Words by Mike Weisbecker.
The past few weeks we've been getting treated to the services enlisted “leaders” saying in no uncertain terms that the service members understand why their pay and allowances needs to be cut and wholeheartedly support the cuts. Then the O-10’s testified the same “belief” to Congress.
I don’t know what color the sky is on their planet, and I don’t want to know.
Pay and allowances is always a topic of conversation in ready rooms, troop bays, and galleys every day. In the military, it is discussed in any workplace you go to and in every household. I have never in my life ever heard anyone say “no go ahead and cut my pay for the greater good”.
Think about the folks trumpeting this to Congress. All of them will retire from these positions in the next two years. Their retirements (0-10 and E-9) are guaranteed (for now, never know with this Congress). They won’t be affected by this pay cut and even if they were, it’s a bit easier to absorb it when you are at the top of the pay pile.
Military.com conducted a survey of 8400 folks (active duty, spouses, retirees, veterans) of which 2000 were active duty. 90 percent of the active-duty disagreed with the lowering of the proposed pay raise for the next fiscal year. 94 percent disagree with reducing the housing allowance to the point where the member pays 5% out of pocket.
Do we need to reduce the defense budget? Yep. Waste is rampant throughout the department and that is what has service members even more upset with the proposed reductions in these areas. You’ll cut my pay but never mind cutting the pay of civil servants. Don’t look behind the curtain and point out the waste like the 30 plus million dollar building at Bagram AB in Afghanistan that CENTCOM didn't ask for and that has never been utilized. Cost overruns in an ever more delayed F-35 program? You didn't see that. It’s some twisted Jedi mind trick the powers that be are playing with us.
I would hate to be a recruiter today (well I would have hated it anytime).
The “leaders” say that readiness needs to be maintained as the reason for these cuts. Well, guess what? All that whiz-bang crap that doesn't work as advertised needs people to maintain it. These people like to get paid. They are going to work alongside support contractors getting paid 2-4 times what they are to do the same job. They’d like to live in a safe neighborhood which costs a bit more money.
How about we get rid of the “leaders” and their paychecks to start? We have way more flag officers and senior enlisted leaders than we need.
With all the other things going on with troop reductions, maybe the ones leaving the ship are the lucky ones.