A Marine Volunteers--For a Pay Cut

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by cb7893, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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  2. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    I couldn't access the link but I googled the title and found it.

    I was a bit underwhelmed. (First of all, in looking up the author, the dude posts his SAT score on his Linked In account . . . um, what?!)

    I agree that there's a lot of waste in the military, and some of the special pay stuff could go. (I had some buddies who got the per diem in Bahrain that he cites and they made bank during that deployment. On the other hand, they are SEALS and I really didn't grudge them a little per diem bonus given the s___ they are in more often than not.) I also agree with his arguments that some "sacred cows" will have to be looked at. That may mean the scope of health care benefits for future military retirees (health care costs in the public and private sector are insane); it may mean the 50% pension for future retirees; it may mean, moving away from the military, that the retirement age for social security is raised.

    I think that his "base pay" argument was really a way to dramatize his "it's time to get serious about deficits and there should be no sacred cows" arguments, but if it is meant substantively I disagree -- that's not where the waste/abuse/overpaying is to be found (in the humble opinion of this childless, single Marine officer).
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Having been a single, childless Coast Guard officer, I don't think base pay is the issue. I do think tax free BAH is an interesting thing to look at.

    Honestly, the reserve components of each service could stand a look for cuts as could some benefit programs.

    I don't think we need to send every officer to grad school, on the service's dime (in addition to the GI Bill opportunities).

    I'm likely not unbiased here, my undergrad education at CGA was paid, in full, by the U.S. taxpayer by way of the U.S. Coast Guard and my grad school education at GW was paid, in full, by the U.S. taxpayer via the GI Bill. So I know I've more than used my fill of U.S. taxpayer support (although, I would maintain that, atleast for CGA, I paid it back with service).

    I know of officers with an academy education, who early in their careers took part in their service's grad school programs, and then as senior officers attended a service grad school like the Naval War College.... all while still having the option to us the GI Bill.

    That's a big overkill in my opinion. I have mixed feelings on first-tour grad school programs as well.

    But base pay? I don't think that's the issue. When you boil it down to base pay, a military officer's salary doesn't look so hot anymore. Tack on the BAH, healthcare etc.... well it looks much better.
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Honestly, I look at it a bit different. Rather than cutting the reserves I think a better option would be to bolster funds and increase unit readiness while simultaneously cutting the AD force. I have already heard from a number of AD NCOs and officer that their motor-pools are becoming silent with no funds to move vehicles which leaves their Joe's to essentially guard wall lockers all day all the while receiving full pay. You can only do so much hip-pocket training. With the force reduction for the Army it is obvious why they are hitting AD so hard and not the reserves.

    Base pay is nothing to write home about, but I agree that the tax free BAH (for me roughly $1500 as a single O-1) is rather nice
     
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    By slicing money from AD and bolstering the Reserves what you end up doing is trading readiness for marginal cost savings. The Reserves are a poor substitute for an AD force.
     
  6. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    But how big of an AD force do we need for coming years especially with the national debt. Will we need the same size standing Army?
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    My experience with reserves was with the Coast Guard reserves during the BP oil spill. While I appreciate the individual experiences that each member brought to the response (and some were very valuable), they were very unprepared as Coast Guardsmen (which is on them and the Coast Guard for not figuring out how to make them more prepared).
     
  8. mulan50

    mulan50 Member

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    Coming down on Reservists? More and more reservists were being deployed to. Iraq and Afghanistan. My older son's reserve unit was put on active duty status in April 2006. 5 months extensive training in Camp LeJuene and 29 Palms. Rotation for USMC was 7 months out of country. He was in AnBar right before the surge was announced. I can assure you the USMC had that unit well prepared.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I want to differentiate between reservists and the reserves. I can only speak to my experience with the Coast Guard, as well.

    I personally think the Coast Guard has done a horrible job including its reservists. Yes they drill. Yes they train. But they aren't "in it" every day. My feeling was some had been out of the loop for some time. So you put someone in a situation that has only passively been involved with someone who has done it day in, day out, for years. The two didn't mix all of the time.

    I had 14 people working for me during the spill, some civilian (from multiple agencies), some reservists. My guys and gals were great at their jobs, but it wasn't a strictly military environment, we were responded to a continuous oil spill.

    The break downs game more from the interactions I saw outside of my group. A reservist Coast Guard captain yelling at a reservist Coast Guard commander for a reason that didn't warrant quite the response, and then afairly forceful answer back from the commander.... all in the presence of junior officers like myself and enlisted members. That, generally, although not always, would have been handled behind closed doors for active duty senior officers. The Coast Guard has also gone through an organizational change that it was clear, hadn't been communicated to our reserve counterparts.

    Now, that's not to say they were valuable. My folks especially were invaluable and proved themselves daily. I just don't think the Coast Guard "owned" them they way it should. I also worked for a reservist commander during the spill who was a great leader and really supported me.

    There were other areas with conflict between reservists who assumed they would worldly and enlightened individuals to the institutionalized active duty members, and active duty members who believed their were finely tuned machines compared to their disconnected and uniformed reservists.

    No doubt many of the reservists thought they were high speed and up on the times, but I'm not sure the Coast Guard gave them the tools to be as successful as they could have been.
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I agree that SOME Reserves are a poor substitute for SOME AD force, but not all Reserves. I think all those smarts folks at Pentagon can figure out way to substitue some AD force for Reserves if they set aside their institutional bias.
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ah! There's the mistake. You assume "all those smarts folks" are at the Pentagon. (I was going to add a winking smiley here, but forgot, and can figure out how in "edit post" mode...)
     
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    So after spending a deployment's length of time getting them ready, they were prepared for a deployment to a mature theater that the AD force had established. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for how the reserves could replace the AD force.
     
  13. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I have heard nothing but good things about reserve JAG and medical units but then again they do the same job in the civilian world. I think you would be hard pressed to say AD are leaps and bounds above their reserve counterparts in those two particular areas.

    I have also had (AD to reserve) friends who said their reserve units replaced some AD units that were so jacked up that in one instance my friends' reserve signal unit pretty much had to come in and re-do their products/ by-products of the METL and MDPM processes and cable operations support structure.

    I do understand that their are plenty of anecdotes against the NG/reserves though...
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Considering MDMP is a doctrinal planning method, and not a product, I'd like to know how they had to "re-do" another unit's MDMP and METL.
     
  15. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I understand what they are, I am talking about the products or by-products of those planning methods when they took over instead of utilizing what was already in place (course of actions etc.). Sorry for not making that clear and I know that each unit develops it's own METL based on some over arching guidance from above. His comments regarding the situation were that a METL had never formally existed to the extent of which doctrine dictates or at least it was never overt in the hand-off-process.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013

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