a contact is a contract. You volunteered and you should get the benefits you were promised, just like everyone else that was promised a certain pension or health insurance. The reality is that Americans are seeing their benefits cut or having to pay more for them. I wish that the politicians and employers had different priorities, but they don't and I believe that if benefits are to be cut both the civilian and military should be included.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:22 PM   #58
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You take a pay cut or have your benefits cut, therefore, it is alright for you to do it to the other guy. That's your argument? Because you are the government, you elected the officials that made those promises and because your employer will screw you, you want to see someone else screwed.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:34 PM   #59
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Awww, come on Rustic23 and Nun. Let's just agree on one thing: we need to fix this health care problem. This is coming from a lady who is paying big bucks for coverage and has been a faithful taxpayer for many years. I'm not hating. Just looking for solutions.

All you need is love...and good health insurance!

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Old 06-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #60
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Fair enough.
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