One MORE Reason Why That Military Retirement Should Have NOTHING to Do With a “Civilian” Comparison

Shit you have to put up with like this:

Policy Forces More Marines E-5 and Below Into Barracks

Some Marine Corps noncommissioned officers will no longer be allowed to live off-base, instead being forced into the barracks, as part of a servicewide effort to maximize existing available housing.

WHAT does that mean? Well, it means that, if you’re a Sergeant, 25 years old and living off base (collecting your authorized allowances), you may continue to do so, until you receive orders to move to a new station. At THAT time, guess what?

You get to live back in a (hopefully) 180 sq ft box, it gets inspected by the command once a week (which means MILITARY linens, not your Sponge Bob sheets or the comforter your mom made for you), you might not be allowed to quaff so much as a beer in your own room (depending on the local regulations, or you FACE DISCIPLINARY ACTION), the storage fees for the furniture/household goods for the place you’ve been living in ~ possibly for YEARS ~ now come out of YOUR pocket, to get HOME after an evening out/EVERY SINGLE TIME, you have to face the harrassment by coming through the Hitler Youth/SecurityForces at the Front Gate, you don’t get to pick your roommate, whether you wanted one or not and you can’t wear your gym stuff into the commissary if you just wanted to grab a quick bite after working out.

Don’t forget about those “kinetic action” thingees they get involved in, either! There’s been a lot of that lately.

Those are just a few of the things that popped into my brain IMMEDIATELY. Can you imagine if I had all day?

THAT’S a small sampling of why this ridiculous, insane, ludicrous, Joe Bidenesque fantasy of “a military retirement has some equivalent in the civilian world” has no basis in reality. And why it’s so almighty dangerous to have a cadre of non-serving military “experts’ in Congress, all nodding their heads, going “yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags of shit full.”

There IS no parallel in the civilian world for what the military does and the, quite frankly, BULLSHIT they put up with that you can draw.

At it’s very core, WHAT civilian job requires you to sign away every civil right you ever had? In what civilian job would a single misstep and the judgement of an independent judiciary cost you your rights in society?

When you raise your right hand in the military, that’s what happens. The law of the land becomes the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the good nature of those senior to/appointed over you. That “separated under than honorable”, “for the good of the service”, “bad conduct discharge”…any of those are your scarlet letters and a fight to the death to get them changed.

HP doesn’t do that to you if things don’t work out.

That’s just the start. The 24/7, the holidays, the months and years, the required “Yes sir”, “No ma’am”s, the imposition of restrictions on your freedom of speech and expression. It’s also why the vast majority of recruits don’t make it past that first enlistment. You get tired of the f*ckf*ck real quick.

Nowadays, many of them leave within that first tour or two with several hundred thousand dollars worth of technical training that, combined with the discipline inherent in a seasoned military member, makes them an outstanding job prospect. (No, they don’t need a large monetary parting gift. The education they got and the GI bill they have now is “grazi” enough, so toss THAT particular compensation scheme out the window.)

Ebola just got out in town as a 29 year old and I sat in the barracks in Iwakuni as a 30 year old Sergeant myself ~ only 3 of us, so they stuck us in ONE ROOM together ~ I am completely in sympathy with these guys. They’re going to be treated like five year olds and pay for the privilege.

But, by all means, we have to remember, per the new “enlightened thinking” of the douchebags at the top.
It’s just like working for WalMart.

30 Responses to “One MORE Reason Why That Military Retirement Should Have NOTHING to Do With a “Civilian” Comparison”

  1. Skyler says:

    I think the proposal to grade your service by the type of duty is a bad idea. Everyone will be fighting to get their orders qualified as austere. And that means the swimming pool is not close enough to the barracks and in the Marines it means you eat only once a day, and that meal is an MRE.

    I do think they need some change to the retirement plan though. It’s true that retiring at age 37 or 38 and immediately pulling full retirement pay for the rest of your life is a bit too much. Reservists don’t get their retirement checks until they’re 60 years old (or thereabouts, I forget the exact age).

    At 37 or 38 years old with people living easily to their 70’s, that’s just a bit much for the tax payer to stomach.

    The rest of the proposed scheme is ill thought out.

  2. Skyler says:

    Oops, I meant to say “in the air force, the swimming pool is not close enough to the barracks”

  3. Skyler says:

    As for the barracks, we no longer have conscription, so we should no longer house our Marines like they’re slaves. It’s just not right.

    Meanwhile, the MarSOC sissy boys get personal trainers and rub downs.

  4. aelfheld says:

    It’s just like working for WalMart.

    Would you shop at a WalMart with Joe Biden as a ‘greeter’?

  5. Dave E. says:

    Ah, the good old days of having the UCMJ hanging over your head. Don’t forget double jeopardy. I went down to Ft. Bragg for AT one year and we all got a threat that if we got into trouble in town, the US Army would take a crack at us when the civilians were done. I believe the final word was, “GARanteed.”

  6. JeffS says:

    It’s amazing how the tune changes in the military when the economy tanks.

  7. It’s almost as if Panetta were in charge…

  8. tree hugging sister says:

    And Reserve retirements are meant to be that way, as they should be, Skyler. With the exception of the current unpleasantness, most reservists spend their two days on (getting credit for 4) once a month, their two weeks once a year and then start collecting those checks when they hit 60. We uniformly despised them when they’d show up at El Toro for a weekend (“Oh, gotta go cash my check!”, “Oh, gotta go for the F-18 simulator tour!”) ~ called them ‘tourists. Witness the outraged outcry when numerous Navy/AirForce reserve doctors, after doing the same for a decade and a half (not to mention availing themselves of the handsome educational benefits), actually got called up for Afghanistan after 9/11. HO-LEE SHIT. “I have a $5000 house payment! I CAN’T GO!!”

    Not guys like you (and I served with you as a fulltime dude) and Jeff. Pitiful. Really pitiful.

  9. Skyler says:

    The reserves’ drills are not like that now. At least not in the infantry. We sleep in the woods, usually without a tent, and we get almost no sleep for two and a half days.

    But what we rate has little to do with what should be paid to active duty. Getting a retirement check starting at age 37 or 38 until you die is overly generous. At that age you can easily get another job or sit on your butt and drink beer all day for the rest of your life.

    Also, the reservist retirement pay is not the same amount as the active duty. Well, it’s the same formula, but the number of points earned is vastly less. So, we have to be available, risk losing our jobs and often get lesser advancement (no matter what the pie-in-the-sky law says) and we drill every month. I know a lot of people on active duty who get 1.5 hours for lunch every day get off at 1600 and get every weekend of their careers off. And don’t tell me that you’ve never seen an active duty Marine approaching his retirement date suddenly find all sorts of aches and pains and old injuries that add up to a disability check.

    The bigotry against reservists gets tiring. Especially nowadays when many reservists have several tours overseas under their belts. I get really annoyed when some punk lieutenant with 3 years active duty starts an attitude towards reservists. He doesn’t realize, I suppose, that almost every officer in the reserves has a lot more time on active duty than he does, and even the staff sergeants who have always been in the reserves usually have more time on active duty than he does.

    But again, the real point is that paying someone a retirement check for 40 or 50 years is a bit excessive for 20 years of service, and we can’t afford it anymore.

  10. major dad says:

    Of course they want the military to sacrifice, they figure we are used to it. I can say when I came in it was just to be a Marine and maybe get some college bennies. I didn’t think about a pension till well into my second enlistment. If I had to pay into a 401K type thing and not get a pension till I was 65 no way would I have stayed in as I couldn’t forsee that I would become an Officer and stay past 30yrs. This is ill-conceived at best. A Sgt nowadays has stuff,not like when I was a Sgt and everthing I had fit in a seabag. I don’t think drawing pay at 20 yrs is “too” much, it’s an average of your last 3 yrs of pay and most enlisted, if they retire at 20, are E-7s or below, not that big a check. Factor in the hardships, the risk taken and the beating your body takes a check at 20 doesn’t seem too much to me. Fuck these people.

  11. tree hugging sister says:

    “Bigotry”. Oh, get off your high horse, for heavens’ sake. I excluded “the current unpleasantness” (and would never insult my Jeffs). The reservists now are kickin’ ass, just like the WWII and Korean guys did, only our kids NOW spend an assload more time with their lives in upheaval, unlike those guys who got sucked up for the duration. And YOU chose to stay in some capacity and work towards a retirement, did you not?

    I can understand your being peeved at a Lt. and he’s probably aghast when he realizes he’s up against 1) a major with active time and 2) a reserve major with more combat time than him. There’s douches in every crowd.

    But that FACT of the matter is, as sweet hubby says, a 20 yr active duty person spends 20 yrs in servitude (none of THAT guaranteed, mind you ~ you can get shitcanned any time before that) and gets 20 YRS of servitude, plus BEAT TO SHIT mentally and physically.

    Sorry. By the time you hit 20, there aren’t that many folks left and, like sweet husband says, there aren’t that many huge paychecks to pay out. As well, hardly anyone I know came away with the disability pay. They were the far flung exception.

    Every other promised benefit has fallen by the wayside long ago and realistically so. The servicemembers have sucked it up.

    Not this.

  12. JeffS says:

    I don’t think a pension after 20 years of active military service is too much. Sure, there are slobs who milk every bennie they can, but by and large, career military personnel EARN that pension. I don’t care if they live to be 125 years old, pay it.

    You want to save money in the Feds? Start cutting back on Federal employees overall, and trim down the number of senior employees; the explosion of the number of GS13s and higher is astounding, and a top heavy organization is pretty expensive. And I mean *ALL* employees, including the Post Office.

    Same thing for the military, by the way: last I heard, we have as many flag officers now as we did in WWII, but with far fewer troops. That’ll save a few shekels, no question about it.

    What we CAN’T afford, though, are all those entitlements. That’s the real pain here.

  13. JeffS says:

    But I will agree about the bigotry against the Reserves; I encountered that MULTIPLE times during my time, including the Kuwait tour. It’s a silly attitude, but it’s there. All you can do is teach the nimrods how wrong they are.

  14. Skyler says:

    THS, I of course meant no offense to you, and my comment about anti-reserve bigotry was not directed at you.

    I think a pension is certainly earned at 20 years, but I think it’s a reasonable proposition to consider paying out only after age 60, just like the reserves. When we don’t have $14 Trillion in debt I think the status quo is fine, but we do have $14T in debt and everything has to give, not a little, but a lot. There are a lot of people who want to work but don’t have jobs. They don’t have much sympathy for someone collecting retirement pay at the age of 37.

    Of course, we need a major overhaul of civil service even more. I’m sickened by the stories my brother tells me of the people working for him in civil service who don’t do any work. One has threatened to kill him, several times documented, if he tries to get him to come to work or do anything while he is at work, yet he can’t fire him.

  15. Ebola says:

    Here’s a wild fucking idea. Cut back on the number of brass figureheads. The AF was supposed to cut back 44 Generals in this last line of cuts to the Officer Corps. Guess what they did instead? Promoted more than 44 and didn’t cut a fucking one. They cut more company grade officers “to make up.”

    Let’s do the math, assuming each general makes the +20yr (undershooting a wee bit? :P) rate of $138,492. That is $6,093,648. Let’s not forget that they’re probably collecting BAH, at a rate of $21,636 per year (Tucson rate, just for shits and giggles). That comes to a whopping total of $7,045,632 a year for just the 44 new generals that we just said last year we didn’t need, much less the extras. Let’s kick the top heavy bullshit first, before we start hunting after our people’s well deserved retirements.

    …And fuck this civil equivalency bullshit.

  16. major dad says:

    I would say we need to cut the Flag officers a bit e.g. the Navy now has almost as many Admirals as it does ships. How does that make sense? Civil Service is very top heavy, they could be cut. Back to the 20yr retirement; if they want to change for the the future guys fine, be up front about and if they choose to come in that’s their choice but for everybody else they came in with the promise of a 20yr retirement to change it mid stream would be just wrong. And for those who are already drawing a retirement to even think about changing it is criminal and would mean war.

  17. Mr. Bingley says:

    “…the required “Yes sir”, “No ma’am”s, the imposition of restrictions on your freedom of speech and expression….”

    Now don’t you go starting that “ma’am” shit with SENATOR I-Worked-Very-Hard-To-Get-That-Title Boxer again!

  18. Mori says:

    What if you are in the Navy and attached to a ship? From what my husband just told me, you either live on a ship or “out in town.” Does this mean sailors can no longer live out in town? God forbid you are a bubble head. Can you imagine?

  19. Mori says:

    My husband just pointed out… there will be a lot of E-5 and unders getting married so that they don’t have to live in the barracks.

  20. jarine says:

    Do they have the room for all of them??? Wait no okay let’s spend more MONEY to build more rooms.
    Oh shoot now in 5 years when the war is over and there are not any junior people, cause they couldn’t get promoted past E-5 after 8 years of service, during peace time.

    Everyone is going to have to pay for this financial mess. Let’s start with the retired Presidents. Instead of $180,000 a year give them $75,000. They all have book deals anyway.
    Soldiers with 25 years can retire with 50% pay.

  21. tree hugging sister says:

    And don’t forget, folks ~ we’re doing away with commissaries, thanks to the senate.

  22. major dad says:

    This was just the Marines mandating the move back to the barracks. It’s because they built all these new barracks and it’s hard to have an 80% occupancy and still let people move out. Don’t know if the Navy will follow suit because they don’t have barracks it’s the ship or out in town most places if you are a black shoe. There will be a lot of convenience marriages, bank on it.

  23. mojo says:

    Used to be, if you were assigned to a barracks, you had to keep the place up and keep one uniform in the closet, but you didn’t have to live there if you were willing to pay out of pocket for town digs.

  24. Skyler says:

    That’s not really feasible in California, mojo. E5’s don’t usually get paid enough to live in town without BAH. It’s hard enough with BAH.

  25. Mori says:

    The Navy already does this in some places. When my husband was at ACU5 all enlisted unmarried sailors had to live in bachelor barracks… including bachelorettes. The ladies got the bottom floor, which never made sense to me.

  26. Ebola says:

    Well, one out may be if there are any standing rules buried in the regs like there are in all the bullshit Air Force AFI. I got out of the barracks due to the fact that I had a ton of shit from living on my own before, provided proof of storage and a weight ticket and blamo! I was outta the barracks after a grueling five month process. 😛

  27. Winston Smith says:

    It sounds like the US military has the same issues as the Australian military.
    All the money going to the wrong places. Our Collins Class subs can’t go out on patrol due to crew shortages, but we’ve got 80,000 sitting in our jails.
    For the same price, we could field 10 Brigades.
    Maybe the Generals would have some work to do then. Maybe we could help our allies a little better by doing more of the heavy lifting.

  28. Yojimbo says:

    Winston: Aussies have always done their fair share of heavy lifting.

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