7 Ways the Military is Wasting Money

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Chockstock, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/12/7_absurd_ways_the_military_wastes_taxpayer_dollars/

    Can we confirm this? Paints a pretty awful picture of our generals and frankly really disturbing and un-American
     
  2. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    Consider the source, not particularly authoritative and from a publication that is admittedly left of center (alternet http://www.alternet.org/about )
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It's good to remember that there are far more than 7 ways that the military wastes money, but these seem to be correct.

    Not sure I agree with each, to the same level. The support staff for service cheifs and combatant commanders isn't uncalled for. Admirals and generals can't be expected to research everything, and plan everything, and drive everywhere on their own. CEOs can't do it. Congressmen and Senators can't do it.

    Golf courses.... get rid of them and the people who maintain them.

    Far too many admirals and generals, although not many in the Coast Guard (not sure the exact number but less than 100, probably less than 50).

    The Coast Guard has one main band and a break of band for smaller events. I won't deny the need for a service to have a band, but when I heard the size and budgets of the DOD bands... I was disturbed. No need for all of that.

    And I would agree the average general or admiral is fairly disconnected from the troops.
     
  4. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Don't get rid of the AF Golf Courses. It wouldn't be the same service.:shake:
     
  5. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    From someone who has seen this from the inside, my take on the article's 7 points:

    1) Too many Generals. Yep. The DoD bureaucracy has grown exponentially since 9/11, mostly because the budget spigot for every "great idea" was turned full open and remained that way for a decade. The Intelligence Community has grown exponentially, and its levels of bureaucracy has grown with it. This needs to be slashed, BIG TIME.

    But let's also look at the civilian oversight of the DoD, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and THAT staff. The US Military has 1,000 General Officers leading a little over 2.1 men and women. OSD has over 430 Senior Executive Staff (SES) officers (General Officer equivalents), leading about 30,000 civilians. And you think the Military's bureaucracy is top heavy!

    The simple solution isto drastically cut the bureaucracy in both organizations. The DoD continually sees this, and in flashes of ironic brilliance, creates a new office, complete with GO leadership, to review the problem. Simply stated, bureaucracies are probalby the most dificult to kill of all "dragons".

    2) Bloated General staffs. Not so much as one thinks. Look, I for one see what the typical GO's daily schedule looks like. Not many CEOs have as much responsibility, or as full a daily calendar, as most military generals. I GET they need staffs to take care of the little things, just like the CEOS of Ford, IBM, GE, and every other big business does. I do get a little upset that they get this kiond of treatment at home, but then again a typical Capt isn't expected to be attend, or host, the number of "social" events these GOs do.

    3) Scandals. Simple answer: screw up in the military with illigal activity such as some of these scandals = jail time and/or lose your retirement benefits. Not many GOs want to do that to a fellow GO however, and neither does the SecDEF. Answer -- take the punishment out of THEIR hands and put into the hands of someone not so intimately close to the DoD. Whom this should fall to is a little tricky - perhaps federal judges?

    4) Warped sense of reality. Yep, it happens, and to levels I'm a little uncomfortable with. They simply DON"T KNOW or don't remember what it was like to be "one of the little people". I expect the spotlight on this situation is gonna temper that for a little while, at least.

    I am also the first to say it comes at a price, as in you're working 18+ hour days, 365 days a year, tied to a Blackberry on the other 6. No such thing as an "end of the work day" or "weekend" for the GOs (and I know, there are some in the civilian world who have that as well. They get compensated for it better financially, however. An dI'm betting the CEOs of GM have it a little better in regards to "perks", with less responsibility).

    5) Golf. Stupid point, as these are paid for with MWR funds for every military member and retiree to use. Simply stated: it is ILLEGAL to use DoD budget to fund these, it all comes out of a separate bucket of money. See that 3% surcharge on your BX / Commissary receipt? It comes form that. And they STILL make you pay to actually play a round. Like I said, stupid (and incorrect) point from the article author.

    Also, don't tell the article's author now, but most bases also have free gyms! The horror! Actually having nice recreational activities for our troops! We should be so ashamed....

    6) Bands. One band for each service -- period. The rest need to simply go away. Need music for your next parade, General? Buy an Ipod and a speaker system. They don't get a salary and benefits.

    7) The express train to a cushy defense contracting job? OK, I'm a living example of this, but not at the Exec VP level that most GOs expect. And why do the GOs get hired as Exec VPs when they retire? It's not WHAT they know, but WHO they know -- they have access to the current General's calendar for private "visits", moslty becuase these current GOs used to work for them. They're hired for "networking", and if they don't produce in 5 years (when they can rely less on being able to "network" becuase a new crop they have no influence over is now in charge), they are shown the door by their new bosses.

    So, simple solution: 5 year moratorium from date of retirement to date whaen they can work for a Defense Contractor, or date when they can meet with current DoD leadership.

    Also simple solutions (and have been recommened before). The probelm is once the spot ligth recedes, the system goes back to "status quo", mostly becuase "status quo" is rather nice, and the GOs are the ones making the rules.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  6. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    I do have some funny stories about traveling as part of the "King's entourage", though... :thumb:
     
  7. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    I know I just posted another problem in our military and I wish I could think of solutions...a lot of this seems cultural and I just don't know how exactly you're going to change the culture of an entire organization

    Bullet: please share! :smile:
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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  9. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I can't imagine the DOD is the ONLY federal department that can't pass a financial audit, but I wouldn't doubt its inability.
     
  11. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Civilian Gate Guards- I don't know about the bases around where you guys are located, but Ft Lewis (until recently) used DoD civ contractors to guard the gates. I talked to one at the PX once and he told me he was making 30+ a hour. After that you can tack on night differentials, overtime, weekend pay and these guards become very very costly. I have never understood why the units couldn't just loan a few junior enlisted to man the gates on a rotating schedule (even with deployments)....

    It's little things like these that rack up an insane budget, oh and the free cosmetic surgeries...
     
  12. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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    I've been to JBLM a number of times and noticed that. Here in Newport, RI, the Naval Station is usually guarded by petty officers.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    In most cases, no, units could not simply just "loan out" a few junior enlisted Soldiers.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Then put them on a rotation. Andrews and Bolling do it. Key West and Little Creek do it. I believe Quantico does it.

    Just throw and MP on it... let him be disrespectful to everyone that pulls in... There are half a million soldiers.... something tells me you can find a few and put them at a gate.
     
  15. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I'm not surprised the Air Force can do it, and I'm not surprised it can be done on places like Key West and Little Creek.

    Now, back in the real world, the contract guards appeared when the endless deployments to two theaters started. As the tempo has slowed down, Soldiers have returned to the gates as guards at most FORSCOM installations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  16. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    If these guys worked in the private sector they would probably be making much more than they do as Flags. It's an incentive to convince the good ones that it's worth it to stay as opposed getting out at 20.

    The real problem with military/government spending is how budgets are determined. If you don't spend all your money in a year then you don't get it the next year. What this turns into is organizations/units blowing a ton of money in September on things they don't need so they can get the same amount (which they proved they could do with less) in the next fiscal year.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm not convinced they would survive long enough in the private sector to make this kind of money, with the nice retirement program as well. Yes, being a flag makes you attractive to government contractors, but they're also come up in a system that isn't totally indicative of the real world, outside of the service.

    The problem as I see it, for funding is, the return on investment isn't there. When someone is hired in the private sector, the HR folks are hoping their get some ROI on that hire. In the federal government, the money allocation isn't directly related to performance or needs, its due to a higher powers wants and needs.... the two don't always match up.
     
  18. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    This article is exaggerating a bit when it comes to GOFO staff and expenses. Only the big boys have a big staff. The majority of GOFOs (1 and 2 stars) have only one or two aides. Navy 1 stars don't have an aide billet assigned(they usually pick someone from their staff to serve as an aide), two stars I think get an O-6 and an O-3. These guys wearing loops do a lot more than administrative and personal services for their flag officers and this article unfairly paints the picture of them doing it full time. The vast majority also dont jet set around the world on their own planes.

    I do agree that many star billets should essentially be dropped a level down. I dont know why O-6's cant do most of the 1 star staff jobs. That would save a lot of money right there.

    What this article doesn't point out is the cost of health care is eating away at our budget. I dont understand why there isn't a premium for dependents. Servicemembers have to pay a premium for dependent dental (an awful plan BTW), why not a premium for Tricare Prime too? Why not pay a premium for each child as well?
     
  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Say hello KBR and Academi aka Xe Services LLC aka Blackwater USA aka Worldwide Blackwater (Xe).
     
  20. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Lets hope that the soldiers can do a better job on bases than the contract security did in this situation...

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jul/31/more-details-of-stunning-y-12-break-in-offered/

    The sad part is that these are nukes we are talking about here and these guys can't even prevent an 82-year-old nun from getting to them???

    IMHO these facilities should have military guards considering the risks.
     

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