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 (433 Responses)
  1. Lance

    Salary of Hose/Senate members $174,000 for Life
    Salary of Speaker of the House $223,500 for Life
    Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders $194,000 for Life

    Average salary of a soldier DEPLOYED in Afghanistan $38,000
    Average income for seniors on Social Security $12,000

    I don’t remember living on luxurious bases, unless you consider a huge green tent with 20 other guys luxurious or hanging out at a coffee shop which we didn’t have, or attending dance parties; where did this come from?

    I don’t think Chris Lawrence did his research very well. He says “In fact, the reviewers found evidence that troops exposed to the most danger in many cases were receiving the smallest benefit.” We all receive the same benefits no matter what we are exposed to. The only difference is what rank you are.

    When you are at war, being anywhere in enemy territory is dangerous. One on knows when and if the enemy will attack or how often. So who decides on how much dangerous one place is to the next?

    June 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      ...and this is why there should be no 'danger pay'. Tax-free for serving overseas? Perhaps...but if you join the military is it is a known fact that you could be in danger and should receive no increase in pay for that voluntary service.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
      • crbrianb

        Dave, let me see if I got this right. According to you, a soldier sitting state side behind a desk is equally at risk as a soldier in Afghanastan on the front line?

        June 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • Maynerd

        And perhaps you should come on over and see what it's about before you speak.

        June 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Mary P

      Those figures are often repeated and they are NOT true. Congress gets tiered pay (and never full pay as if they were in Congress) based on how long they served in Congress, versus a plethora of factors. Granted, I still think it's high for retirement but this nearly triples the figures MOST people serving actually get.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  2. Sharkfisher

    If we paid our servicemen and women $1000 a week they would still be UNDERPAID. We owe them a debt that no amount of money can repay. Most of you can't remember WW2. I can ,and every conflict from then till now.If it were not for our servicemen and women we would not have the freedom to make these posts right now. THANK YOU ARMED FORCES.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      These particular soldiers have not fought in WW2. They signed up voluntarily. They are protecting no freedoms now. $48k to carry around a rifle is utterly ridiculous.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • crbrianb

        Dave, most of those soldiers in WWII volenteered. My grandfather used to tell stories about standing in line to enlist the day after Pearl Harbor.

        June 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • Scott Clifford

        Dave,

        You obviously have no idea about what it is like being deployed. $48,000 a year is the least we could do not to mention further education and health benefits. I invite you to make your "carry around a rifle" comment to any active service member or veteran. You want to trim the fat Dave? I say we dock your pay... or hell even your air conditioner for a month. Thanks for being a patriot and paying taxes. I don't know what we would do without you.

        Scott

        82nd Veteran

        Ps. Thanks to all those who support our troops.

        June 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  3. Pete/Ark

    We haven't had a "front-line" war since Korea in the 50's...in VietNam we got $60 amonth combat pay and everyone was in equal danger regardless of location...my daughter served with an Intell unit at Taji Iraq about the time of the FIRST elections...I don't think CNN could publish her response to a bean-counter who wanted to quantify the level of danger she faced from going in via a "hillbilly armored" hummer to the streets of Baghdad on election day. Combat pay in the combat zone is simple enough...what do you want next truck drivers to get less disability pay for the same wounds as a grunt ?

    June 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  4. Betty

    I was wondering when they would start doing this. It makes sense.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      ? They take a job with a known danger. There should be no increase at all! Your base pay should be your pay, period.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Sharkfisher

      To Betty I say HORSE APPLES and may you choke on one.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Maynerd

      Betty, why not come over to Afghanistan for a couple of years and then talk about it.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  5. Joe M

    Before the government looks at cutting combat pay based upon "danger level" maybe they should look in the mirror and base their on pay, perks, life time benefits and pensions based upon how they did their job. Our troups need to put in 20 years to gualify for a partial pension but the politicians only need to be elected to get theirs. If they cant balance the budget and cut the deficit they should not be able to recieve any benefits once out of office because they failed to do what was promised.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • paul

      You are so right brother

      June 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  6. Cavscout88

    Look I see the validity of lowering the combat pay differential for those who aren't really in combat situations. But the fact that you use VBC as an example really boils my blood. I was stationed there less than a year ago, during the so called "draw down" period. During the time when our "beloved" politicians told us that the war was drawing to a close and combat operations were pretty much over. Well you as a public can believe what you want but we know the truth. We rolled out the wire multiple times a day. My soldiers put blood sweat and tears into ensuring that the removal of troops from Iraq went smoothly. We hunted terrorist cells and took out key leaders in their operations. We survived night after night of rocket attack on and near our headquarters. We encountered IEDs and EFPs and RKG3s in our everyday operations. I lost two soldiers and lifelined another in one day. Please don't say that if you were stationed on VBC it wasn't a dangerous place of duty. In reality I think that people who do go outside the wire on a daily or almost daily basis should get paid more, while the people who stay on the FOB stil get paid hazardous duty pay. Those nightly rocket attacks and mortar strikes affect everyone on the base not just the infantrymen and scouts and engineers and eod or anyone else that rolls out everyday. There are more effective ways of making budget cuts and securing our nations financial situation, then taking from those who put their lives on the line on a daily basis so those back home have the freedom to spend the countries debt how they see fit.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Maynerd

      Hooah!

      June 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  7. bdgfn

    I have been in both of these zones, "imminent-danger" and "hostile-fire". Both pose a certain degree of stress and danger, true, however one is more likely to result in actual combat than the other. For instance, being at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Iraq was much worse than being at one of the "safer" bases, and both were much more stressful and dangerous than being in Kuwait. I agree that those closest to "harm's way" should be given more than those in the rear areas. One thing that I always questioned was why a person could claim an entire month's pay tax-free if they only spent one day in a "combat zone". Anyway, I think this is a good change and will benefit those who need it most.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  8. nodat1

    another cost setting step would to abolish the 1 sec in combat area equals 1 month of combat pay rule. when I was was TDY to Aviaon airbase IT It was common for troops to take a "training or ride alone flight over Bosnia or Kosovo on the at end of the month. The flight entered the combat area before midnight and exited the combat a few minutes after midnight giving all those aboard 2 months combat pay. a lot of these flight were C-130 cargo flights loaded with all branches of the service they were called armchair flight or rafter flights ( from full metal jacket) talk about a rip off

    June 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  9. jusme

    Pathetic... nickel and dime the troops all the way down the line... You send soldiers out to do a job and then nickel and dime them all along the way... Sorry son your not in enough danger... That's pathetic, only a politician could think like that....

    June 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • john

      I think the proper viewpoint is to reward those that actually take the most risk. Your viewpoint sucks.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  10. WDinDallas

    If you want a student loan or Pell grant.....do two years in the Army.

    Bet you don't get a Liberal Arts degreee and complain about unemployment after that!

    June 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • duckforcover

      You can't get ANY degree with the funding from the US military.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
      • Mary P

        What are you talking about? My husband got an IT degree and is about to start masters after serving 9 years. He's paid not a dime and gets minimal BAH if he's a full time student. If nothing else, the government got education post-service right. Even the additions of the post 9/11 GI bill are wonderful and you can transfer some or all of your benefits to spouses and children.

        June 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • crbrianb

        That's odd, I attended college with several people out of the military with the GI bill. They all recieved their degree with me. You may not be able to afford an IVY league degree but then again, most people can't afford an IVY league degree.

        June 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • Velo

        I'm about to complete my Master's degree from DePaul University in Chicago; completely paid for by the MGIB. While I was active duty, I finished both an AS and a BS entirely on military educational assistance. Duck: your information is entirely wrong.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  11. LG

    Getting rid of the tax exclusion for a credit will hurt a lot more than just Officers. It will hurt anyone with a spouse that has a good income also. It will also hurt our kids who only qualify for financial aid at colleges when dad is deployed. So this is a cost savings for the government not to benefit us in anyway. Somebody somewhere saw an increase of financial aid (pell grants) at colleges every other year and wondered why does that happen every other year. We can save a lot of money if we get rid of tax free zones by giving a credit. It is all about the money, it has nothing to do with helping anyone. Changing to a tax credit is only going to hurt us in the long run. And not just in financial aid in tax refunds for those who's wife doesn't work. A deployed soldier who only reports his 10k in taxed income gets one hell of a tax refund with two kids. Deployments are not going to stop, they are still going to deploy every other year. Just keep chipping away at the few benefits we have and people start talking about what the point of staying in is.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  12. 4juices

    Absolutely agree that when we send troops to hostile combat areas they should get more money. In addition, instead of cutting ground troops by 10% and headquarters by 2%, Lets switch the percentages so the ground troops can have someone to watch their backs.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  13. IRAQ 2007-2010

    Everyone is looking to deep into the article we are getting ready to withdraw from theater right? 99% of the troops will be confined into big bases no more small cop or fob that soldiers cant get the new pay almost no one will except that small 1% obama is trying to cut spending for votes its that simple and then im sure when he gets it and what ever next war we find ourselfs in the younger grunts and enlisted will get screwed again by saying the new system is unfair or some BS...

    June 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  14. Get Real

    It is interesting that people blame the troops on the "terrorism towards foreign lands", isn't it your responsibility as a voter to get them out of there?
    You blame Nike on child slaves making your shoes, yet you still buy them. Why blame the troops on your lack of care towards what our country is doing, just enjoy Starbucks while they get shot at.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • joey

      How does this make sense. As voters, I'm pretty sure all the anti-war folk voted for the person they thought would bring the troops home.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
      • Madrep1

        Joey, you are absolutely correct, but he lied about a lot of things not just our self imposed wars. It's all about oil. The Caspian Oil Line goes right through that area of the world. Just about every war is about oil. They make up lies, mainly terrorists threats to our national security, but, behind the lies, the truth is oil. It's not Repubs or Dems, it's both.

        June 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • jake106

        They didn't vote for Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, so they got what they asked for.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
      • joey

        i used to bash people like you and say you're just reaching for conspiracies, but the more I witness the things our government does, the more my skepticism of our government grows.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • joey

        @dennis ron paul would be my vote. love the old codger

        June 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • joey

        er, i mean jake

        June 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • jake106

        Joey-Ron Paul is my vote also, but I'd vote for Kucinich if he somehow won the Democrat ticket and Ron Paul wasn't the Republican nominee. I'd vote for either of them as independents/Libertarians.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Madrep1

      Rodger That!!!

      June 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  15. Madrep1

    As a veteran, our military needs to be the finest equipped and have the best money can buy. Obama, like Clinton, is cutting the military budget. Do you think Russia and China are cutting their military spending? Our Country needs to wake up. I agree we should bring our young men and women home and out of harms way from countries that have been fighting even before the Bible was published, but, have them watch our borders and protect our citizens from Cartels. Better yet, go destroy the Cartels. At least that has good reasoning. Then again, no oil in Mexico.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      Our military budget is TEN TIMES bigger than China's, who is second to us in military spending. The obscene amount of money we spend on the military just makes defense contractors richer, not our troops safer nor us safer as a nation.

      And I am also a veteran. We need to cut the "defense" budget.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • eric

        No, we need to "refine" and "redefine" the defense budget. We need to commit money to our troops, not contractors. Realize this, that when I got out of the military 9 years ago, I was a married, father of 2 with an associates degree. My pay in the military was about $36,000 a year BEFORE taxes. Now, that was being married and having the extra pay for that. A soldier of my rank, single, would be making around $29000-$30000 for the same job. The day I finished active duty I started a full time job as a civilian at a base pay of $48,000 doing LESS that what I did in the military. We need to fix some issues in the military. Difficult to retain a single soldier when they could exit the military nearly doubling their salaries.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
      • Dastreagus

        We should give the department of defense 2 pennies during the appropriations. You should never pay soldiers the most. It is flawed in the business world to pay such a high fee, and it is insane as a General to pay soldiers anywhere near as much as civilians, unless you think people in line at Disney World with a hotdog in their hands, with reservations to sea world can win a victory over our current enemy. I am for a good military. I don't think you can use money to make a military good.

        June 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
      • honest john

        China spends way more then they admit.

        June 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • MetalCrow

      I agree with you 100% on our troops need to be best equipped but that is not exactly tied to military budget or budget cuts and you mention Obama and Clinton have cut military budgets as if that kept or troops from having best.

      Military budget and cuts or not: Our troops should have the best equipment and they can have it cuts or not. Soldier pay, body armor, vehicle armor, hand held arms and light maneuverable armament should be the best and don't have to be cut. Large cost overrun equipment needs to be looked at and purchased more wisely and if it does not work as we ordered then stop, no paying for it. Lets stop the 7 billion in arms we give away and put that back in OUR military.

      Dens or Reps – well to single out Obama and Clinton is a political opinion. Maybe they did some military budget cuts that does not mean the did cuts on the soldiers. During Bush administration our soldiers and commanders in Iraq were screaming for simple Up Armoring of Humvees and other Troop transport vehicles because our guys were being killed and mutilated by roadside bombs, I was so angry that so many soldiers were killed or disabled in huge numbers while for two years asking for the up armor on the vehicle which turned out to be rather inexpensive. Bush Cheney cronies at Haliburton and Haliburton sub contractors built many base in Iraq and the did shoddy work such shoddy work that at least a dozen brave soldiers were electrocuted in the showers at various bases (probably more died that we have not heard of) That was the most horrible thing I had ever heard at the time, soldier is out on patrol all day maybe in a fire fight or three rotates out to base and gets electrocuted in the shower – electrocuted by taking a shower because of shoddy work and cut corners by a greedy connected company.

      So I agree our troops first and they should have the best of everything but we can probably cut and save lots of money that is stolen, over charged or costs us more because we have to fix the stuff we paid for. Defense contractor executives should be made to sign special contracts that say they they realize and accept that they will be personally prosecuted under criminal law for any artificial price hiking, spec cutting to make more profit and blatant shoddy work for profit that cause the injury or death of soldiers.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  16. Maynerd

    Funny, all it takes is one incoming round or one suicide bomber to kill people on any base. But I forget, it's not about being in harms way, it's about money and taxes, which are more important then a life. It makes me wonder if our country can get any lower then we have.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • Madrep1

      Personally, and just my opinion, if Obama gets re-elected, and I am not trying to start any political BS, it will get worse. He is cutting our military spending, NASA, etc. Russia and China will surpass our military due to lack of funding before too long if we don't wise the F up!

      June 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
      • CL

        You do understand that you could cut US military spending ($711 billion) by 75% and still be out spending anyone else in the entire world. China is at $143 billion last year. In fact right now US is spending triple China and Russia combined. I completely agree that our troops deserve the best gear and the best wages for the heroic work they do keeping this country safe, but that money isn't going to them. It's not going to their gear either(ask those without adequate body armor). It's lining the pockets of big corporations who are laughing all the way to the bank.

        People make a lot of money out of the weapons business and they have managed to convince the US population that to question that is unpatriotic. The answer is to reform how the money is spent, you could cut the budget in half, give the troops a raise, get them better gear if there was correct oversight preventing huge overspending on third party money pit research projects and a more open contract bidding process.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • joey

        CL, instead of being aggressive with my opinions, I am now much more interested in hearing the opinion of others. Could you explain to me, and others who would agree with me, in what way fighting in the middle east is heroic?

        June 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Barbieuse2be

      I totally agree with you on this. No time to say more.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  17. retired mil

    Believe it or not, Chris Lawrence is a former Navy Reserve. Chris – How does this great article help out your former comrades in arms.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Beadlesaz

      I'd have bet he'd never served a day in the military. The first line of this article is the most condescending, offensive, and unnecessary piece of trash I've read in a long time. Can I assume that Mr. Lawrence's military career was less than successful?

      June 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • Madrep1

        I believe that would be a fair assumption!

        June 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • jake106

        Actually, he's spot on. Every major base in theater has coffee shops, fully equipped USO's, massive gyms, a large PX/BX, and multiple DFAC's(Chowhalls) that are generally better than any chowhall back in the states. Now, if you are at a FOB, your life sucks. But if you are on any major base such as Kandahar, Bastion, Bagram, Al Asad, or any of the other main camps, you had a life that was in many ways better than what you lived back in the rear. On top of that, you got danger pay, hazard pay, and taxfree pay that drastically increased your monthly paycheck. I served three tours over there and was constantly angered by how much money we spent on turning those bases into little resorts. You know who benefited from it? Burger King, Subway, AAFES, and other retailers.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  18. Voice of reason

    well then The soldiers should get a say on which base they attend based on danger level... this plan is retarded...they troops have no say where they are sent and either way they are taken from their family, if the US needs to cut costs lets base congress members salary on useful ness ...wich would put all of them at a 0% pay and in some cases they shoudl hav eto pay us since most of them are useless...seems when it comes time to cut costs congress is all for taking money from any and everyone else except their own Salary...THATS where we shoudl REALLY start saving money reduce their pay by 50-75% and see how they like it

    June 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Voice of reason

      BEsides these men and women are SERVING their country and should not have to lose money, Members of Congress have no problem RAISING their own salaries and NONE ofthem have served our country in decades they only serve their bank accounts

      June 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • Madrep1

      As a veteran, you are given a "Dream List" as far as bases. Good luck getting your first choice! Once you give that oath, you belong to the branch you serve. Depending on which branch of the military, and as a former Marine, the Air Force has the best bases. Don't get upset Navy and Army Vets, just my experience. Better yet, join the Coast Guard. Other than Alaska, which is quite awesome but cold, they have some fine locations! God Bless them ALL and keep us safe.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  19. Proud2serve

    I think this is a great idea. I have deployed three times in my military career and I think it is plain ridiculous that I received the same amount of pay while doing convoys in Afghanistan and drinking latte's in Qatar. I understand that we are away from our families etc, but that's what family separation pay is for. They finally changed the rule that you don't get full combat pay for spending just ONE day in a combat zone, now it's pro-rated. Any one getting shot at or sleeping in the dirt should be getting more than the guy taking warm showers and sleeping in a A/C room. This is smart budgeting, from the point of view of someone that has served in the worst and best.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • Madrep1

      Wow, that's really sad bro. In my day, we got 356 bucks a month combat pay! I am not being sarcastic because I respect you for going and thank you for keeping our country safe. I just think it's sad that combat pay isn't more. It should be for certain. Good luck to you and your family.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  20. buzz

    I agree, but any troops deployed away from their families should get special pays. Instead of decreasing the amount for those in safe areas, how about increasing pays for those truly in danger? I.e. cut the budget somewhere else, not on the backs of those in uniform. How about looking at earmarks and pork barrel projects?

    June 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  21. retired mil

    This is one of the many reasons why I am not voting for this administration. From day one, this administration has been looking for ways to cut pay, brac bases, raise medical coverage, etc. All of these attempts to raise & cut, sounds as if the military has been living the high life. Even more, this article is very insulting to those who have served. He is not getting my vote!

    June 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  22. Beadlesaz

    A reworking of combat pay may be in order. What is not in order is the first sentence of this article. It is the most offensive thing I've read in a long time. Luxurious bases? Hanging out coffee shop? Attending dance parties? The *reporter* of this piece is a condescending little twit. I'd love to know how many years he served in the military.

    Not everyone who serves in the military does any time in combat arenas. In fact, most do not – but the vast majority of the people I served with during my 22 years in the military were dedicated professionals who were ready to serve their country in any capacity – and to do so in harm's way.

    CNN should fire this worthless piece of DNA.

    Retired Navy Captain

    June 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Proud2serve

      When I was in Qatar, I did exactly those things. The base was fairly luxurious, 2 BX's, trips downtown, my own room and shower, a Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, salsa dancing on Friday's. The reporter was spot on. Why was I getting full combat pay while I was there? It's an insult to those that are actually in the war getting shot at and completing missions.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Beadlesaz

      I would imagine that Qatar is the exception rather than the rule. It is not reasonable to analyze every single location to determine the hardship of that spot. I have NO problem with the idea of reworking the combat pay program. In fact, I believe the day is close at hand when the entire military pension plan is going to have to be reviewed (this ought to rile a bunch of people). What I took exception to is the tone of the first sentence which is basically that anyone in the military who is not under fire has a life of Starbucks, nightclubs & lolling around. It was uncalled for – unless, of course, you have an agenda against that group of people.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  23. freelance7

    The new recommendations come from an independent review ordered by President Barack Obama in 2010 – How about pay gets lowered depending on how many years it takes a committee to get a job done?

    June 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  24. chris

    Luxurious bases??? The writer of this article or anyone they are quoted obviously has not spent a single minute on any base in Iraq/Afghanistan. Sure there are some bases that are nicer than others but none of them are luxurious. The steak and shrimp that capt is talking about is no better than a meal at Ryans...what luxury.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Bozobub

      Having hot water, movies/video games, and reasonably edible food *IS* luxury, compared to what the troop in the field gets. Go away, REMF.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • lbakm

      Talk to previous vets who ate sea rations. I'm tired of the military has it so hard. Yes it's difficult being away from family. Yes it is a stressful job. You volunteered for this job willingly. You can call and talk to your loved ones during deployment. You have internet access to frequently update information and Skype. Talk to a vet from the 80's or earlier. Do your job and quit whining. You get better pay/benefits than your predecessors.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
      • honest john

        So it is wrong to try and improve the standard of living for our troops from the lousy conditions that were around in the 70s and 80s?

        June 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  25. Nunya Bizniz

    Military pay is a joke regardless of combat pay or no combat pay. Your better off working at McDonalds and going to college.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  26. dudley

    The front nowadays is hundreds or thousands of miles deep. Ref Pentagon, in DC 9/11.

    If you are in the theatre, you qualify. These folks get paid little enough for being the finest professional warriors perhaps ever to exist. Stop twiddling with their pay.

    For my money, pay military, LE and teachers the best. Tweak something else.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  27. Ron

    Don't like the pay. Don't take the job. Draft has been gone for years.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • dudley

      It has not been very long ago where an E-5 married with children and living on base, according to government definition of poverty, qualified for food stamps.

      Maybe we think about cutting some of the more obscure programs and leave pay alone. The Nice to Have programs and the Have to Have Programs must have some room between them.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Well in that case we don't need troops, right?. its easy to say stuff like, if you don't like the pay don't do the job, because you don't feel the job is important. If this country didn't have a military and no one wanted to defend. We would be in allot of trouble. So, yes we ,the soldiers, deserve to get paid more. But we don't ask, we do our job and protect America. Thank you.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • joey

        only reason we need troops to defend us is cause they went out and killed a bunch of women and children in other nations. did it with little remorse. if we had never done this policing nonsense, no one would have a reason to mess with us.

        June 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • F-Dang

        @Joey: vete para la pinga, chingado jodio

        June 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  28. ALL uh

    $225/mo!???? Sounds like the rubes are being screwed by the GOP once again, gotta save the millions to give to billionaires who's sons and daughters will have real nice lives.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • tdiddy13

      The GOP??? Sounds like it's the President and the Democrats that want to cut pay.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • Yellexin

      I can't believe that just came spewing out of your mouth! This whole review of military pay was ordered by the Obama/democratic administration, not the GoP. Pure ignorance. Please go back to the hole you are living in.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  29. j2011

    This is slightly more complex than meets the eye. I fully agree that hostile fire pay should be greatly increased for all regardless of rank who face actual hostile fire. Yes, officers and very senior enlisted benefit the most from tax incentives, but its worth remembering the military is a merit based system. I am a senior officer, but was not born as such. I've slowly worked my way up the ranks over nearly 20 years and my pay is certainly well above a junior enlisted member, but I'm hardly wealthy. If you start taking away benefits from the most experienced members thir incentives to stay long-term will decrease rapidly and there will be fewer experienced NCOs and officers to send to war. This will in many ways put those in the lower ranks in greater danger.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  30. SeeBee

    The military, like any bureaucracy, has a way of defining the sense out of any system. When I was a nuclear reactor operator, they had this bonus called "proficiency pay." To be eligible for "proficiency pay," you had to have completed formal training in a high-demand technical field and you had to be obligated for at least eight years of service. The Navy had this program called "STAR" which enabled anyone in one of these fields to extend their original 6-year enlistment to eight and get automatic advancement to E-5. "STAR" babies, therefore, got higher rank and "proficiency" pay straight out of school, while qualified reactor operators like me did not get "proficiency pay." Further, these "proficient" unqualified trainees had little incentive to qualify on the ship, since it would not lead to higher pay, and their higher rank exempted them from most of the unpleasant assignments.

    Point: No matter how well-intentioned the combat pay redefinition, the military will find a way to screw it up.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  31. joey

    they should just cut pay from all those kids who go overseas and make a fool of themselves. you know, those other 1st world countries that america is posted up in for some reason. for 16 years, i witnessed GIs downtown, sloppy drunk, disrespecting the natives, harrassing my friends while we were still in high school, among other things. It's a shame that mom and dad think their child is going to learn discipline, respect, and serve their country (how? no clue) when really they are going to party and have the time of their lives. This is a large reason America has a terrible rep around the world.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Don

      Joey, you are missing the point of the article. Besides, you just sound butt-hurt at Soldiers in general. What happened? Did a Soldier steal you girlfriend? Loser!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • joey

        Let's think about that for a second. If I'm in high school, and a soldier steals my high school girlfriend, that makes me the loser? I'm not seeing the logic behind this. I'm not seeing the logic behind you stating that I am merely butt hurt when I listened several examples of stuff GIs do overseas to give America a bad name. It's a far reach to say this behavior is isolated to this area. If you want to continue to be sheep and think the world of these people, go for it. Oh, and my comment wasn't for the article. It's for other commentors suggesting ways to cut military spending in places and divert it to the people in actual combat situations.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • joey

        Also, soldier is not a word that needs to be capitalized. And your*. Educate yourself

        June 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • Don

        Actually, retard, Soldier does get capitalized. And just because Soldiers act up in Germany or wherever doesn't mean anything against the total force. They are not what makes America look bad. It is the idiots like the occupy retards that make foreigners think we are all that way. The Eurotrash that bash us sure loved us when we saved their asses (a couple of times). And if you spent 16 years overseas as an American, what took you there? Did mommy or daddy serve? Govt employees? Not many people live overseas that long without a reason. Either way, people knew YOU were an American and I doubt that you were always the best behaved. Would you like for them to judge all Americans because you had a bad day?

        June 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • joey

        Bah, this website is going to teach me to refrain from using curse words. Anyways, the gyst of what I said. By the rules of grammar, no it is not. Some general back in 2003 may have decreed that it should be capitalized in order to show respect to the soldiers, but unfortunately that one man cannot change the rules of a language. No one in Korea or any other country cares about the wall street occupy movement, or anything that happens in the United States, other than who the POTUS will be and trade agreements. I was in Korea because my father was in stationed in Korea from 1995-2004, with multiple extensions of course. He continued to work in Korea as a contractor. And no, I did not misbehave and cause the natives discomfort. Having a Korean mother and growing up in Korea, I was taught actual respect.

        June 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • joey

        "Would you like for them to judge all Americans because you had a bad day?" No I wouldn't, but if I was judged poorly because of 16 years worth of bad days, I'd completely understand.

        June 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  32. babooph

    First lets scrap 90% of the surface fleet-obsolete since 1946 test & still sucking up massive amounts of the military budget.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  33. Harlon Katz

    This will not fly as NOW and other women's organizations will claim pay discrimination. Since more men (as a percentage) are truly in the dangerous combat positions, they would then be the beneficiaries of this pay. Women would then compare the "average" soldier and use that as proof that the army is paying men more for the "same work".

    June 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Bozobub

      Sorry, your hatred of NOW is no excuse for being a do-nothing ostrich, head fully implanted in the sand.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  34. vatt57

    combat pay is fine when u get it, but not enuff for levels of the danger involved, but when u get back from your mission it seems like its all taken back in taxes!!!

    June 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  35. Dell Stator

    What a surprise, even in the military, the rich get richer.
    Unlikely to change, unless it comes as an order from the top, it'll be investigated to death, filed and forgotten.
    Apparently, the brass in charge are no different than CEO's and you boss, don't care about the workers, don't care about the troops.
    This is a brainless decision. PAY, cash, based on risk level. Nothing subtle, more risk = more cash in the pocket every week, direct RISK = REWARD, rank makes no difference. NO other compensation / awards / credits etc that are ALL really just tax dodges that inevitabally ONLY BENEFIT THE RICHEST.
    When did the IRS get in on this, when some connected brass safe in the pentagon were wondering how to juice their total compensation packages up CEO levels, inc. the 20% raises and stock options?
    For that matter, why on earth do soldiers have to pay taxes? We want some poor guy in a fox hole wondering if he can finish his taxes on time, instead of how to stay alive and shred the enemy?
    Really, forget taxing soldiers, just adjust the pay. Grunts who barely get enough to survive just get their pay, sr. staff in the upper five to six figures, and they are, get their pay cut in lieu of taxes – or perhaps get the option to do their taxes. They can always order someone to do it for them.
    For that matter, housing inc. for family, medical, food, everything should be via the military.
    I want the men and women defending me, defending our country, to only be thinking about staying alive and shredding our enemies 24 x 7.
    I'm sure I'm not alone.
    (If you think soldiers get paid plenty in this age of unemployment, well, maybe, but think this, why do we pay taxes, to pay a soldier, to get a mortgage on a house, which means the taxpayer then ends up paying the bank double or triple the cost of buidling that house in interest! Everytime we make a soldier "participate in the civilian economy" we are taxing ourselves to pour money into banks and CEO's pockets – since the soldiers are being ripped off at least as badly as we are by the banks and CEO's.) ((OH, you want cheap base services and housing, 20 million unemployed that would build houses, staff shops, drive trucks, etc for min. wage and a medical plan, just need to keep the CEO's at the defense contractors from skimming off 2/3 of the money by contracting locally for services used locally – ie housing, food stuff, etc.))

    June 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Don

      You are rambling. it sounds like you have an axe to grind with someone. Not sure who though. Are you unemployed and angry? Angry at people making decent money? Angry that Soldiers actually earn a living wage? Why are you so angry?

      June 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • joey

        Typical diatribe from internet tough guys/white knights/trolls. Y u mad bro? qq?

        June 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  36. vatt57

    combat is fine when u get it, but not enuff for levels of the danger involved, but when u get back from your mission it seems like its all taken back in taxes!!!

    June 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  37. Mike

    Since it will cause higher ranking service members to lose money, this recommendation will not happen. The E-5s and below that do the fighting always get screwed financially in the military!

    June 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Cetus

      And yet, when this retired Commander goes on base to shop, all the BMWs and Mercedes seem to have enlisted stickers on them.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
      • Bozobub

        Because you can buy a used BMW or Mercedes from a PCSing troop for $500-1000; anyone can check the Stars & Stripes to verify. Your straw man isn't built very well...

        June 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  38. Uhhh, VBC was dangerous

    Uhhhh, did the Capt forget he could get mortared or blown up on base at any time? What about bases like Taji that was freaking right next to MSR Tampa and was mortared every day? Or Balad? Thanks for not thinking that one through before you opened your mouth (typical officer).

    June 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Bozobub

      Perhaps, but the troop in a dusty fighting position out in the bush should be paid more than the equivalent-rank REMF.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Vad

      That's why this is going to be a hard sell. How do you make it fair? What is more dangerous? Convoy escort duty? Building clearing? Simply being on a base that gets shelled? Location proximate to hot spots? No matter what they come up with someone will get screwed.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
      • Bozobub

        So, the nations that already have implemented pay-by-risk-level are all boneheads, is that it..? Funny, Germany's military isn't known to be all that terrible.

        Throwing up your hands because it will be "difficult" is a cheap cop-out, nothing more.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
      • joey

        i thought germany wasn't allowed to have a military

        June 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • joey

        but i guess i was wrong.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • Bozobub

        Correct, Joey, you were wrong.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  39. Mark

    I recall leaving Iraq (2004) and landing in Kuwait to discover all personnel in Kuwait were receiving the same combat pay I was in Iraq. They were also authorized to wear a "combat" patch on their right shoulder. Yes, something is wrong with the system.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • just an American

      The insult is even greater than that, in Bahrain reserve officers mostly 0-5 recevied all the benifits of a combat zone and the worst thing that happened since the start of the war was a propane tank was blowenup, when it looked like congress was thinnking about reducing the combat zone in 2003 the ommander 5th fleet went nuts and order the evacuation of all dependants in country at the cost of millions of dollars just for the chartered aircraft. No way was he going to lose his combat pay and tax free.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  40. NativeBornUSA

    A better savings would be to base congressional or executive branch pay on performance. Increase the deficit or unemployment on your watch each percentage point equates to ten percent of your base pay.......

    June 23, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Native, I like the way you think!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • SeeBee

      I'm afraid such a plan would quickly lead to new reporting criteria that would paint a rosier picture. Things wouldn't improve, but the bonus would be there anyway.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  41. Paratrooper

    How about saving $ starting w/salaries and benefits of senators & congressman? 1 term and they're set for life. Yet a soldier can serve 20-plus yrs, in combat zones and receive approx 1/2 their benefits upon retirement. Oh yeah, if he'she survives the congressmen send him/her.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Paratrooper

      Meant to say; "survives the wars".

      June 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • communicator1453

      Paratrooper, you are making way too much sense. You had better watch out! 😉

      June 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
    • omgamike

      First, bring back all of our troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan and let them keep killing themselves. They have been doing it for centuries and will continue to do so no matter what we do or don't do. That way you don't have to pay any of them combat pay. We should not be the world's policemen. Nor can we afford to be. Troops back at home can better be utilized to secure our own country against potential terrorist attacks, as well as to close down our northern and southern borders against further incursions by any illegals and/or potential terrorists. Makes sense to me.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • jon

        End this foolish war and bring our NATIONAL GUARD troops back to where they belong – now!

        June 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • ARNG 13A

      Paratrooper. I agree with part of what you say. I don't think that senators and congressmen/women should get benefits for life if they serve just one term, but you also have to look at the facts here. There are how many representatives in DC from the Senate and House combined? Currently there are 435 Representatives as well as 100 Senators. Now how many soldiers are there in the entire armed forces? Millions if you include all the reserve component soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen.

      Also if you look at the current stats in the Senate there are 21 Senators that have served at least 20 years. Plainly speaking, if a Senator can stay in office they'll do what they can to stay in office. So the fact that they get benefits after only one term may seem unfair on the surface, but the truth is they will stay in office for 20 years (or more) if they can (look at Daniel Inouye from Hawaii).

      I think that the real solution here is to cut down on defense spending and spend less on all this high tech new fangled technology that seems to be dominating the culture of the military today. What happened to good soldiering without the reliance on technology? I also believe that reducing the number of troops in the standing army/navy/marine corps and increasing the reserve component (especially the national guard) will help with the spending problems. The National Guard is a cost efficient and effective way to maintain a fighting force. Over the past 10 years, with the war on terror, the Guard has shifted from a strategic reserve to an operational one. Without them the active component would have not been able to meet the mission set forth to them by the president in all the foreign countries that the army is currently operating in.

      Bottom line, shrink the government and cut defense spending as much as possible without jeopardizing national security.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  42. Everett Wallace

    keep it simple, we are in a global war the soldiers are always in a hostile environment abroad or at home. combat pay stays the same always with yearly increases of 10% fo the annual combat pay.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • communicator1453

      By that reasoning, every person on the planet is in a hostile environment and deserves combat pay. Take it from someone who previously served. Combat status is too generously granted to people who sit in offices all day, hundreds of miles away from any combat. I think it's an insult to those take risks every moment of their lives to watch others, who do not take such risks, to receive the same benefit if not many times more.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  43. Malory Archer

    Sharkfisher
    Sure. Take it away from our service men and women and put it into food stamps for Obama welfare voters.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Your statement is ignorant. Many junior enlisted personnel with families rely on food stamps to feed their families – and their pay, allowances and benefits – which, BTW are better than most civilian jobs. That's not to disparage military families in any way (my husband is retired military so I'm writing from experience). My point is that a great many people receiving food stamps are working full time, but their jobs pay so poorly that they need food stamps to survive.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • Malory Archer

      "and their pay, allowances and benefits – which, BTW are better than most civilian jobs." Aaaaack – fragmented sentence!

      ...their pay, allowances & benefits are better than most most civilian job compensation.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • ACS

        ...before you go around pointing out other people's faults, make sure you have none of your own. "Most most"?

        June 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  44. Your Neighbor and Former Service Member

    Sure, let's go ahead and complete our transition to a full-up, unabashed mercenary military, which is employed to do the bidding of the rich and powerful and has little impact to the real security of average Americans.

    I have no beef with those military members sacrificing their time, their livelihood, their families, their sanity, their safety, and in some cases, their lives. I just wish the sacrifice was all for the higher purpose that we all pretend it is. I don't want to see combat pay and benefits go to those who don't deserve it. But, is the way to go?

    Maybe it's time to stop the pointless wars by insisting that EVERY AMERICAN SERVE IN THE US MILITARY AND SHARE IN THE SECURITY AND DEFENSE OF OUR COUNTRY. It's the only way to insure that sacrifice is shared and that waged wars are just.

    How long can a democracy persist when the military is placed in higher regard than the government and people that it serves?

    June 23, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • joey

      very much agreed with everything, except for "Maybe it's time to stop the pointless wars by insisting that EVERY AMERICAN SERVE IN THE US MILITARY AND SHARE IN THE SECURITY AND DEFENSE OF OUR COUNTRY." i'm not sure how that would stop pointless wars, unless you're assuming that everyone would revolt at the idea thus causing more anti-war sentiment.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • doughnuts

      Or we could put the question of starting a war up for a limited referendum: All citizens able to serve in the military can vote in the referendum, and a vote in support of war means that you personally have just enlisted for the duration of that war.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
      • joey

        best idea i've ever seen on a thread regarding politics.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • mandy

      It you think the military service members are held in higher regard than the govt or the people of this country then you obviously live a sheltered life and have never visited a VA hospital. Maybe you should step out into the real world and do just that then you can have an opinion.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • ed denoy

      You may be a dreamer....but you're not the only one.....Imagine !

      June 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  45. Jef Cox

    Instead of using this as a way to cut expenses, how about keeping the budget the same but simply doing a reallocation so that the most hazardous duty gets an increase equal to whatever is being taken away from those in deemed to be in a "less dangerous" duty area?

    I don't have a problem with doing something that attempts to better correlate pay with the degree of hazardous duty being faced ... but let's not take away from the guys serving in military, okay?

    My opinion, of course – that with $5 will get you a small coffee at Starbucks.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
  46. Jonathan

    It's insane how CNN doesn't proof read ANYTHING. Numerous typos and grammatical errors in EVERY single story. "The report found that junior members, especially those WITH WITH families" <– WTH

    June 23, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  47. Kenneth Lau

    They should get the same salary as those military personnel in the country they are on duty.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  48. Peter Q Wolfe

    Rhino Person, SFC(R) and Agreed or others,

    Could you guys give us examples of how active military duty soldiers do or have done more efficient work for civilian contracters than they otherwise would have without the active duty military soldier(s)? I'm going to be a civilian contracteer in DOD in logistics management with a bachelors degree with $28000.00 a year with only a 14 tentative week agreement with no civilian protections or guarntees of benefits or anything for being a civilian and with the risk of moving for a temporary position to boot. It isn't fair that defense contracters are being demonized for our higher educational attainment and serving our country for having our expertese treated lesss than what soldiers are doing for noncombat jobs either. aI'm also disabled e.g. legally blind lhon with family members who have served in the military e.g. WWII and Korea and it isn't right to be generalized like I'm worthless for deleberately going to serve at a inferior pay than to te treated like this either.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • steven harnack

      So join the military and get the benefits. I don't understand what you're complaint is as it's hard to figure out what you're even saying, but bottom line, if you want the benefits that military persnnel get then join the military.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • NativeBornUSA

      Are you kidding me? Your statement makes no sense at all? Join the military see how "easy" or unfair it is........egads your statement is the quintessential ignorance........civilian contractor? Just by virtue of the word civilian you probably never lived in conditions that do not meet federal prison standards, never got shot at and if you were risking your life which I doubt it was the risk of driving your provided vehicle in foreign traffic.....................or the risk of slipping on your private bathroom floor when you get up in the middle of the night for a snack ...........join the miltary if its so easy........my recommendation try the marines.............

      June 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
      • ACS

        ...I OFTEN snack in the bathroom. Yum!

        June 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  49. jeremyjones948

    "days of living in luxurious bases".... Really CNN? Wow.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • steven harnack

      In Iraq they had swimming pools and Pizza Huts and the only Iraqis that they came into contact with, in some cases, were their sevants, so yeah, really.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Raven33

      No kidding. Obviously this capt that is living so luxuiosly is an Obama supporter. While on base he may have these perks, during his work shift, he is put in harms way. Plus, the threat of infiltrators penetrating the base and blowing themselves up is a reality. All the other troops at this base receive the same benefits as they should. Worrying if you're going to make it home tonight deserves the chance to relax and let loose when you do make it home (back to base).

      June 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  50. Mark9988

    OMB has decided what's needed is a battlefield 'timeclock/punchcard" system, and a combat accountant platoon. This way IRS forms 234-A and 1040 Schedule 20111k can be completed during each conflict episode, instead of after. Soldiers can settle up with their withholding at the end of each skirmish, and, although they do expect long lines as troops exit the battlefield, "In the long run, the tax reporting will be much improved," said an unnamed Treasury Department official.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
  51. Paul

    Once again before you start to look at cutting Military pay because the USA is in debt, might you look at other ways to save money, why do you ask the most of the military but want to cut there pay first? Why don't you look at the outrages contracts you have with the civilian personnel you have over there, does the public have any idea how much money they are being paid. You talk about cutting the Military retirement but don't even think about doing the same to those on Capital Hill who get way better retirement. Or how about the fact that Congress continues to give themselves raises every year. You ask these young men and women to die for there country and yet they are the first to suffer. Sad

    June 23, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • joey

      i completely agree, and i should have a bias the other way around. my father was in the army for 23 years, 11 of them in south korea. his job was that of an IMO (basically reporting troubles on systems in the area, but not doing much break/fix work). he retired as a master sergeant making approx 60 k a year. upon retirement, he was contracted by a company to work the exact job he had worked the previous 11 years, except now they are paying him 120k a year. does not make much sense at all

      June 23, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Vad

      Yes. Completely agree. It is not fair contractors make so much more. But you have to pay them something to get them to go over there. As far a congress benefits go, you hit the nail on the head. Why does a one term congressman get full retirement and medical? Their pay and benefits are so good how can they call it "service" to our country. It makes you sick to think about it.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • DCML

      @Paul – your "fact" about Congress giving themselves raises every year is wrong. They haven't received a raise in a couple of years. You should check your "facts" before getting all indignant about something that isn't true.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
      • Rationalintn

        Wow, someone defending congress–probably someone IN congress, a relative, or someone who has purchased a congressman/woman. It makes my stomach churn. The people need to take back this country by taking back congress. The only people they are serving; themselves.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  52. Sharkfisher

    Sure. Take it away from our service men and women and put it into food stamps for Obama welfare voters.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  53. Dean

    Wondering why the button you push to display your comment says "publicar".......Does the entire country pander to the illegal aliens?????

    June 23, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Topher

      No, but I'm sure your browser language settings do, Dean.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  54. Dean

    A lot different than when you made $78.80 a month in the army no matter where you were.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
  55. Active Duty AF

    Ask the men and women living/working at Kohbar Towers in 1996 what the projected level of danger was before a large truck bomb changed the actual level of danger.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • Retired11B

      The point of the tiered system is not to say there is no danger for those men. Just that the danger is less likely than someone walking through Baghdad twice a day. Those tw

      June 23, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
      • NativeBornUSA

        The point is looking for savings in a military whose base pay has been sequentially paired down for decades (90% of thier pay is not tiered already to preclude it being including in retirement calculations). Wish to save money start with the welfare and medicare and social services fraud .................the sums are vast. Want to save money in the DOD budget? Close more bases but do not give the land to any adjacent community leave in inventory.....land is always more expensive later to aquire especially waterfront real estate for ports libs love giving away federal land. Remove foreign aid for countries like Pakistan..........and any other hostile to the US.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Active Duty AF

      BTW... Presence on that "base" was E-1 – O-7.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Retired11B

      The point of the tiered system is not to say there is no danger for those men. Just that the danger is less likely than someone walking through Baghdad twice a day. Those tower guards will still receive compensation for hazard duty. The point is should they receive equal pay as those who risk more?

      June 23, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Vad

      Using that logic you could argue the service personnel killed at the Pentagon on 9/11 deserved to be paid for being in a combat zone. Although they, and the 19 airmen killed at Khobar Towers were murdered, were they actually in a combat zone? I agree with the premise of the articlgie. Should a Special Forces Operative going on daily high risk ops get paid more than some Air Force pencil pusher serving in an air conditioned briefing room in a secure FOB? I think so. Problem is how to make it fair. Can be a slippery slope.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Jeff

        The risk that they faced going to work every day at the Pentagon was minimal. We were not in a state of war, and indeed never really were – one attack, one day, four explosions, one of them at the Pentagon. Military lives lost: All the deaths in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon. 800 people were in the destroyed area. So 800 out of approximately 2500 military persons were in serious peril for ONE DAY and you think they deserve as much as people who are deployed to a warzone?

        June 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • Vad

        Ummmm.....Jefff, if you go up and read ActivedutuAF's post then mine it makes more sense. My post was a reply to his and had a tone of mild sarcasm to it. I agree with everything you said, I just didn't spell it out.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  56. joey

    saying we owe the troops for protecting our rights and freedoms as americans is beyond retarded. please provide me the logic in that statement? we invade other nations who have nothing to do with U.S. rights whilst pushing our beliefs onto the country. is your reasoning, a good offense is a good defense?

    June 23, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Retired11B

      That is your presidents and congressmen to blame, NOT the military. If the military didn't exist, you most likely wouldn't either. The existence of our military passively keeps you safe.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
      • joey

        i'm not blaming the military, it is indeed congress and the potus. i completely agree about the existence of a military keeping us passively safe, my comment was more directed at those acting as if a soldier fighting in iraq/iran/afghan is a hero of any kind. they are not over there to protect our rights, they could easily do that from the homeland.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Teila K. Day

      You are 100% correct as operations in Iraq, and elsewhere were not operations in effort to "protect" the rights, liberties, and or freedoms of any U.S. citizen and I cringe every time people mention "war heroes" in that context. Ridiculous.

      Ticks me off that the pay structure wasn't stratified by actual danger to begin with or at least realigned over the last 30 years to be based on "probable danger". A special operations soldier getting paid the same *base pay* as a veterinarian assistant caring for military working dogs is ridiculous in garrison during peace time, let alone in a danger zone.

      Those pushing paperwork, going to work at 9am after self-directed physical fitness training (pt), and getting off from work by 4pm should not get paid the same as another soldier who's job requires pt at 6am, at work by 8am, lunch when you can grab it, hard training or dirty grunt work until 6pm, and away from family *every month* at least 7-14 days for field training, with several of those months requiring nearly 30 days at a time in the field.

      A cook should not get paid the same base pay as the aforementioned field soldier, nor should a cook get paid the same as another enlisted person trained in pharmacology, nuclear medicine, etc.. Not only could the government save at least $150 million per month service wide, but it would structure the enlisted ranks *more* like the officer ranks on the issue of pay, where the jobs requiring substantial military or civilian training get paid more via professional pay ("pro pay"), flight pay after the 6th year, etc..

      A pilot's flight pay after the 6th year goes from a few hundred bucks to over $600 per month. An attorney, veterinarian, physician, nurse anesthetist, et. al., receive professional pay, whereas a Captain pushing paperwork in some finance office receives nada... and that's how it should be!

      The same relative pay structure needs to be set in place for our enlisted service members as well... the issue of stratifying pay on the battle field according to probable danger levels is a concept that I'd expect a 4th grader to have figured out by now... but I understand that our Congress thinks about as fast as it acts...

      June 23, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
      • joey

        Thank you for articulating that better than I, or most others here could.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • drenam

        The military office workers make sure the grunt gets paid and the families are taken care of, if anything, they should be paid more for using their brains in addition to the extra work they perform on weekends and holidays because the grunts don't think past tomorrow. They also tag along and participate in all the ridiculous field exercises and do the same things like ruck marches and structured PT programs. I'm amazed how the common man (or woman) can conjure these concepts of what the military is and how it works with no experience other than looking through a clouded window. Why would I know this, because I've managed a shop full of them for a battalion of grunts in garrison and deployed.

        June 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  57. Russ

    I say, do what they did in the Civil War. Give them all a signing bonus. You volunteer to go get shot at, you get $10,000 and a free iPad for your kids to communicate with you. That would ease some of the pain to the families.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Retired11B

      The military already has sign on bonuses. Do you enjoy commenting on subjects you know nothing about?

      June 23, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
      • Lilbit

        The vast majority of sign-up or reenlistment bonuses have already been done away with under the current system.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  58. Russ

    Just so you vets realize. Most of our presidents did not serve in the military. Some of the best didn't, and some of the worst did. So far, Obama has made the right calls regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has gotten dozens of terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden. What more do you want? What did Bush do, though he was in the Texas Air National Guard? He got us into Iraq, which was unnecessary, and did nation building in Afghanistan, instead of getting Osama Bin Laden. Obama has conducted the wars better by far.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • joey

      sending drones to kill thousands of innocent civilians = better job

      June 23, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • Ron

        Know how many U.S. soldiers lives those drones save! Don't speak untiil you grow up or serve in a combat zone! Id__t !!!

        June 23, 2012 at 11:10 am |
      • joey

        so... what you're saying is, lives of u.s. soldiers > lives of civilian iraqis/iranians/afghanis?

        June 23, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • joey

        ok. that is what you are saying. and you want me to grow up?

        June 23, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Retired11B

      Andrew Jackson was a fantastic president.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • VoteChangeIn2012

        And Obutthead is our worst.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
      • steven harnack

        Take a t and an s out of fantastic and you're right. He was genocidal when it came to Indians and fairly corrupt.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  59. yannaes

    As a former Vietnam Vet, and one that is not on the same page as obama, I am going to agree with the looking into the compensation ratings. I think this is fair and as a disabled vet, I am pleased that this is being addressed.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  60. Retired11B

    Somebody wake that private up on the right.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  61. Andrew

    over 3k bases. If we need to spend that money to stay in business, we need to get out of business.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  62. rhino person

    I'm in the military, I've been forward deployed on a FOB that was relatively well protected, and I agree that compensation should be linked to level of danger. I would point out that it is often hard to predict "level of danger" prior to an attack occuring so the tiered or leveled system may also provide a false sense of need for compensation too (at least 2 people were killed in the FOB I lived, yet I felt relatively safe–should we all get the same compesation?).

    I find it a bit ironic and a little hypocritic that we want to base military compensation on "level of danger" and "earning it" yet we seem to be content to give a similar level of handouts to civilians people who don't do a thing to earn it. Think about the fairness in that!

    June 23, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • the dude

      I agree with you as well. but why do these news stories always try comparing us to other countries and that they do it. they did the same comparison when discussing the lifting of the don't ask don't' tell policy, we're not other countries we're the united states. but i don't see that captain in the article giving back his combat pay if he was so distraught. this sort of policy should apply to the pogues who never leave the wire during the whole deployment, like in Bagram where they have "salsa" night every thursday, guys go there to get laid, then they have all that time to do online college classes.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • john

      Looking at this makes sense and bumping pay for folks in the line of fire is needed but we shouldn't cut any benefits for officers or enlisted. Part of the compensation is having to leave family, friends and home for 6-12 months, often in some tribal area. Particularly for reservists where they must leave their jobs and hope they don't get replaced when they return, especially officers who have important jobs that may be at risk. Maybe its nice on base but right outside the gates they are in a foreign land and away from home.
      These brave folks should all absolutely get taxed deferred pay. Very few would give up a year of their life to serve on deployment. If cuts need to be made, reduce troop involvement in international events.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
  63. USCitizen

    Just goes to show you, only the rich have the money.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
  64. J. Quest

    To all military...We love you guys!! I think
    America owes you much. All give some, some give all. We are free because of the brave and those volunteers.
    Do not listen to all the media as they never truly reflect the vast majority of us whom are behind you. President Reagan once said we are a city of light and a beacon of hope for the world. Current leadership has forgotten this, but those of us that have served or are serving know this. My vote is to leave the military alone...lets go after the congress and president and cut their pay, benefits, retirement system, and make them earn something for a change!!

    June 23, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Russ

      BS. The president respects the military and those who serve. You think Romney loves the military? Come on. He avoided the draft like every rich guy.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • Jamann

        Have you forgotten about Bill Clinton?

        http://www.1stcavmedic.com/bill-clinton-draft.htm

        June 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • MightyMo

      I call BS too. What Reagan said was 25 years ago, those days are long gone my friend. Only 1% of Americans serve, I often wonder how many of those 1% are only in it to relish in the Hero status, and what it does for the ego. The guys that were drafted are the ones that I feel should be respected, I volunteered on my own free will. Sure serving deserves something, but I don't think it deserves all that. I, and so many others, simply did it because I was young, wanted a new life, and couldn't afford college or anything else. I have never been a hero and never will be. I agree with Obama on this. I personally think military compensation is totally out of whack, far too much. When I joined in 1977, you couldn't afford much of anything, and lived in the dorms. Now the compensation is so great I see young E3's driving BMWs, Audi's, Cadillacs, etc and living alone renting single family homes! It's insane for something that to me I was simply happy to have served, not a hero, just a young man after a life to make myself proud; I am, and I am thankful for what I have earned for myself.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
      • joey

        i have an immense amount of respect for your level of self-awareness. not that it means anything, but self-awareness is a trait i believe everyone should strive for, but very few have. thank you

        June 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
      • Dan

        MightyMo, you are either lying, ignorant, or both. An E-3 does not earn enough to afford fancy cars and single family homes on military pay alone. Hell, a single E-3 doesn't even get a rank-based housing allowance. Go troll elsewhere.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Sharkfisher

      J.Quest: I agree with you 100%. If the politicians we have today had to WORK to earn a living,they would starve to death. Their main aim is to take away from those who earn and deserve it and give it to those who will not earn it and do not deserve it.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  65. Molly Winston

    Doesn't strike me that they're cutting anyone's base pay, just restructuring how people become eligible for the different levels of special pay. Time and a half only applies to wages at a regular job when you work overtime; similarly, you only qualify for special pay in the military for the amount of time you meet certain conditions. If I get deployed as a medical Officer, yes I'll be away from my family in probably dangerous conditions, but I'll be nowhere near combat – unless the base were (God forbid) attacked. So I'm totally supportive of the distinction between "imminent danger" and "hostile fire" pay. I think that's fair and I think it honors everyone's service appropriately.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
  66. AP

    I love the impression some people convey about how hard they had it, how it's unfair, how much it sucks that people that aren't living in the direct face of combat get paid the same as those that do. As much as I know I may be hated for this comment let me relay this bit of information back to you – no matter what job you have in the military you get paid the same as your counterpart when you are at home station. If your job – as many combat jobs are – is to deploy and protect, you spend most of your time training or doing odd jobs. Your work day is normal work day, many times less, with more down time at home. Just to be honest, I have infantry friends who while at work do the same thing at home people are complaining the non combat people do in the combat zone (video games, surfing the internet etc, working out etc) The reasoning behind this is that they have a higher stressed job in a deployed location, which I do completely agree with. On the same note though, their counterparts earn the exact same pay check for, and no offense, higher technically skilled jobs. An E4 in an infantry unit for example, earns the same amount of money as an E4 in let's say an intel field, a surgical tech, a vet tech, a lab tech, a contractor, a mechanic, etc. Some of these jobs work 12 – 14 hour days, put countless amount of over time in, get very few, if any holidays or weekends off, etc. They are higher stressed at home, exhausted, and worn out physically and mentally. This means less time with family, for school, for a life. Here's my point – some jobs are more dangerous than others overseas and that's a given, but until you start comparing every single aspect of someones job and what sacrifice they offer at home and overseas I suggest we realize that the military is the military. There are inequities all around, but be thankful that some people are willing to sacrifice their lives overseas and others sacrifice their lives at home. To some people it may not be the same, but we all work together to support one mission and that is to protect the country. So without one part of it, the other part wouldn't survive.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • Retired11B

      Your ignorance is shining through. I served in the infantry. We lived on a Combat Outpost we built ourselves. Far away from any luxuries and security a FOB holds. We patrolled, in hostile territory, at least two times a day. Our COP was in the middle of hostile territory and shared with only one other unit. We did not have the safety of numbers nor defense structures. We had towers (we had to pull tower guard on all the time) and concrete walls....that's it. Someone living next to a pool with smoothies and chips should not make the same hazzard pay as my infantry brothers and me.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • 11BWSL

      As an Infantryman I work until 1700 every day and come in at 0500. I spend weeks away from my family for training, not counting the day or two every other week and when I am home I'm dealing with Soldier problems, exhausted, and trying to finish my paper work... Now when support jobs are in garrison they have office hours and miss PT frequently, they get irate if they work past 1700 and rarely go to the field. I acknowledge they have a valuable skill that enables me to better do my job. I have missed all but one of my 6 anniversaries, missed my children's birth, missed sports games because we DO NOT work short days. The writer above seems to have no understanding of the way an Infanrty Company works... We work harder and more than anyone else when in garrison. When we deploy we don't get the simple things like Gatorade or soda because it all stopped at the FOBs. I patrol for hours, then brief or plan the next mission, prep my gear, check my guys, and try to sleep in my tent or wood shack with one A/C for the entire building. A hot shower is near impossible and food is laughable. I get shot at and blown up, I have scrubbed my friend's brain off my face and glasses then had to get my team going. You tell me how working on teeth or processing paperwork and the like, though a high technical skill, even come close to what my brothers and I endure? I suggest you look at just what you sacrifice when deployed and ask if you really deserve the same money as the grunt. Your opinion of grunts being unskilled is annoying, knowing how to use a computer is fine but asking an 18 year old kid to hold lives of friend and foe and him accepting and handling that responsibility is far more impressive and admirable than an intel processor and deserves proper compensation. So yes, the dirt eating grunt deserves more money than you and deep inside you know it too.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
      • Russ

        The grunts deserve more, but will never be paid more than higher skilled jobs or officers. That's just the way it is. If the grunts don't like that, then they should get training and education and get one of those higher skilled or officer jobs themselves. Chiefs always have it better than the indians though the indians take the bullets. Sucks for the indians.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • Retired11B

        @Russ – I joined the infantry with a college degree. I chose the infantry because I found honor in it. Not because I was under skilled. There are plenty of infantrymen with degrees and high ASVAB scores. All of my line scores were above 120.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • 11BWSL

        Yep, I know a lot of us with degrees... My issue isn't with base pay, officers can have the money, but paying a pay clerk with office hours and days off the same as a sand eater is insane and unbalanced... Spend a day in the midst of an Infanrty Platoon and learn about them, there is nothing unskilled about them. There are computer programers, teachers, nurses and paramedics, mechanics, engineers, you name it we have it. Don't assume we all do it because we are unskilled and unhappy with our place in life, I love my job. Just stop spreading the wealth where it doesn't belong... You can't get PTSD from the cafe being out of espresso...

        June 23, 2012 at 10:19 am |
      • Jamann

        You made a comment that you chose the infantry. That's right, you made the decision to go infantry and that means you made the choice to accept all conditions. Stop complaining about getting paid the same as people who are not infantry. Sure there are some smart people in the infantry. That doesn't matter when it comes to pay. You chose to have a job that requires a very low ASVAB score. That's on you.

        Just because some jobs aren't in as much danger from hostile fire does not mean they are not contributing just as much, if not more, than an infantryman. It also does not mean they are not dangerous. Look at those who work on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. That is one of the most dangerous places to be. If one person there doesn't do their job to perfection, a lot of people can get hurt and a lot of highly expensive equipment can be lost.

        I was an Aviation Electronics Technician in the Marine Corps. It was my job to work on F/A-18s and keep them in the air. If I didn't do my job exactly right, a pilot loses his life and the Corps loses a $60 million aircraft. Not to mention that the infantry would no longer have that aircraft supporting them. We worked long hours and the risk of getting electrocuted was very real. Some of the equipment used vast amounts of voltage. We faced these risks everyday whether it was peace time or war time.

        Look at a supply clerk or a cook at the chow hall (or whatever you Army boys call it). Sure, they're not in the line of fire, but that doesn't mean their jobs are not as important. Without the cooks, no one eats. A military is fueled by the food in its stomach. Without a supply clerk, no one gets the gear that they need. Being properly equipped is why our military is so strong. Without the supply clerks, our military wouldn't have half the strength it has.

        My point through all this is that you are not special. Your job is no more important than any other job. Until you do every job in the military, don't say that you work harder than anyone in garrison. You say that those who are not infantry don't know how hard you have it, but you have no idea how hard those in support roles have it.

        You're away from your family for weeks at a time? Boo freakin' hoo! Welcome to the military! I would have LOVED to see my family every few weeks. I routinely saw my family two or three times a year, and there were people in my shop that only went home once or twice a year.

        You chose the life you live. It's the military where pay is based on rank. That's how it is. So be a Soldier, stop crying, and deal with it.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • 11BWSL

        You are being very childish here... I never denied any contribution by any other MOS and at no point did I cry. Come down off your pretentious high horse. I chose my MOS because I wanted to be the leading edge of the fight and I am. Honestly man, I'm trying so hard to maintain my composure with you here because you are just another Internet tough guy who is trying to flex and prove your worth. I do not believe for a second you spent more time away from your family than me but if you did good job. I spend more time from my family than with and I'm ok with it, during deployment I see them once. You are great for doing your job but you left the focus of this article and turned it to a measuring contest. The people who fight do more and deserve more. If you disagree great but you're welcome to come find out.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • Retired11B

        @Jamann Your post is pretty sad. Should people on the aircraft carrier make more money based on their hazard? YES. The point was people who live next to a pool, without much imminent danger, are the ones that shouldn't receive AS MUCH hazard pay as someone in a hazard zone. If working on an aircraft carrier is a dangerous place, it should be compensated as much. We didn't get to enjoy the cooks you mentioned. We lived on a COP without a dining facility. We ate MRE's or food our loved ones mailed us. Your comments show a lack of knowledge.

        June 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  67. FED UP

    I can say that I see alot of military members about to get fed up with all these pay issues. Seems like they are trying to cut everything from us.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • craigu

      take reading comprehension. they are trying to help you. this pay system would greatly benefit our miltary and actually increase pay for some of those in the most danger

      June 23, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  68. Carrie Ann Golden

    We bailed out millionaires as they outsourced our jobs, blew our nations wealth and now lets screw with the military, cut the middle class, cut benefits for the unemployed and truly create the democatic party dream of two Americas, just like the Phillipines.....only do we spend 5 dollars to save $1....It is time to overthrow the gov't and replace it with the same form of gov't but get all of them the !@@#$ out before it is to late!!

    June 23, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • J. Quest

      I agree with you, but it is both parties......America sleeps in the land of Cell phones and is zombie like....someday we will wonder what happened to our great country and weep. I think our gov't as bad as it is by not representing us, is still the best in the world....kind of sad....we need some selfless people whom are strong leaders and not on the take from big money...it is a big shell game....heads Obama, tails Rominey....one party with two denominations, but neither does the will or what is best for the American people. The military has been fighting two wars for ten years. If anything we should increase the combat pay and a tiered system might be a great idea, I just think that we should be focusing on so many other areas. Obama hates the military and they as a whole do not like him. Perhaps we should base his pay and congress on their performance...I think we should leave them alone for now and focus on true cuts for gov't spending

      June 23, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
  69. walter

    Last I knew the military was a voluntary operation. If you don't like the new tiered system – don't enlist.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • Ash

      If military spending is cut by 80%, these career soldiers will either accept lower pay or just leave. Military is just a career that people choose due to their financial condition, otherwise you cannot explain why an 18-year old enlists...at an age where more than 80% of all college kids are not even sure what to major in!!!

      June 23, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
      • Navcop

        Ever stop to think that we enlist because we love our country and feel a sense of duty to serve? That it is a privilege to wear the uniform and know that you are the first line of defense to protect your friends, family and neighbors from harm? If you need to ask the question, "why do we do it?", you wouldn't understand the answer.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • JomfromBham

        Believe it or not, Ash, some kids enlist because they want the challenges of being part of something that is bigger than they are.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:34 am |
      • SRT

        Ash, what a narrow-minded comment. It was with tears and a great sense of pride that 3 yrs ago I watched my 18 year old leave for basic training. I can assure you he did NOT do this because of any financial situation. He did this out of the love for his country. You should feel blessed that you have young men and women willing to take this risk. It is simply because of our military that we are able to live relatively safe in our country. Instead of saying that people only join for financial reasons, how about just support these soldiers as they risk all the things that you would never dream of. As a mom I have made it through deployments.......hard to describe emotions that the loved ones left behind have. There is fear, anxiety, but most of all there is PRIDE!

        June 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • joey

        "It is simply because of our military that we are able to live relatively safe in our country" yea, if any country even thinks about messing with america, these military men and women are ready to destroy that country and it's innocent people at the beckoning of the potus. they are the only reason every other nation in the world doesn't arbitrarily attack us, and try to take over our nation. and don't think that you're safe just cause you're in some central state, even with all our military back home, terrorists could easily plow through the united states and go coast to coast. only way we can live knowing we're safe if we take preemptive measures to make sure everyone knows not to mess with us!

        June 23, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Mike500

      Spoken by someone who would never consider serving their country.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
      • walter

        And that sir, is where you are wrong.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • joey

      yea man. don't you know what an honor it is to be a part of a service that goes around terrorizing other nations? on top of that, you get the perks of calling this offensive a "defense of american rights and freedoms". makes a whole lot of sense. seriously though, i agree with you for the most part. i dislike making blanket statements, so i will just say that a lot of people definitely join for the paycheck, or because they have a lack of options in life. once they do join, eventually they get brain washed into that stupid hoo-ah mentality which prevents them from questioning their duty. they will more than likely go on to claim that they were always this patriotic, and not some kid who gave no thought to serving in the military before they realized they had too much fun in high school.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  70. orlop

    This is a gigantic DUH! Why does it take so long for an administration to rectify something like this when it seems that the President makes executive orders daily on trivial matters?

    June 23, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • Joseph

      So a day to you is three and a half years long?

      June 23, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
  71. gee

    Retired after 28 years in 1986. It was too political then with congress tinkering with what 'luxury' was put in the appropriation and how may restrictions could be attached.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
  72. chrisw1964

    These comments are a monument to lack of reading comprehension. The theater of operations that currently qualifies for hazardous duty/eminent danger pay can be huge, depending on the situation. Do you seriously believe a mechanic working on a plane at Diego Garcia deserves the same combat bonus as an infantryman patrolling the streets of Fullujah? I know for a fact, during Desert Storm there were people drawing combat pay who never set foot anywhere near Saudi, Kuwait or Iraq

    June 23, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
  73. CW2 Marty

    I agree with a tiered system based on where you are at. However the last time i checked someone serving in Qater was getting less than me (in afghanistan) in terms of HDP. So why is this an argument in the first place. This was briefed a few weeks ago when i was going into country. Now if the government wants to save money, then get rid of the $1 million contracts that are out there for one individual. My unit paid $1million for one civilian for 6 months. At the same time the unit had many other soldiers fully capable to do the job.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • SFC(R) Tim

      FINALLY! I was beginning to think I was the only person perplexed by the DoD's continued use of contractors when active duty soldiers can do the same job – in most cases – more efficiently and at higher quality. While I was on active duty, you were a soldier 24/7. Contractors will only ever be 9-5 unless an incredible amount of compensation is included in their contract. Deployed contractors are the biggest case of fraud, waste, and abuse I've ever witnessed of government funds.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
      • Agreed

        Agreed...been in NUMEROUS situations where i was perfectly capable of doing a job but i couldn't touch the equipment because it was "contracted out"...but and this point we all need to stick together and write our congressmen...one or two letters is not going to work...we ALL need to let our voices be heard...cheesy to say, i know but it's true...the more people you have saying the same thing, the more they will listen and make those changes...

        June 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • former army soldier (iraq vet)

      CW2 Marty, i was in the military for a long long time, and i was also a contractor for many years. in all my life, i have never heard of anyone paying 1 mil bucks for a civ to work for six months. i think you made this up. i just think you hate contractors because they make more money than you. if you want to make as much money as a contractor, get out and become one, but don't be a hater. don;t take this personal

      June 23, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
  74. PaulM

    This is just another case of the already well-off gaining the lion's share of the benefit in our country. You see it everywhere. And if republicans have their way, the richest 1% will have complete control of our government. So if it all goes according to republican plans our military grunts will return home to discover they are no longer fighting for democratic freedom but plutocratic facism.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • PaulM

      "fascism"

      June 23, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • Unbelivable

      I take it anyone who wrote or had input to this story has actually been to Iraq or Afghanistan. This story was about the current politicals wanting to cut money, not about understanding the hardship of being from family or the threats to Soldiers on a daily basis, or minute to minute threats to every persons life. I would almost rate this article as anti-military. All the facts presented are true, however, distorted in their presentation. Dance Parties? Come on. Most units are heavily weighted males and mostly music where Soldiers try to relax away from 12-16 hours of work 7 days a week, everyday of the year. Missing loved ones, hearing about family challenges back home and can't be there to help. Missing births of new children, birthdays, hospital runs, death of family members, etc... Not to include the threat of mortars, attacks on any type of convoy (not just combat patrols). When you get a real clue, then look a vet in the eye who lost an arm, leg, or mental challenges from over 10 years of this country at war and tell them, you didn't deserve a little extra pay because why?

      June 23, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply
      • silvawebdev

        OK, I agree this is an emotional issue, but if your argument is that everything is fair, or that compensation is too little then what should it be? What should the monthly compensation/combat be? I think a tiered system makes sense – there are also issues of flight pay and such – perhaps even a tiered purple heart medal – and we might have had a different president 7 years ago... You can't just complain about cuts or adjustment to a job/professional volunteer decision – police, fireman and others have taken cuts over the last few years due to the economy.

        Bringing in wounded vets as an argument is ridiculous as they are now in a different situation and pay/combat pay are different – yes their plight is tragic, and I believe not given as much resources as they should be – I served for 4 years btw – non-combat, but I know the difference between a tactical and a strategic location. Personally I would like the system used by many other countries where we have a mandatory duty – paid very little with a skeleton crew of full time, NCO's and Officers. If most of our young men and women actually saw the world, worked a job with others, and found out how similar we all are we might actually act and feel like a country again.

        Finally, way beyond combat pay is the tax issues – had not though about that – the savings in taxes go way beyond other saving (as reported in the article) – if you are more hightly paid, but not in a "combat" situation you save many times (thousands of dollars) what the actual troops putting their ass on the line in the field are making – not to mention all the civilian workers not paying taxes and getting paid much more then our boys in danger – that is another story that needs to be reported on...

        June 23, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • PaulM

      If that veteran lost an arm while in the middle of combat in Afghanistan then he has earned his combat pay. But if that veteran lost his arm on some battleship because the computer fell on him while he was playing Halo and sitting 1000 miles from operations then I would not expect him to be earning hazard pay. I believe that is the crux of this discussion.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
  75. Voice of reason

    well then The soldiers should get a say on which base they attend based on danger level... this plan is retarded...they troops have no say where they are sent and either way they are taken from their family, if the US needs to cut costs lets base congress members salary on useful ness ...wich would put all of them at a 0% pay and in some cases they shoudl hav eto pay us since most of them are useless

    June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
  76. Jeff Brown

    I agree with the QRMC. I served in northern Iraq at the end of the first Gulf War, and while I lived and worked in non-airconditioned tents, it was hardly as dangerous as what our troops are going through in Afghanistan. Yet I drew danger pay and got the tax credit. There are too many inequities in today's military, just as there were when I was in the Air Force (1972-1994). Changes need to be made.

    Crusty old master sergeant

    June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • PaulM

      Finally, a sensible, level-headed reply. Thanks Jeff Brown.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
  77. starbucks

    How dare anyone complain about what our soldiers in IRAQ..IRAQ of all freaking places...are getting. They are complaining about our soldiers having working internet, TV and Air Conditioning in the desert when it's these same soldiers that are over there risking their lives and being separated from their families for the better part of a year at a time dealing with things that would crack the average weak American citizen on an hourly basis. Yes, our government needs to make cuts. How about we start with the hefty salaries and compensations members of Congress and the Senate get? Here's two words for you. MITT ROMNEY.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • PaulM

      If you think Mitt will do anything but raise salaries for congress you have been deluded. Not only would Mitt INCREASE congressional salaries while proposing reductions to food stamps and education, he would INCREASE his own pay if he could. Why? Because he is cut from the same self-serving cloth as the rest of the wall street financeers who screwed over EVERY taxpayer in our nation for their own personal gain. The game is called "screw every other person over so you can get as much money for yourself". And no one is better at it than wall street. And Mitt Romney IS wall street. Mitt will not bring jobs or savings or economic improvement. Only woe.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
      • alohafalls

        I think if you check you will find that when Govenor of Mass. Mr Romney never took a pay check. The rest of your comment seems at best to rest on speculation with no foundation in fact.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Brian

      You are an idiot. Nowhere was it said by anyone that the goal of the independent study was to cut. The study was done to level set and possibly re-adjust what is already there. No politics involved...until a moronic statement like yours tries to make it a political discussion.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply
      • Odds

        Just because it wasn't said, doesn't mean it isn't a valid question/accusation. If you believe a restructuring of the military pay scale would result in anything other than less pay for soldiers overall, you're deluding yourself. Read between the lines. They'll increase pay to some soldiers, sure. And those soldiers will have earned it. But they'll cut everywhere else and many of those who receive less pay won't deserve the pay cut! The propaganda machine is already in motion to convince The People that this is a sensible course of action and morally justified.

        June 23, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • PaulM

      Actually, like it or not, cuts are in the queue for every department of government (except perhaps for medicare because no candidate can risk alienating the 80 year olds who have nothing to do on election day but vote). This cutting needs to be accompanied with equal revenue increases, but because Republicans won't allow revenue increases to go along with program reductions we facing draconian automatic spending cuts that will make any "cuts" being considered currently look miniscule. The military budget is facing a tsunami of cuts because the republicans in our congress think that "compromise" is an evil word. Google "automatic spending cuts" and read how this has come to occur. Then respond.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
  78. Keksi

    Do you get raise when you kill civilians??Bonus?

    June 23, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
    • GWEdwards

      Good idea, since AlQ and most terrorists are not part of any armed military. And when they are, the usually are acting independently.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
    • kev

      would you rather the war be fought in your back yard?

      June 23, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
      • breal

        I would love to see them try to pull something in my backyard.. In Texas we all have 5 days of ammo and 10 guns each.

        June 23, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  79. former army soldier (iraq vet)

    how could you think of this plan? it's bad enough troops are away from their families for so long. if this is one of your ways to save money, well, maybe you should think of cutting the salary of some of the congress members who most of them have never been in combat and don't know what it's like to be in one. the soldiers out there deserve every penny coming their way. don't take that away from them. leave the military soldiers alone and go after someone else that's deserve having their salary cut!!!

    June 23, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      Restructuring the compensation system is not taking away anything. Do you have reading comprehension difficulties. Given your lack of punctuation is so evident, probably so.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
    • Samuel

      I just retired after 30 years in the service. And agree with this. Pay the combat troops. Not the troops that are 100 of miles away from the danger ! Also, living in San Antonio I see troops who only rcvd 10 to 20% disability. And then I see some of my buddies getting 50% for sore shoulders and knees. And the had desk jobs during thier career. And they are able to lift weights and ride horse .....but the poor troops that have limbs missing and mental concerns dont get the money. We really need to look at this system to issue the one who need it gets the fund and help they need. As a Vet i can tell you it is out of control ! Broken !

      June 23, 2012 at 8:03 am | Reply
      • Sam, just because you write you were a Soldier, doesn't make it true

        Did you ever deploy? Probably not. What Soldier is 100 miles away from anyone who wants to kill them? or conducts attacks against basecamps? Base camps are usually small in size some a few hundred yards wide and some several miles wide, but a mortar or rocket attack can range anywhere on the base. Which Soldier is not in harms way? Getting a disability check for the things you describe is slanted and disrespectful to many who receive disability for all the right reasons. Ask any Service Member who served, it is not the money, but the privledge to serve America.

        June 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • joey

        "Ask any Service Member who served, it is not the money, but the privledge to serve America." lol. lol lol lol

        June 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  80. Ralph Moerschbacher

    My base pay in 1969 was 105.20 a month. When I went to Vietnam in 1970, my combat pay was 80 a month. It took me 7 years of active duty to make a total of 34,000. We today don't have a military, we have a business which amounts to a mercenary army when we send people back to Afghanistan 14 times. The draft is needed for these long wars. Spread the wealth. Ralph Moerschbacher, Captain, USAF Retired Vietnam Veteran

    June 23, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      What you meant to post is you received $34k in "taxable income". You also received housing and subsistence, a clothing allowance, overseas pay, and other non-taxable compensation. I served from 1970 until 1992, so am not impressed with your omission of facts pertinent to your claim.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
    • Ivan E Velez, Ret/US Army

      I agree 100%, that type of pay should be based on amount the soldier is exposed to danger in the field. A veterans of Vietnam, Panama Invasion and Persian Gulf!

      June 23, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • DDW1946

      Hear Hear, great post. I was drafted in 63, finally someone who gets it.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
  81. ed

    The amount of pay an officer can exclude from taxes is equal to the maximum monthly base pay of the highest enlisted pay grade. It would help if all you 'veterans' that pretend to know so much would actually read a regulation once in a while, or maybe the IRS tax code since you are still required to file.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
    • Jh

      Before you chastise someone for notneeadingntax codes, perhaps you should pull up militarY pay charts and you would see the number for officers that this article got was for a high rankking officer, of which their are few and does not pertain to the majority of officers whom are junior officers. You would also see that while yes, officers would receive a bigger tax credit due to them having a larger income...but wouldn't you expect a boss to make more then the employee in a employment situation? If you looked at the pay charts you would also see that there is even enlisted ranks that do in fact make more then officers. And on the subject of just the article, who gets to decide what is more dangerous for each service member? Seems to be open largely to opinion, cuts can be made in more effective ways then trying to tier payments for the men and women of this country who fight to protect it whether that be on a street in Iraq or a carrier in the sea indirect line of a missile.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  82. Jt_flyer

    If the pentagon messes with the pay of ru volenteer army they may find the war machine they created will not sustain itself.

    If we had the draft we would be having 1970 war protests all over again.

    How would you like to have to Go check to see if there's a draft notice in your mail box? I mean YOU?

    June 23, 2012 at 6:32 am | Reply
  83. AF Contracting Officer

    I had to laugh at this Capt's comment.. True there were some "nicer" things about the VBC, but they were far from US standards. I will also say that he must have had a rare job that afforded him the time to go to such "dance clubs". I know my duty hours were 16hours a day, 7 days a week. His personal room with cable was due to his rank, and was not the norm in most cases. We had a regulation known as the "Sand Book" that dictated what you received for quarters. Even so, I can also promise you that no where on the VBC was safe from rocket or mortar attacks and it was hit with regularity. In fact, one of those mentioned "dance clubs" was hit during my last deployment there. People died – officers, enlisted, and civillians alike. It was hardly "Club Med". Our armed forces deserve everything they receive and more. I agree that the generals do receive a "higher" benefit, and may be in a more protected posture, but let's face it – who would actually be the larger target here? If memory serves me, we recently lost a few higher ranking officers in the "Green Zone". I think in the end, it is all pretty much a wash. I'm enlisted, and I am grateful for what I did get. 5 tours later, and facing another in the new year, I still wouldn't want that bulls-eye a general officer carries around on me. Yes, I get that I signed up for it. No one that answered that call did it for the money. My base pay is roughly 60% of my civillian counterpart (that does not deploy). These small benefits in question in no way make up for that gap.Yet I still gladly served over 17 years so that people that wouldn't have the "ganas" to come NEAR a place like the VBC would have the right to be critical of those that stood up for that right. I agree we should work to find a way to help the youngest of our ranks to better afford to defend our nation (and the self-righteous within in it) Maybe we should look to "trim the fat" from the life-time six figure salaries afforded to a congressman or like public servants that the only danger they were exposed to during their "tours" was beltway traffic and self inflicted scandals. If the president wants to change the balance based on danger, let's look at the entire governmental picture.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
    • Pcriz

      Yeah, I guess you have never seen the troops in places like Kuwait and Qatar that spend the majority of their day browsing the PX and tanning pool side. Why I can't say I have seen every little nook and cranny of military from my looking glass while I was in, I can say it did leave a sour taste in my mouth looking at people doing long tours to Kuwait and receiving the same combat pay I was.

      Must be nice when the only people trying to kill you are in Call of Duty Black Ops

      June 23, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
      • meh

        ...get over yourself.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  84. Chris

    I'm currently serving in South Helmand Province. If the author would be so kind as to direct me to the dance party, coffee shop and "luxurious base" (i.e. the Club Med 5 Star that I must have missed), I'd appreciate it. I'll remind my brothers and sisters-in-arms how luxurious their lifestyle is when they're getting one hot meal and a shower per week.

    Also, if the author wouldn't mind, I'm curious as to the pay grade of the officer who is able to exclude $7,800 in monthly tax per month? Here, let me educate you a bit. As a single Staff Noncommissioned Officer with over 17 years of service, I am not liable for 570 dollars in montly tax, or roughly 3800 dollars over a 7 month deployment. Forgive me. The military that serves our great nation must be undeserving of this benefit.

    I'll close with this. Until you've stood in formation at the position of attention to the sound of taps and watch your fallen brother or sister loaded on an aircraft in a dignified manner, your comments (in my opinion) as to what we don't rate may as well be someone farting in the breeze. You could take every cent back and it wouldn't pinch my shorts one bit. But when you do, I hope you have the nuts to stand and look servicemembers in the eyes who have served in a combat zone under duress, rocket attacks, Afghan Security turning weapons on us, and tell us what we're doing doesn't make us deserving of what we're earning.

    For those of you who support us, I thank you. For those who don't, I thank you as well. It is because of you that I am reminded how appreciative I am for those who see what we do as a sacrafice, and not as a vacation to the tropical resort conditions the author refers to. Perhaps I should join the Secret Service. I hear Colombia has its perks...

    June 23, 2012 at 4:37 am | Reply
    • JM

      Chris,

      You must understand that they are not talking about your pay smart guy. They are talking about the pay for those at kandahar that are eating at rgi fridays and burgerking everyday. Those at manas drinking beer. thats what they are talking about. Maybe reading and udnerstanding is something that was not learned? As a "Staff Noncommissioned Officer" I would think that you would have the brains to figure this one out. Rather than take it as an attack upon yourself. Is someone feeling a little left out?

      June 23, 2012 at 5:50 am | Reply
      • Bleh64

        JM, you POS, how about just say thank you for your service and let it be at that. You are typical of the run your mouth punk who would never or could ever serve our great nation in the armed forces and many of us veterans and current active duty and reservists do. Until you nut up, SHUT UP you punk!

        June 23, 2012 at 6:24 am |
      • Chris

        I could really care less where anyone at Kandahar eats. From what I hear, they spend just as much time with their faces in the dirt during IDF attacks as some did at FOB Zee. And believe this, smart guy, if I had the opportunity to snack on a cheeseburger from BK, I'd do so with a s#@$-eating grin on my face. Trust me, when I'm in Manas on my way back to CONUS, I'm going to have a cold one and enjoy every minute of it. Why? Because I've earned it.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:15 am |
      • PaulM

        Bleh64. EVERY taxpayer has just as much right to sound off about military pay issues as the next person. Just as we have the right to DECIDE what teachers deserve to make and what police officers make. A proposal linking pay to ACTUAL level of hazard makes some sense. So enough with the verbal thuggery and bullying. Saying "STFU if you aren't in the military" is the kind of assertion I would expect to hear from someone who has absolutely no understanding or respect for the "freedom" that our military is assigned to guard with their lives.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:40 am |
      • Squidkilla

        Chris, why do guys stationed at manas, al udeid, or anywhere else not called iraq or afghanistan getting all the combat zone benefits? Why are officers able to fly into country on the 30th and leave on the 1st on ' command visits' and get 2 months tax free? Hell, you might as well extend all benefits even to those typing your orders at ipac on lejeune. Just because troops and money are mentioned in the same article doesnt mean you need to fly off the handle with some irrational comments.

        Sgt USMC combat arms AD

        June 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • Chris

        Those areas you mentioned are included because they are "areas used in support of combat operations". Kyrgyzstan (Manas) is included in that cluster. That's straight from the IRS website.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • AF Contracting Officer

      It is amazing what you learn to sleep through out there.. where gum is your best friend because there is no potable water to brush your teeth, and no never know what crawled into your boots while you took your weekly shower. Stay safe my brother and look forward to that beer when you return home!

      June 23, 2012 at 6:08 am | Reply
    • Retired Navy Chief

      Thank you for your service Chris.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • SRT

      Stay safe out there Chris and thank you for your service. I hope that you get to enjoy that cheeseburger and cold one real soon. You guys deserve that and so much more.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  85. darkpoetinc

    $7,800 a month?! Maybe Generals CNN.. then again a CNN reporter being anti-military doesn't surprise me.... remember 2 years ago when they talked about stopping our pay how some USERS were saying " About time military feels what the
    civilian world is feeling?!"

    I don't know a single person if you put in 80+ hours a week and not see a single pay check wouldn't go after their boss legally..... Military members CAN NOT DO THAT.........

    Here is the problem... people are looking for ways to save money and the first place they go is Military......

    How about we start at the REAL problem.. WASHINGTON.......

    The president just gave MORE Federal Money to FL to re-build a building and re-do some landscape to attract more business........ this is after people VOTED that it wasn't necessary....

    Where did that money come from... TAX PAYERS...... where could of it of gone.. SOMEWHERE ELSE

    Oh there is more...... we keep finding day by day where the president or other people in Washington have been spending tax payer dollars on expensive lunches, car rentals, VACATIONS, ECT...... where is the accountability on that?!

    No lets just blame the military again......

    I don't know a SINGLE person who has served or is serving that WANTS WAR.... that WANTS to be shot at.. that WANTS to be DEAD overseas and not COME HOME........... yet they still serve because they believe in a greater good we are supposed to be representing.......

    But with Washington the way it is and people like this CNN reporter who tells half-truths and doesn't give the FACTS just gives you the pay of the HIGHEST RANKING PEOPLE in the military as it was EVERYONE'S pay why should the care any more?!

    FIX THE PROBLEM....... get rid of these ignorant reporters like the one who wrote this story.. and FIX WASHINGTON and maybe just maybe we will be better off.......

    June 23, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
    • USAF TSgt

      Well said! Gotta remember though, CNN is filled with military hating liberals. FoxNews is just has bad on the other side of the coin. This story is just CNN's way of promoting their "less government" ideals.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  86. Gsan

    As long as the welfare system is running rampant, I definitely would disagree with this move.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:11 am | Reply
    • Retired Boomer

      This is probably the best point made here!

      June 23, 2012 at 7:10 am | Reply
    • ha!

      ...nice.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  87. Bangash

    HEY GUYS WHY YOU ALL THINK OF THESE HUNDRED DOLLARS TAXES. WHY NOT MIND STORMING ON THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS YOU ARE WASTING DAILY IN KILLING OF INNOCENT AND POOR HUMAN BEINGS IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN WHICH DURING LAST ONE DECADES HAS GIVEN YOU NOTHING EXCEPT COFFINS OF YOUR LOVED ONE, RISING RECESSION AND RISING TAXATION.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:09 am | Reply
    • daniel

      I would love to reply but I can't understand a single word you wrote except "durka durka durka." You wrote the way a Sprint customer service rep speaks–incoherently.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:19 am | Reply
      • Bangash

        danial you cant understand because you might be a stakeholder in this death merchandise and you might be having some contracts and earning handsome money here. S o danial Think as American for the future of America then it will be easy to understand what I wish to convey.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Soldier in a combat out post

      shut up because you are a piece of crap who does not understand anything. do the human race a favor by removing yourself from the gene-pool by washing your mouth out with buckshot. From a friendly deployed soldier. 🙂

      June 23, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
      • Bangash

        It is quite understandable why you are so angry on what i have suggested sincerely. For you it is a matter of just monthly salary which you can t have back at home. Rising recession has left nothing for you and you may not feed your babies. Every soldier's wife in interview on media justify her husband life at risk in Afghanistan as she has no other way to meet the rising expenditures at home. I just wished to see spending your money on your welfare then its use in killing of innocents. It is quite simple.

        June 23, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • meh....

      awful lot of capital letters...you mad bro?

      June 23, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • Maynerd

      Yes and we should sending millions of dollars worth of our tax dollars to 5th world countries and we should darn well quit allowing them to immigrate here as well. Can't wait for the monsoon seasons to start in those counties and start reading about their "pool" party's where houses and people are floating out of town.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
      • Maynerd

        We should STOP sending is what that should have said 🙂

        June 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  88. Tim

    Here's a better idea. Why are we forcing soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and all other federal workers to pay taxes in the first place? Aren't they just paying themselves? Let's abolish taxes on all federal workers. This would give them an instant pay raise and make them happier. Then we won't have disgruntled government employees and we won't have to give them any pay raises for a couple of years. We also reduce the amount of money that the IRS has to spend in processing several million additional tax returns for the above said individuals. How about this idea Congress? Make sense to everyone?

    June 23, 2012 at 3:47 am | Reply
    • Retired AF/Civil Servant

      I like the way you think. Put it in a bill and send to your representatives. I would recommend you offer a way to pay for this bill such as no pay raises for three years. I don't mind paying taxes but it does seem a little silly to pay my own salary. Fewer tax returns filed also means fewer IRS workers required to process/audit. Good luck.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
  89. Dave

    You join the military, you are going to be in the way of danger. No extra pay is warranted, or logical in any sense. If you don't like being shot at, don't join.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:20 am | Reply
    • Tim

      Really? How about the guys who join the Air Force and work in a mess hall in the States? Or the officers who work in the Pentagon? They are exposed to the same danger as an infantryman in Afghanistan? Apparently you have never served otherwise you wouldn't be as ignorant as you are.

      I did serve honorably in combat zones and luckily left with my life. I served to protect your freedom to speak but that priviledge has now been revoked. Come back when you have an intelligent argument.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:43 am | Reply
      • Bob

        So, everyone in the Air Force works in a mess hall in the U.S.? You may want to direct some of that ignorance to yourself, as I am an AF veteran that served in Afghanistan beside my Army, Navy, and Marine brothers and sisters. I certainly didn't work in any mess hall either.

        June 23, 2012 at 4:01 am |
      • PaulM

        "I served to protect your freedom to speak but that priviledge has now been revoked."
        The fact that you would so flippantly trot that suggestion out shows just how incorrect your initial assertion is. You NEVER served to protect anyone's "freedom" because if you actually understood what it meant to do that you wouldn't dare make that mindless comment. That just makes you a hired killer / thug. So get the hell out of our military and let someone who wants to be a REAL patriot take your place.

        June 23, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • darkpoetinc

      @dave............ you sir are the reason why some people shouldn't even open their mouth..

      Not every person in the military has a dangerous job. EOD for example works with explosives and constantly has to put their lives on the line.... compared to a FINANCE person who works behind a desk making sure people get paid......

      Dave........ what we should really do is get rid of this $200,000 per year retirement of 1 term Congress and Senate members.....

      June 23, 2012 at 4:02 am | Reply
      • Tim

        @Bob... Apparently they didn't teach you to comprehend what you read in the Air Force. My apologies to you. I didn't say that EVERY person in the Air Force works in a mess hall in the states. There are some that do and most do not. I asked what about the guys that do. Are they in the same level of danger as an infantryman in Afghanistan? I have worked with ETAC's and CAC's in forward line Army units who came under fire with us. I've seen personnel specialists never engaged in combat put themselves in for Bronze Stars and the like. I've also witnessed soldiers who were injured in combat action be refused a Purple Heart or denied disability compensation when they came home. My point is that the military has this one right.

        June 23, 2012 at 5:04 am |
      • SickOfTheBS

        Now you're showing your ignorance. Members of Congress and Senators do not, nor have they ever, received anywhere near $200K in retirement after ANY amount of terms, let alone one. Their annual base pay is less than $180,000 per year, so your contention that they make MORE than that in retirement is completely preposterous. There is very little difference between how their pensions are calculated as compared to nearly any non-law enforcement civil servant's. Get your facts straight, especially if you're going to go after others for not having theirs straight.

        June 23, 2012 at 5:23 am |
      • Retired Boomer

        OH how dare we take away from a congressman who so honorably serves us!

        June 23, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • daniel

      I don't know of anyone who enjoys being shot at. We do it anyway. Just for you, Dave! By the way, we never asked for extra pay (at least the ones I serve with haven't).

      June 23, 2012 at 5:22 am | Reply
    • AF Contracting Officer

      @Dave What have YOU done in your life that ever warranted you to say you truely deserved a benefit from our nation's tax-payers? It is narrow-minded self-righteous thinking like this that completely alludes logic. To make a statement that "extra pay" is not warranted, it would first have to be equal to begin with – which it is not. The military is grossly underpaid compaired to our civillian counterparts. I make roughly $52K a year at my rank and with my job duties as a contracting specialist. You are more than welcome to verify my civillian counterpart averages $89K-$129K a year with the same duties, minus the deployment or danger. To receive a benefit for that endangerment merely closes that gap ever so slightly, but hardly becomes "extra pay". I don't do this for the money. I do it so I know I have EARNED what I do get for my service to my nation. However, you are welcome for your right to disrespect those that gave you said rights. Just don't abuse it.. and please feel free to whine when you are asked to do something "not in your job description" while complaining you didn't get a raise for all you feel you do.

      June 23, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
    • former army soldier (iraq vet)

      @ Dave, shut the hell up!!!! why don't you get a horse and go live up in the mountains and stop bothering people with your idiotic comments. you'r an idiot!

      June 23, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Gunny

      If you don't enjoy getting shot at, don't join? If that was the case, you'd be hard pressed to field a platoon of soldiers or Marines. Nothing fun about taking fire Dave. You can rest assured of that. Doesn't matter how many times it happens, it's not a good time.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • j2011

      Gotta disagree. Your fundamental point is valid, but those extra pay benefits encourage those with combat and deployment experience to stay in the military as opposed to getting out at first opportunity. Yes, we have an all volunteer military, but we also need an experienced military.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  90. Mike

    Amenities should not be confused with risk of danger as they are not mutually exclusive. Bagram and Khandahar air fields are frequently rocketed. The combat pay and tax free should stay. Seriously, less than 1 in 300 Americans serve and even fewer serve in a combat zone. This is a drop in the bucket which will only hurt the current administration and further the woes of the deployed member and family.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:14 am | Reply
  91. Sean

    This is just crazy. All of these armchair quarterbacks trying to make calls like this. I would like to see them spend a month on the nicest FOB out here.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:03 am | Reply
    • MilitaryAF

      Re-read the article... They're trying to increase YOUR pay and take it from the big-pay people!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:05 am | Reply
    • Zooni

      As an ex military veteran, the decision is excellent. Front line troops get paid well, support troops on airbases in Saudia Arabia get paid less and troops in non combat zones get paid the pay grade for their rank. I find it interesting you use armchair in your post and did not read the entire article.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:09 am | Reply
    • Zooni

      Realize also why this policy came into place. Privates that went to Afghanistan had families and a 2nd job while on base. Once they where deployed their families would get evicted because their pay became to small. Paying lower grades more money while overseas is the correct thing to do.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
      • daniel

        That is so far off track it's ridiculous. That may have been true in the 80's and part of the 90's, but privates get paid a living wage now and none of my Soldiers had nor needed a second job while in garrison. Are they rich? Absolutely not. Between pay and benefits (BHA, OHA, etc) none of them live in poverty.

        June 23, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • PaulM

      When you own the team you get to decide how much the quarterback is worth. Dummy.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:19 am | Reply
  92. MilitaryAF

    After reading this article, I have to agree that we (the U.S.) must fix this problem! Enlisted people don't EARN $7,800 in a month. The Generals do, sure, but where are they? Way back from the danger-zone. The enlisted people, who represent the MAJOR portion of our forces and face day-to-day threats that our government have ordered them to face, receive a pittance for pay, and can barely survive. THIS FACT IS DISGUSTING!

    June 23, 2012 at 2:59 am | Reply
    • Retired SMSgt

      Military AF – you are absolutely correct. I started laughing when I read that $7.800 a month comment in the article. My base pay when I went in the Air Force was $344. When I retired 24 years later as an E-8 it was around $2800. Typical shoddy reporting by CNN.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:27 am | Reply
      • Hyperion

        What's "shoddy" about their reporting.

        They said that was the maximum IRS allowed exemption, not any pay rate. And they said that an OFFICER could exclude that much, (since no enlisted man would ever earn that much) so what you made as an E8 however long ago is completely moot.

        The fact remains that the current IRS regulations benefit those who earn the most money far more than those who earn much less. I.e., as the article states, it benefits high-paid officers far more than lesser-paid enlisted men.

        And it doesn't take some 4-star general to max out that IRS exemption either. Your average O4 can max out that exemption.

        Figure a 20% tax rate, and the average E4 enlisted man only saves maybe $500/month on the tax cut. But an O4 would save about $1600/month on their taxes. That's quite the difference.

        June 23, 2012 at 4:24 am |
      • Teila K. Day

        Retired SMSgt, it has less to do with CNN's reporting and more to do with knowing how to do basic math 😉

        As you probably know, in 1996, a Colonel in the Air Force/Army could bring home nearly $6,000 per month all inclusive (housing, food, BAQ (BAH), etc.. Today, a senior officer can rake in a (relatively speaking) sizable check at the end of the month and reap an attractive tax benefit that simply can't be realized by *any* Chief or Sergeant Major, let alone any other enlisted service member and that's the point of the whole piece.

        Surely you realize that the *base pay* of a lowly Lt. Colonel was over $7,000 per month and a Colonel's pay was over $8,000 monthly... and guess what? Are you ready? ....that was back in 2006.

        June 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Fritz

      Today's generals are no fools. It's why they lead from the rear. Better to take advantage of the kids patriotic zeal by letting them take the heat. Afterall, the poor income kids are expendable. And who leads from the farthest rear? The Defense Secretary of course. This from a navy veteran.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:33 am | Reply
    • j2011

      No General was born as such. They worked there way up very slowly to that rank and were selected to be top leaders because they showed the greatest skills as such. Should they receive hostile fire pay if in the rear, No. Are they the ones who decide that direct combat troops only deserve $225/month for the increased danger, No. Few General would be upset if that amount went up significantly, but they have no direct ability to make that happen.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • johnharry

      reading is fundamental. ... Officers can exclude nearly $7,800 a month during the time they are deployed to a combat zone.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  93. Clint

    I was on a big base in Iraq, with all of the amenities mentioned in the story except no internet access in my room (best darn Army chow I've ever had!). Yet, on a regular basis, our base got rocketed or mortared, and we even had a blackhawk helicopter crash 70 yards behind our housing area, which could have easily killed many on the ground (shook our room...). Being on a well supllied base does not guarantee your safety in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan.

    I'll also say this, as people like to make comments such as "bleepinging fobbit", not sure what Army M.O.S. lets you choose when and where you get deployed to while overseas, but mine does not. I am told when and where I'm going and that's where I get stuck. If I have internet and A/C, good for me, if not, oh well, it's the Army. Make the best of whatever you can get. I chose an M.O.S. that does not go out and shoot at people (helicopter mechanic, in a medevac unit). You chose your M.O.S., so live with it.

    (for the record I never visited the swimming pool that was on our base, as I thought tthat just seemed wrong when other soldiers were out on patrol, getting blown up...)

    June 23, 2012 at 2:48 am | Reply
  94. PittUSMC

    We are talking about $225! $225! $225! We are not talking about thousands of dollars. $225 to possibly die in a foreign land without seing your family for months prior. THIS is where the President wants to "trim the fat"? What happens when a POG gets told they are now getting put on a convoy or a QRF? Do we now have to run to Admin and submit an AA Form to have their pay increased? Does the Marine get to refuse the duty as he is not paid for that "level of danger". Lol. This whole idea is STUPID!

    June 23, 2012 at 2:46 am | Reply
    • MilitaryAF

      Re-read the article! They want to yank the benefits from high-paid, high-ranking folks and direct it to 'us' guys!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:02 am | Reply
    • Zooni

      Probably the reason you are a private or a fake poster. The plan increases pay for lower ranks substantially. Up to $750 a month AFTER Tax which is probably a boast of at least $750 dollars a month. As an ex vet, I went into the service to serve. You are obviously a fake military person making a political post.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:19 am | Reply
    • PaulM

      Clearly he's been brainwashed by Fox et. al. to instantly believe everything the President does is wrong or bad. His Pavlovian reaction against the president and against the panel's common-sense proposal is stronger than his ability to think things through for himself in a reasoned manner.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  95. PittUSMC

    So, when an IDF mortar round blows you up on a FOB....do you get back pay since the "level of danger" was obviously underestimated? How about cutting some of these wasteful DEFENSE CONTRACTS instead of always attacking the few hundred buck the actual military members make?!!!

    June 23, 2012 at 2:33 am | Reply
  96. Robert

    Just being deployed for 6+ months in a shiit hole sucks dick. Not to mention the internet sucks dick in the desert. Might as well play marbles in the sand. I don't want to hear ANYTHING about how we get too much salary. You can gladly switch places with me – I am leaving in September again.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:30 am | Reply
    • Fletch

      Did you really just complain about having bad Internet in the desert? Aw, poor baby! Listen, Nancy, we couldn't even get Internet back when I was in the desert – and the hazards were all the same. So I'm sorry it's tough for you play World of Warcraft or search Russian mail-order bride sites due to poor Internet service. How's about you man up and read a book or something?

      June 23, 2012 at 2:58 am | Reply
      • Robert

        You were probably with your finger on the map.

        June 23, 2012 at 3:42 am |
      • daniel

        Well stated, Fletch. Robert–you didn't really make much of a point and your little gutter mouth didn't help your case at all. You sound pretty pathetic, actually. I'm glad you're not my Soldier.

        June 23, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • 11B3P

      They couldn't even get you good Internet?!? Well how the hell were you supposed to enjoy your Tim Horton's? Stop crying REMF, go to salsa night and hang out with your lady at TGI Fridays while some of us embrace the suck and only want the Rip-it you turds steal every time our LOGPAC comes through. You are why we need a tiered pay system...

      June 23, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  97. Intriped

    Preposterous. Obama taking away again. Remember Vets and Current Warriors, in November we can stop this idea.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • TS

      well, seeing as how it all makes sense, even to a current-war, USMC, enlisted veteran...you should probably chill the F out.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
      • PittUSMC

        Well TS, I have FOUR combat deployments, Devil Dog. During my FOUR deployments I have known Marines that have died from accidents, bullet wounds, IEDs, rockets, and even an IDF while smoking a cigarette! So, to say there is a "safe" place in a combat zone is preposterous.

        I do, however, see a problem with military members in outlying countries collecting combat pay when they are not even in a warzone.

        June 23, 2012 at 2:40 am |
      • Dave

        TS – Nice troll job, idiot!

        June 23, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • PaulM

      Yes, because cost reductions are only important when they affect you directly. But if it means cutting teacher's wages, or police officer wages or helping the not richest one percent's children get a college education, that's just fine because you aren't a teacher or a police officer or don't want to go to college so F them. Rather than have a balanced approach of cost cutting AND revenue increase, the Republican party led by Mitt would do for America what Germany's forced austerity has done for Greece. So by all means vote for Mitt if you DON'T want to leave this recession but make it worse while simultaneously increasing corporate welfare and environmental pollution.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
  98. Winghunter

    “The food at Camp Julien was revolting & unhealthy – I’d rather eat shell casings" U.S. Special Operations service member.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  99. GhostCoyote

    This proposal sounds dangerous. I can see the military downgrading areas from hostile fire to imminent danger areas just for the step down in danger pay. They should look at the actual reports of incidents where a unit or base comes under fire, and base the designations on those, not just some unsteady ruler set by a tie in Washington. If there's live fire within a certain mile radius of the unit, its base, or its patrole route then congrats, you just got a pay raise. Otherwise, this is begging to be abused by the bean counters

    June 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • SL

      Yes but its the start of a great thing!!, we must appreciate them and forget any American that has seen anything outside of an LCD screen

      June 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • SL

      You have to know what I mean; it didnt come out right

      June 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
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