Review recommends combat pay be based on level of danger
June 22nd, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Review recommends combat pay be based on level of danger

By Chris Lawrence

The days of American troops living on luxurious bases, hanging out at the coffee shop, attending dance parties and still earning full combat pay may be coming to an end.  The Pentagon is considering changes to combat pay that could result in a tiered system, based on how much danger the service member is actually in.

The new recommendations come from an independent review ordered by President Barack Obama in 2010, the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation.

The review concluded that "the relationship between combat compensation and the degree of danger to which a member is exposed has eroded."

In fact, the reviewers found evidence that troops exposed to the most danger in many cases were receiving the smallest benefit.

"Linking reward to risk is the principal justification for combat compensation," the review stated.

A major problem with the current combat pay system is its relationship to the IRS tax code.

Service members in combat zones are allowed to exclude income for tax purposes. The report found that junior members, especially those with with families, have little income and pay little in income taxes. Therefore, income exclusion gives them very little benefit.

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More senior enlisted troops can exclude their income and receive a greater tax benefit. Officers can exclude nearly $7,800 a month during the time they are deployed to a combat zone.

The report concluded that this exclusion gives the greatest benefit to more highly ranked service members, even though they may be much farther from actual danger than lower-ranking troops.

The report recommends that combat pay be restructured "so that those who are exposed to the greatest danger receive higher compensation, regardless of grade." It recommends replacing the income exclusion with a tax credit.

The reviewers also recommend increasing "hostile fire pay" so that it surpasses "imminent danger pay." Both award troops $225 a month, but "hostile fire" indicates an area where troops could be exposed to enemy fire, whereas "imminent danger" is simply presence in a combat zone.

As part of its findings, the report cited a 2011 opinion piece in the Washington Post in which Capt. Michael Cummings wrote, "I didn't deserve my combat pay."

Cummings described the living conditions at Victory Base Complex in Iraq, "The water was always warm. The chow hall had a Caesar salad bar, a sandwich bar, an ice cream freezer, and shrimp & steak Fridays. My personal room had a working air conditioning unit and internet connection.

VBC hosted multiple PXs, coffee shops and nightly dance parties. I could buy pillows, microwaves, televisions or any video game."

Defense Department officials are still reviewing the results and have yet to make final decisions on whether to adopt the changes.

Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said, "We'll review the QRMC recommendations. The recommendations do not convey the department's official position but rather provide alternatives for the department to consider."

Nations such as Japan, Germany and Australia already have a risk-based tier system of pay.

soundoff (432 Responses)
  1. cof

    Thanks , I have recently been looking for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the source?|What i don't realize is in truth how you're now not really much more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You're so intelligent.

    June 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  2. Zach

    This is a great idea, troops overseas that never leave the gate and who never leave the big FOBS(FOBBITS) Should not be getting paid the same as someone who is going on patrol everyday and leaving in poor conditions on a Patrrol Base somewhere. This has always irked me. Why was I getting paid the same as someone who played Xbox all day and got fat from their deployment? So this makes complete sense and I hope it passes.

    As for our troops gettting paid more. Of course we all want more money and actors, athletes and musicians are getting paid huge amounts of money compared to our military. But all you people who complain about this are the ones who make them richer. Listening to the radio, watching TV, or going to see that new movie, you are the one putting money in their pocket. Our military is over a Million Strong, How could we afford to pay that many people as much as athletes and musicians? Its Impossible.

    The Military cutting cost with certain things would sure help a lot. For one "Married Soldiers". Your salary should not change based on if you are married or have kids. For two reasons:
    1. Two soldiers of the same rank, one gets to live in a house and start developing credit, The other forced to live in the barracks and be punished for other soldiers bad canter. Bottom line is, if your the same rank and do the same job. You should be getting paid the same and make the necessary adjustments to live off your salary, (This would also help with the "Fake Marriages"

    July 2, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
  3. Veteran101

    Yeah, great Idea, good job Obama, lets keep paying entertainers and athletes millions and cut back on our volunteering troops risking their lives. Matter of fact, lets just take it from the troops and give it straight to the football players. What a bunch of BS. Want to change the pay, increase all pay E-1 through E-7 the most, then E-8+ and officers. What is this world coming to, America writes off medical bills if you are in the country illegally, but if you work, you pay for everything. Awesome.

    June 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  4. FYI

    but heck if thinking about screwing people gives you magic thinking you have completed the circle and should stop chewing your own tail only if it makes you feel better of course

    June 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  5. FYI

    you left out the "supreme" court

    if you can sleep at night your living a lie

    June 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  6. so

    so if obama is re hired in 2012 the military gets a raise in 2013

    June 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  7. Soldier

    Maybe after they cut hazard pay for troops they can cut a little out of the pay our politicians are getting for.....whatever it is they're supposed to be doing. Pretty sure they get paid a lot more for doing a lot less.

    June 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Carole Nichols

      I say let's leave the military alone. They deserve whatever they receive in any form they receive it. They walk the line every single day for me and mine and I begrudge them NOTHING. However there are some things that need attention....I think Barry needs to be fined for every promise he made that he couldn't keep. The Congress should be fined heavily for every session they miss. Pay for all congressmen should be fixed, and they need to lose those cushy full benefit retirement plans. When they stop serving, their pay should stop. God knows they do little enough as it is to justify the unbelievable income they receive. For every stupid self serving law they pass which wastes our money (ii.e. studying the mating habits of a butterfly) enacting yet another government holiday, and for every civil law they bend, they need to be held accoutable and personally responsible for at least 50 percent of the of the expenditures.

      Leave our military men and women alone. Pray for their continued safety and health, because they are the ones willing to die so that I may sleep peacefully at night.

      June 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  8. MPA

    There goes the government trying to re-invent the wheel. Hey let's break something so we can say we fixed it later.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  9. first base

    1. not wearing head-gear means more money

    2. not having medical means more money

    3. not having anything to live for means more money

    4.
    being angry means more money

    5.
    being a poor shot means more money

    6.
    not drinking water means more money

    7.
    if you do not have training more money

    8.
    if you don't have money more money

    just wait until the supreme court mandates their opinion on HCR–its going to be a clown show bro

    June 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  10. you want more money

    I would suggest that if you are not a billionare do not give money to conservatives "causes" e.g. israel because you are only getting jewed out of your blood money then insulted after you do give with a new min. amount to donate aka we don't need your money because we are so rich and powerful line of bs

    June 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
  11. you want more money

    what about making all individuals part of the state malitias.

    .malitias state the of part individuals all making about What

    June 24, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  12. you want more money

    .

    June 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
  13. jeff

    Let's stop allowing AIPAC to control our elected officials, and we will soon see an improvement.

    Israel has long been meddling in our politics. It's time to reject this extortion and corruption.

    June 24, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
  14. Kana

    Enlisted personnel VOLUNTEER to join the military service. regardless of job your base pay is essentialy the same based on time in service and rank. If your deployed to a combat zone you should be compensated.

    A tiered combat pay system is ridiculous. If anything, base pay of enlisted personnel should be increased. It's appalling that families of enlisted personnel need to apply for Social Service assistance.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
    • famouslucas

      you dont have to if you are responsible enough to manage your finances. Theres nothing wrong with military pay, its plenty. Got a problem? get promoted. 5 years and no complaints..... and no need for social services, because we live within our means

      June 25, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  15. svcmstwm

    I'm to the point that I don't know who to trust. I made a couple of contributions to five different "impeach Obama" groups and now I will get two to three letters a day all soliciting contributions starting at $1,000. The only results
    that I see are more solicitations. I'm to the point that I just tare the letters into small pieces. The all say the same
    thing. If I had the money to contribute in the amount that they want, I would not need my Social Security. I have
    six organizations soliciting for "saving social security" another six for "saving Medicare". I am inundated with this crap and the only results that I see are more solicitations. If I sound frustrated, it's cause I am.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Richp

      Fund raising has become a career for almost everyone who has a cause. If we used the money paid to career fund raisers for cancer and put it in space propulsion development we'd have a warp drive by now.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
  16. Cynthia L.

    Seems to me that the military guys and gals should be paid better. No matter what, when they are called to go they go.
    If the Congress would be that loyal to America we certainly wouldn't be having this discussion.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  17. Megan

    Or how about we fix the damn tax system so that EVERYONE pays something. We are active duty and both employed full time. We paid 22k in federal taxes last year. A couple in our unit of the SAME rank, has 5 kids, an ass ton of debt they can't afford and got back 11k MORE then was ever paid due to the husband being deployed for a few months, they then qualified for the EIC...what a crock of BS...punish those that work, reward those that don't want to and continue to pop out kids.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      Are you saying that the couple of the "same rank" didn't work? If they had the same rank, obviously they had a job (the same job you have). Having 5 kids is more work than any job. I have 3, and I dream of the easy days I had when I was kid-less and in the military! I made damn good money as a single E-5, and the government took about a third of it. I "make" more money now, as a civilian, but I don't see it, the kids take it! What is left goes to paying you for serving.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  18. TrueGrissel

    Obama You are a Traitor to everything American. At every corner you are going the opposite of our uniqueness. You are turning each and every race, religion, business, against each other and so for getting away with it.
    Now your trying to turn the military against each other. Maybe it's time to seperate the military from the White House and move it to the House and Senate.
    You are a hired hand, hired by civilians you should be able to be fired at anytime by civilians and Not have any say what the military does. I'd trust 600 people to decide that one megalomaniac like yourself.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • averagejoe

      Your post makes no sense. The President can be fired, it's called impeachment and the Representatives can be recalled. Besides, Congress sets the pay and benefits of the Military, not the President. The only thing the President can do is tell the Military where to go and what to do while there.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply
      • TrueGrissel

        You are deluded in your belief. It will take the American people to remove a sitting Traitor. How many Presidents can you name being Impeached?
        Start with the most recent, please.

        June 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
      • Les Too

        This true. That is just what happened after the traitor King Bush II (author of the Unpatriot Act) left the White House. They chose to kick the GOP out of the White House. It is the conservative evilangelican right that are the terrorists. Unfortunately policies from that reign of Terror were set in motion to take affect after the new POTUS took office.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
      • Kana

        @TrueGrissel: Just because an elected official is impeached does not mean they lose their job. The most recent President to be impeached was president Clinton, he did not lose his job and went on to complete his term.
        Although the President is the Commander in Chief and is able to direct our military, however without the support of Congress he is limited in what he can do.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Cynthia L.

      Griss, try this one for size. Repulican Harold Rogers (aka Prince of Pork) who is Chairman of the House Appropriations Commitee added an earmark in 2009 before restrictions on such provisions, for a $16,000.00 drip pan for Blackhawk Helicopters from a Kentucky Co. called Phoenix Products, whose owners are political donors to the Congressman who granted them a NO BID CONTRACT. A similar drip pan can be bought for $2,500.00 by another company.
      That's patriotic?

      June 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
      • Veteran101

        Wow.

        June 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Les Too

      What are you trying to say? Nothing you wrote makes any sense whatsoever. The POTUS does NOT make policy on wages, military or otherwise. That is the purview of Congress which is controlled by the GOP not the POTUS. Who is to decide what is more or less dangerous? Does a soldier facing 1 tank get less pay than a soldier facing 2 tanks? This whole idea is ludicrous. Does a pilot get more when they are flying over enemy territory than they get after their plane returns to base? Would officer pay be subject to the same rules at every level?

      I think that Congress would be better served if they concentrated by eliminating ALL corporate welfare of any type instead of messing with military pay scales. If they are going to base it on some arbitrary "danger" level nonsense, then they themselves need to give up their own unnecessarily high cushy 6 figure pay packages. Using a scale of "exposure" to danger would mean that their own salaries would need to be reduced to minimum wage at entry level and be subject to increases based solely on exposure to danger.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  19. Ralph

    Using this measure Congress shouldn't be getting paid for anything they do.

    This is wrong on so many levels. Look no further than the local police and fire departments. These people are collecting pensions three times the national level in the private sector.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • Cindy

      What does this have to do with the military?

      June 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • averagejoe

      I understand the point of your comment, however it's a little off topic. The article is saying that we should make a distiction between those serving in an MOS or rank to be paid differently for serving in the same Combat Zone. Living on VBC is a posh compared to some of the other little outposts I've been too. But, a mortar round or rocket can kill you just as easily. You don't have to be face to face with the enemy to die from hostile fire. Another point would be the females. They are not in the Infantry, but they have served and died just like everyone else there. To say and Officer shouldn't be given the same tax break as a Private because the tax break is different is not a valid point. An Officer makes more. You want the Private to get a larger tax break then make their Base Pay more.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  20. John Purvis

    The problem is the U.S. military has become a jobs project. The American economy is much worse shape than its politicians will admit. The U.S. spends on defence almost more than the defence spending of every other country combined. Imagine for a minute that the U.S. disbanded its armed forces, like Costa Rica did. All of those military personnel unemployed, not just the soldiers but the massive support personnel. As a result America's massive defence contractors would have to have massive lay offs. The American economy would be cooked. So America needs to invent enemies and it needs to invent wars.

    June 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Kana

      Disband the miltary and put military and civilian workers on unemployment. How long do you think it would take for the defense contractors to offshore their work to other nations?

      June 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  21. honest john

    So I suppose that our troops are supposed to go overseas and live in tents like on the show MASH? What is wrong with providing a decent standard of living?

    June 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • blainek

      there's nothing wrong with living in a decent living arrangement, however there are some people that dont. it differs from place to place. from an air base, to a fob, to a cop. some places have air conditioning, some places have the px, and the coffee shop. Or like where im at we have two computers, a phone, and basically live in tents like they did in mash.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  22. Edward

    I would love to see some of these politicans spend 6 months in the desert at one of the "luxurious" bases. They would only last a few weeks before wishing they were back in the US. Deploying out here reminds you just how easy life was back home.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  23. Christopher R. Kimball

    I served in OIF through 07-09. I was on Victory and in Baqouba. Two totally different living conditions. I will tell you this. War has changed. Some have AC, coffee shops and video games. Some do not. A sniper, mortar or roadside bomb does not discriminate what job you do or where you are in the warzone. This is some BS. Why don't our politicians cut their pay instead of those who fight for America's freedom. http://www.crk-communications.com

    June 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • Michael Davis

      +1

      June 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • cykill

      I can safely tell you that will not happen.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  24. Howie76

    My brother served in Iraqi and was shot at frequently not to mention the roadside bombs. He got the pay for serving in a War Zone. However, he noted that many officers and enlisted were never in harms way and would do things like discharge their firearm to get another medal, yet they never went with him on the missions or anyone else. Also, individuals would not be in the war zone but some how got the pay even thought they never set foot in harms way. These are the guys that do not need to be getting that pay. It needs to be for the the ones in an actual War ZOne. Not sitting on a boat or a command center.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • TrueGrissel

      Howie maybe it takes a higher IQ to be assigned support and a monkeys IQ to be infantry, ever look at it that way or ever think your brother fits the profile?

      June 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • NativeBornUSA

        No that would be YOUR parents and apparently its genetic......I would hire a former infantryman anyday over you for dog catcher........your messiah along with you (PINOCCHIOBAMA).

        June 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • TrueGrissel

        NATIVE BORN= native clown or drunk, which are you.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • ClaryNet

        Many of our service members in high danger occupations not only CHOOSE those dangerous jobs, but must also be very intelligent to learn and be proficient in those dangerous occupations as they are not just dangerous, they are also highly technical and computerized. You, obviously, did NOT serve but you also have no knowledge about which you speak. My son had a very dangerous occupation, and when he got out, he graduated with high honors from the university he attended. Do you seriously think he had the IQ of a monkey?

        June 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
      • mike urciolo

        TrueGrissel – it's called "combat pay" – not "support pay" for a reason.

        June 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  25. J R Brown

    It's an indictment of our collective social morality when someone can become a billionaire for "golfing while black" by we can't afford to decently pay those who put life and liberty on the line as true citizen patriots.

    If I had my way, those who serve in the military would get to vote 3 times to everyone else's single vote. When you put your life on the line for your country, you've EARNED your rights far more than people who just run through life not giving a sh!t about anyone else except themselves.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • TrueGrissel

      your right , we have turned into the me, me, me society, if I can't have it then no one should.
      you know the grease monkey, the one that makes sure the vehicles are maintained for the troops safety suddenly forgets to reattach that armour plate you know the one that could keep your head in one piece, or the cook who feels betrayed maybe stops checking for spoiled meat before serving?
      What about the clerk you know the one that will send his or her wife or husband the rent check and it never makes it. During war all levels of enlistments need to be treated equally.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
      • Cynthia L.

        Sorry, but your eyesight being 10-20 leaves you out and NOT ABOUT. Lucky you. But, we still shouldn't have to pay you for your vision impairment verses someone who can see and will be sent into flying bullets daily.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • TrueGrissel

        CindyLou<<< you need to be taught some respect, where's your man?

        June 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        I have two sons in the military, Griss, THOSE are my men! Both in dangerous jobs. If you decided you wanted to get a pay upgrade for your cooks salary you can do so by showing some incentives to learning and testing for higher pay. But, when you sit on your duff and expect to get recognition, it shouldn't be happenin'!

        June 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  26. Jolly

    Honestly all these pay cuts to soldiers ar a bunch of BS, its honestly going to take another 9/11 to wake this country with a swift kick to the B@lls. all you anti-war jokers can hold your head under water until the bubbles stop. You don't sit or haven't sat in Vets or current deployed soilder's boots. I have med-evaced men and women off of the battlefield with life altering injuries, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. all the politicians are looking at is that our troops signed a contract and are held to fulfill that contract. so why not take money away from somebody who can't say anything about it.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • zulu

      Liar.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  27. TrueGrissel

    A cook has as high a chance of dying as a foot soldier. An airplane mechanic can and are killed as often as foot soldiers. What bull crap is the democratic party pulling? We know Repubs. like conflict so this isn't one of their ideas.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • computer science dude

      I'm sorry but I don't believe a Nutrition Care Specialist (68M) has the same amount of risk as a Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist (89D)

      June 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        They also don't have the same $100,000 reenlistment bonus every 4 years.

        June 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
      • honest john

        The EOD guy also get extra pay for having a more hazardous job.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Howie76

      It depends is the cook in the actual War Zone or at a Base that is protected. Is the mechanic on a boat 300 miles away from the War ZOne working on the plane??? They should not get the War ZOne pay.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • Edward

        So the mechanics, admin personnel, and all the other countless fields who the military could never win a war without, should not get extra pay for being in a warzone. Brilliant idea. The boots on the ground need air support. The aircraft need mechanics to fix them. Everyone needs to be fed. Everyone needs medical care at differing levels. Etc. etc. Its a total effort.

        June 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  28. Bob

    Good idea and we should apply it to civilvan life also, ie: pay police and firemen more and upper management in big business sitting at a desk much less.....

    June 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Ralph

      Police and firefighters risk to life doesn't even make it in the top ten. This is a huge myth that taxpayers got duped into believing they risk their lives more than anyone else.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • Veteran101

        @ Ralph, thanks for clearing that up, I was wondering why I had to wear this bullet proof vest everyday. Maybe you should visit http://www.odmp.org/

        June 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  29. Landshark

    pkf

    The correct term is REMF...

    In WWII they were called 'Garret Troopers' too far forward to have to salute, but to far to the rear to get shot..

    June 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  30. FrontlineJoe

    I like the thought of this. Seems to me that an infantryman should get higher COMBAT pay than say, dining facility jody, sure, mortars and indirect fire could possibly hit them. Possibly. But derkaderka knows that as soon as they drop a round we've returned fire before their round made it to the apex. But when I'm pulling 3 dismounted patrols a day, 7 days a week, and taking DIRECT fire and dealing with dozens of IEDs a month.. picking pieces of my friends up frequently..taking shrapnel and still finishing my job for the day..maybe my COMBAT pay should be a little higher than someone 400 miles from the combat zone.
    Soldiers live in fear that they *might* take a round from someone aiming at me. I know for a fact that these people are actually -aiming at me-. I'm the threat. They want to take my life. For those not on the frontlines, they're just a bonus if they're hurt/killed.
    And as for this discussion, maybe people who actually perform these jobs today should be discussing this and it not be open to public to put their little jabs in to show those dirty politicians who's the most passive aggressive.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • TrueGrissel

      You are nothing more than a fricking merc. and a traitor. Maybe just a PIG.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Cynthia L.

        What the H*LL is wrong with you? Or does scooping ice cream into cones for your job give you some sort of edge on danger?

        June 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • CPT Z

      I think they have this all wrong and everyone buying in on it. Instead of reducing combat pay on a teired system, however there going to come up with a scale for, give those with the most hazardous jobs additional pay. There are times when an infantry man will serve in a nice safe job for a whole deployment while a cook could be on the road everyday. In the greater scheme of things how much money will this really save.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
      • Tyler

        I like your logic and you made an excellent point. How much money will this really save, because this is exactly why it's being discussed. This is simply a grab for money under the guise of being fair for those service members engaged in combat. As a former service member, I deployed but not into actual combat. However, the jets that I maintained brought the fight to the enemy and in direct support of those service members risking it all on a daily basis. I feel that taking money from me and my fellow service members in similar rolls cheapens our contributions which isn't fair. We are all there doing the bidding for fat politicians. How about they offer up some of their pay instead? One Team, One Fight.

        June 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  31. pkf

    Good.

    Too many REAs sitting behind desks wearing combat ribbons they did not deserve.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  32. John

    This is asymmetrical warfare we are fighting, the enemy does not wear uniforms. People volunteer to fight for this country for many reasons and now you have the gall to even think about stripping away pay from the troops who deploy into harms way to protect you and your family. I was sitting on the fence guess what you just pushed my vote over to the other side.
    I speak as a veteran who has seen multiple deployments into the sand box.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  33. David

    Soldiers, policemen, firemen, teachers... everyone wants them, they just don't want to pay for them. I think what we pay our soldiers is more important than what we pay our executives.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Ralph

      I don't need any of those services you listed. Stop speaking for me with false statements!

      June 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
      • Kana

        Hope you are never in need of emergency response personnel.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  34. Soldier Bill

    "The days of American troops living on luxurious bases, hanging out at the coffee shop, attending dance parties and still earning full combat pay may be coming to an end. "

    EXCUSE ME?! My FOB didn't even have electricity, let alone "dance parties" and coffe shops! Who dothey think their kidding?!

    June 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • Soldier Bill

      What they're basically saying is that they're going to cut combat pay and get rid of tax exclusions for soldiers and their families.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • johnharry

      thats why i was in the navy, my danger was getting too cold, while fixing radars

      June 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • johnharry

      No what they are saying is, that if your the postal clerk not leaving the base, they really arent in danger. Like the customer service rep, loading packages at the airport.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
      • Kana

        That mortar round can just as easily kill you on base as it can at your fob

        June 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  35. Howie76

    How about the Private contractor that get defense contracts and make 200,000.00 a year for training the Afganistan and Iraqi law enforcement and military. What a joke! Not to mention the whole multimillion dollar contracts they are given just because they were a cop in the US and never served in the military. There is no way to measure if what they are doing is effective.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • johnharry

      has nothing to do with contracting, they are contracted for the job. so your saying you have to be in the military to be a cop to be a private contractor for security, yeah lots of air force security guards guarding planes

      June 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Howie76

      The point is they are over paid. A soldier doing the same job gets 30,000.00 a year. They get 200,000.00 a year. Contractors need to be on the same pay scale as the soldiers.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
      • AFGirl22

        That doesn't make sense. They are contractors. They have freedoms ... If we paid them the same amount as our military ... they wouldn't do it! Contractors get paid so much because people won't do it for less. The reason military gets paid like crap is because we have the belief that we signed our life away and we don't have a choice. I'm definitely not going up to my commander anytime soon asking for a raise ... are you?

        June 25, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  36. Maynerd

    There will come a day when they have finally "tinkered" with pay and benefits so much that no one will show up for a war. Now that would be funny.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  37. john

    Great. And I think Congress should be paid based on how many of our country's problems they SOLVE. They wouldn't cost us a dime!

    June 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Well said...

      June 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • computer science dude

      I completely agree.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • Cynthia L.

      That is the best comment of the day!!! Agree 100%.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • honest john

      We have to make sure that they don't get paid for solving problems they caused in the first place though.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Ralph

      Congress is the problem, not the solution

      June 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  38. Brian

    Maybe we should have a less jingoistic foreign policy. That's the problem.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  39. bamadoesnt care

    Of course Obama would order something like this safe from his castle. Rockets and mortar fire can land anyway on these "luxury" bases you are talking about.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • TruthMatters

      Obama ordered a review, the reviewer made those suggestions. This makes perfect sense, it's based on risk and should have happened a long time ago. Yes a mortar or rocket can kill pretty much anywhere, however the likelyhood of a mortar or rocket being fired at you is dependant on where you are.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  40. bvilleyellowdog

    The teapublican chicken hawks who evaded military service talk a good line. "Support the troops".
    But they don't.
    They just want bodies to fight their wars of choice while they pull in the big bucks.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • J R Brown

      I'm thorough sickened by dipsh!t mother f'ers like you...yellow little liberal pukes who are such brainwashed little sheeple that you spout the most insane rhetoric like you don't have a damn ounce of common sense. The military is filled to the brim with conservatives...it's liberals they are lacking. Conservatives give enough of a damn about their country to put their money where their mouth is...something you find exceptionally few liberals ever do.

      It takes a lot of gaul to complain about the people who put live and liberty on the line to secure your rights....soldiers both past and present...for you to use the very same "rights" to bad mouth them like a spoiled @ss child.

      You have your rights because someone ELSE earned them for you...the least you could do is show some appreciation, asssbag.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      • airbornevet

        I am a liberal vet. Yeah there are a bunch of embarrassing liberal panties out there, along with conservatives, but the main reason why the military is mostly conservative is due to the fact that southern economies have fewer opportunities for work than in the north.
        Young men and women are more likely to join if from the south because they have less choices. Also, the education level is actually embarrassing in the south and they have to compete with others from northern schools.
        Of course, there are always exceptions, but those exceptions are few and far between.
        The conservative states are the least patriotic always talking about succession and flying the flag of succession, or forming militias to fight the government.
        If there were more ingenuity and people worked a bit harder in the south as they do up north, then its economy would be better and it would probably be different. But a lot of the southern economy is driven by the government especially the ones that have military bases around them.
        .

        June 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        I know of more libs in the service than cons. Your view is flawed.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
      • Jamann

        Cynthia, are you actually IN the military. It's very common knowledge that there are a lot more conservatives in the military than liberals. In my shop of 30 people, only one person considered themselves to be a liberal. Everyone else voted conservative.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  41. Maynerd

    Perhaps the smart thing to do is to wait until this mess is over with and implement changes. Start messing with pay and benefits in an existing war and you will see such a decline in moral and a mass exodus they would have to implement the draft.

    Also, I am getting effin sick and tired of hearing polliticians going after everyone elses pay when they should be the first ones to have all the pay and perks reduce to reflect that of a soldier.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Wet

      So basically kick the can down the road?

      June 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • Gnome Sane?

        Why not, we always do.

        June 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  42. Dastreagus

    Our society is getting to the point of defenselessness. If you truly compensated soldiers for risk the same as in the commercial world our defense budget would double. You have to starve fightin' dogs. Then tell them they can eat everything they can get out of Bin Ladens compound. You would have had a pretty quick fight then.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • jdurand1970

      So our fighting men and women are dogs? Nice sentiment there.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • TruthMatters

      I thought conservatives claim that doing things in the "commercial" world would make things cheaper than in the government.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
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