February 6th, 2013
10:16 AM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Panetta to recommend pay cut for military

By Barbara Starr

Just days before he leaves office, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is recommending military pay be limited, effectively decreasing troop salaries next year.

Panetta will recommend to Congress that military salaries be limited to a 1% increase in 2014. The Pentagon has calculated that the Labor Department's 2014 Employment Cost Index is expected to be above 1% but wants to still cut back on pay because of "budget uncertainties," a department official told CNN. In 2013, a 1.7% increase was approved, based on the index, which has been the basis for military pay for the last several years.

Three Pentagon officials have confirmed details of the plan to CNN. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have also agreed to Panetta's proposed pay plan. Final approval for the pay would come from Congress in the form of the 2014 budget.

The recommendation is tied to the Defense Department's 2014 budget recommendation, which was expected to be sent to Congress this month, one of the officials said. But the officials acknowledge it is going to be seen as an effort to push Congress to stop the automatic budget cuts that could go into effect if no deal is reached on spending reductions.

ALSO:  Panetta warns spending cuts will degrade military readiness

The decision comes as the secretary is stepping up the rhetoric about dire cuts at the Pentagon if sequestration goes into effect. President Obama in 2012 walled off military pay from cuts, so if this current pay plan goes into effect, it's widely seen as "cutting our pay," one military officer familiar with the plan told CNN. "It's a smart move, it puts it in Congress' hands," he said.

Panetta, in one of his last official speeches as secretary of defense, told an audience at Georgetown University on Wednesday that the Pentagon faced "the most serious readiness crisis in over a decade."

The defense secretary outlined a series of possible cuts should the Pentagon be forced to find half a trillion dollars more in savings. He warned that 800,000 civilian workers could furloughed for 22 days and that the Army would need to cut back on training and maintenance, putting two-thirds of combat teams at "reduced readiness levels." Pacific naval operations could be cut by as much a third, and Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance could be cut.

CNN has also learned that this week, the Navy is expected to announce it does not have the money to pay for refueling and maintenance of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. That will essentially mean the Navy is short a carrier and overseas deployments will be cut.
"No good options exist," Panetta said.

soundoff (1,972 Responses)
  1. You're a nation of in-breds, face it

    How a nation of banjo-strummin' simpletons got to be world power is beyond me.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:57 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Where are you from?

      February 7, 2013 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • Mike Smith

      Try attacking us and find out.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:38 am | Reply
      • Neal J. Fisher

        Mike please post your fake resume for us to read.

        March 6, 2019 at 10:16 pm |
    • David in Tampa

      We may be some banjo strummin' idiots, but the whole world wants to live with us....so kiss my grits

      February 7, 2013 at 4:38 am | Reply
    • gsjack

      My BAH is $984.00/mo. The entire amount is kept by the Govt to "pay my rent". I live in on base housing, which is substandard at best. My stove just broke, and they brought me an even worse stove to replace it. I dont know what military you served in, but it wasn't mine. I have been deployed 4 times in the last 7 years(total of 3.5 years). I signed up for it, so I got that, no problem. But dont try to make me or my brothers and sisters in uniform look like we live a charmed life. I serve because I want to, and my family sacrifices a lot themselves. Thanks for your support by the way...

      February 7, 2013 at 6:16 am | Reply
      • Barb

        I have a stove you can have. Im in Vegas.

        February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

        LOL – Well, the word is getting out now................... is all I can say for that comment.

        PS: 'if" it's a Pot Belly Stove, use the Pressed Wood Logs and slice one at a time about 3-4" thick. They put out a lot of heat.

        Been There – Keith Grant


        February 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mark

      Bring your dumb azz over here and say that ! You won't have anything to breed with if you can leave!!

      February 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  2. USNavyVet

    I would like to give a Hooyah to my brothers and sisters, both vets and active. I appreciate every one of you. For those who came home, those who have yet to come home, and those who never will.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • Davey Jones' Locker


      February 7, 2013 at 1:59 am | Reply
  3. Sean In Tokyo

    This is ignorant. Bring the troops home to the states, and bingo! Money saved! I know it's not that easy, especially to the ego driven Amerians, but stop baysitting and go home to babysit your own folk!

    February 7, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
  4. Peter Q Wolfe

    There should be no doubt that military and civilian pay must be deccreased in he civilian to military personel to control the deficit. Enough with the infighting with one another cause that gets us no where. I'm perhaps going to be a federal worker in the civilian side and as others have pointed out that our pay needs to decrease too. Keeping that in mind that federal freezzes have occured 2010 and retirements have been trimmed from the civilian work force already. Lastly, I believe that our solemn responsibility is to protect this country and to protect our vulnerable veterns with disabilities coming home from war. By the way, I'm disabled and believe this is also the case with legitimate disabilities with welfare like children even over the elderly as well.

    February 7, 2013 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • Guest

      No doubt my pay should be decreased? No doubt I won't stick around either. Enjoy your all volunteer force. I hope they draft you when it breaks.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:37 am | Reply
    • Sailor Jay

      So, you're saying, that less 1% of the country needs to have it's pay decreased? IT IS NOT PAY THAT IS THE PROBLEM! IT IS FRAUD, WASTE, AND ABUSE! It is spending money on putting a golf course on a base, it is spending money on things we don't NEED. We NEED pay, we NEED bullets, we NEED medical, etc.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
      • John

        Golf courses on military installations are non-appropriated funds. In other words not one dime of your tax dollars may be spent in their creation or upkeep. In fact they pay the government for the use of the land and a certain percentage (I can't remember the amount – I think 5%) toward Morale, Welfare and Recreation items on the installation.

        February 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  5. Guest

    You know, guys like Mike Smith are right. Maybe we're overpaid. I'll just take my skills and go work for someone who appreciates them. Don't call me when you need someone to translate the demand from China to pay your loans back.

    February 7, 2013 at 12:04 am | Reply
  6. Cocinero2

    O.K..... Now I am angry.... If congress cuts military pay while continuing to receive their outragious compensation package I think it is time for an american voter revolt... We have allowed these clowns , Republicans, Democrats, Congress, The President, and all the other nimrod bureaucrats to screw this country up almost to the point of not being repairable... The priorities of our elected officials are not in line with the short or long term interests of the majoritiy of the US population... Time for a change of management... Otherwise we will make Greece and Syria look like hospitable and stable countries..

    February 7, 2013 at 12:01 am | Reply
  7. CPO

    What a slap in the face to those who serve and defend this nation....by their own choice. The hardest hit will be the junior enlisted service members. It is these service members who are sent in harm's way in the highest numbers yet, Secretary Pinetta, a man who has more experience in walnut farming than in military matters...though he did briefly serve in Army Intelligence half a century ago, wants these service members who are barely making ends meet to spend more time away from home and family, take on increased mission requirements with less people, all for $19 a month...well, $17 and some change after taxes. In the next breath, Secretary Panetta warns that any Defense budget cuts will degrade readiness. Do the two personalities in his head talk to each other??

    Oh wait, here comes decorated war veteran Sen Chuck Hagel to replace Panetta. As a non trigger-happy war monger Republican not taking money from military contractors, makes him dangerous to the people running his party and has the potential to restore dignity to the SECDEF office.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • CosmicC

      Maybe it's just a poorly written article, but Panetta is saying that pay cuts (really less of an increase) and reduced readiness will be the result of Congress' inaction on the budget. He's not so much proposing these cuts as saying they are unavoidable if the defense budget is drastically cut (which is automatic under "sequestration").

      February 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  8. massoud

    They must have a plan for conscription (draft) if they plan on cutting the militaries pay, they are wrong to cut the militaries pay but it does not surprise me that the U.S.A. would ask men and women to sacrifice their lives and time with their families only to cut them loose when they are no longer needed, Sad but true, they will chew you up and spit you out the rank and file only to pad their own resumes and bank accounts.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  9. LetmeknowtheTruth

    Here is an idea. Lets borrow $5 trillion from China and pay DOD to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression for next five years. Sounds like a winner to me...

    February 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  10. Marianne

    Maybe we should cut the pay for our US Congress since they really haven't worked in the last 4 years. The US Military work hours are 24/7 365 days a year. If I had my choice I would get rid of Congress and keep our military. They are patriotic , disciplined and truly love our country. They volunteered and defend our freedoms even die for us. They are our Heroes

    February 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Ware

      Yeah for you Marianne! You said it right!

      Opinions and Statistics are not reality.

      Opinions . . . we don't have to live with. As for statistics, they most often don't represent us because who ask. No one ask us . . . nobody!

      We are not subject to opinions or statistics "but we do have to live with our realities".

      My husband was in Desert Storm, was gassed and now leaks and bleeds from the colon. With any type of stress, there is more blood. He works hard but can't carry on in a normal work environment.

      My brother, a veteran, suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome. He has a severely depressed wife and a child in her 30s with downs syndrome.

      Two of the bases where we served had environmental hazards leaving my lungs so compromised that pneumonia shows up much too often.

      Many times I had to leave a university right in the middle of a semester or a job. Once I left my small business that had just turned profitable. My family was my priority.

      Currently, my husband and I, in addition to having a small business (where I take the greater part of the stress), are community volunteers. We encourage people, pray with them and pray for them.

      My brother, a "well read" veteran, in his better moments, has chosen to volunteer for an organization and help defend their rights and privileges.

      Built around some harsher realities, are also our blessings . . . and we count them.

      We have no regrets for our service in the military. Would we do it again if we were able and young enough? . . . Yes! We served our country and continue to live with purpose with our family and community. We love to pray for and encourage others, and live a life where we can still make a difference.

      Military members and families who make so many sacrifices and compromises (and live with many harsh realities) should be a priority to our country and have the proper recognition from our government. Pay raises for our military should never be on the table to be cut!

      February 7, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
  11. ranlo

    The Military, SERVE and PROTECT, GIVE UP LIFE AND LIMB! Yet, we will spend hand over fist for WELFARE and OTHER PERKS, and see nothing in return for years of collecting Government Hand-outs! We have it backwards.... you want money? Work it off in the Military, do your job right and good, then get a check. Give those who deserve it the money, those who don't..bye-bye! Has anybody looked around lately?

    February 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
    • Shoot all Clovers


      February 7, 2013 at 2:01 am | Reply
      • Guest

        I gotta stop reading these comments. You guys seriously make me want to reconsider defending the country.

        February 7, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • Spacechief

      So you are looking to screw the veterans on welfare? Here's an idea – get some guts and demand we get OUR DUE SHARE back from Wall St – problem, fixed. What a bunch of simps that would allow the elite to keep raping them while casting stones at each other. And yes, I am a veteran.

      February 7, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
  12. Tim Hinrichs

    How come Congress can cut the pay of the military but increase their salaries. The low wages in the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. Hell a man or woman that CHOSE to leave their family and friends behind so all you hypocrite politicians can sit on your butts in a fancy padded chair and put another service person on welfare will not even make $174,000 in their 4 year enlistment. Every one of you pig headed over paid crooks need to get out and do their job for just one day. You spend more on fancy suits than these people make in a month.......SAD. You drive a Lincoln limmo ......These people can't afford a yellow lemon..... Every one of you that votes to cut the pay of our military needs to hang your head in shame and leave office NOW!!!!! Go work for Walmart because you can make more money working there than our military personnel make. This makes me sick. NO I AM NOT A VET.HAVE NEVER SERVED. I JUST PERSONALLY THANK EVERY ONE THAT HAS SERVED AND IS NOW SERVING. I PROUDLY FLY MY FLAG OF FREEDOM BECAUSE OF YOU.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  13. Amber

    Why does the government want to cut our pay? We already have military members on welfare..,if anything you should be raising our pay...while congress sits comfortably in their warm homes while we have our brothers and sisters risking their lives for them to be able to do so. It just bothers me not only because I am a member of the military...but they cut our pay we won't be able to take care of our families. Please think of all the military families who barely have enough money as it is because there is only one working parent with children to feed before making your decision. Why not cut celebrities pay or sports players pay just think how much more money there would be to do what you have planned without hurting the people who are fighting for your right for the freedom you think you deserve.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  14. Mike smith

    Yep. I was in the Navy. I served as a welder/Pipefitter/fireman. So what.

    Look, I have had a very diverse and distinguished fed career. And yea, I care about wasteful federal expenses. And these $21 billion per year and growing so-called "housing" allowances in the all volunteer mil is one of the if not THE lowest hanging rotten apples in the orchard.

    During a prolonged period of national financial difficulties when our nation is running trillion dollar annual deficits, when we are borrowing untold billions from the Chinese govt, all, repeat ALL federal expenditures deserve scrutiny.

    These tax free windfalls are as outrageous as they are objectively excessive on their very faces. Handing over $2-$3,000 and mor to single loungers is PREPOSTEROUS. And the same applies, but I spades, to handing over $4-$6-$8,000 and mor to two married volunteers in these tax free windfalls

    But I and others can understand the fact that you who receive or have received or have kids who receive these windfalls get your tummies upset when this topic is exposed for public consumption. GET OVER IT!

    February 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      We're not paid anywhere near enough to cover expenses if we have to pay for rent out of our money. And your $2-3,000 is MASSIVELY overstated for the overwhelming majority of servicemen. You're just a hack who has no problem distorting facts to take food out of the mouths of the people who sacrifice to defend you. I bet you're lying about serving too.

      February 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        You are just not getting it. Do I need to pen at the 8th grade level of comprehension? All single volunteers ought to not be given one thin dime for so-called "housing." They all ought to live on their ships and bases. And yes, many are roomating to lower actual costs so they can finance high end cars. It's a preposterous!

        Again, readers, just google BAH Tables" and see these ludicrous tax free windfalls for yourselves!

        February 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • John

        Each Service is different but in the Air Force, all E-4's and below single individuals are required to stay in the Barracks if there is rooms available. You don't get any allowances.

        February 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
      • Marine

        Mike Smith your an idiot!

        February 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
      • Guest

        Yeah, please spell it out for me because anyone who does one minute of research will find that your claims on amounts of BAH that are paid are hugely inflated. Most get paid nowhere near that and those rates are paid on rental costs in the zip code where the member lives.

        Also, base housing is privatized now. I live on base. My entire housing allowance goes directly to a private company who maintains the property. This idea that living on base is free just proves that you have no idea what you're talking about.

        February 7, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • 82ABNWife

      If you are referring to Hawaii BAH, well the cost of living is more. There is not enough housing for everyone on post there. So the BAH is based on zipcode, rank, and dependents to no dependents.
      The zipcode is away of gaging the average cost of rent and utilities for a certain area.
      If you are going to look it up do it right: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm

      February 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Reply
    • retphxire

      I was a military dependent for more than 17 years. My father was a Mustang officer (he was promoted through the ranks, chosen by command officers, quite a big deal). I don't think there was a time in his entire military career where he was paid for the hours and risks he took for his country. He served in WWII, through Korea, Viet Nam, retiring in 1971. Mom was a master at making a dollar go a long. l o n g way. We traveled to every duty station, he needed his family close, not to much to ask, is it? He still would be away for anywhere from 7 to 11 months at a time. He (and his kids) missed births, birthdays, Christmas, etc.He could have made thousand more in the private sector and was approached more than once to join a civilian firm. He felt his country needed him. Almost every year there was some group or organization that attacked military spending for those serving and their families. The housing allowance isn't an extra perk, its part of the compensation that is the salary. Without it many would be unable to afford a decent home. Instead of limiting funding to a volunteer military, Congress (GOP) should be standing on their heads to deliver. They sent them into harms way, now compensate them. sheesh

      February 6, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Reply
    • Tim Hinrichs

      If you really served from 76-81 I think the cost of living was just a little cheaper then. Dont try to make your self sound so smart by spouting a bunch of numbers.....Your right the government needs to cut spending every so lets start at the top. Benefits for life.....salaries for life paid protection for life.....GET OUT......REALLY WISH I HAD THAT.....200 dollar toilet seats, billions on government cell phones.....paid cars for them to drive. airplanes I'm done because people like you need to get real

      February 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        You are not remotely in my league, little man. These juvenile personal attacks and screeds mean nothing to me, but I get it. You are simply AFRAID of getting knocked off the gravy train. GROW UP! And if you don't like these pending and well deserved cuts then stop re-enlisting and get off that binky you latched onto out of HS and agree you left your parents home. Get out and try to make a loving on the real world away far away from the DOD. Bit again, that's why you it to stay on and keep re-enlisting. You are simply and truthfully afraid to get out. SO DEAL WITH IT!

        February 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
      • NortonSmitty

        Mike, as a fellow squid and a fellow Smith please shut the hell up. You obviously don't know a damn thing of what your spouting and it's really embarrassing.

        February 7, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Scott USAF

      So who pays for the dorms that they live in, the meals that they eat at the chow hall, the electricity they are using in the dorms and the other expenditures that occur with service members live on base? Who then is going to pay the local communities for the lost income that will occur from no more rentals...those landlords will then need some type of gov't handout to compensate the lost income. Ships in port would require much more electricity that a 1-room apartment for a single sailor.

      February 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
    • ART

      Mike, I don't know where you're getting these numbers from, unless you're basing them off of the highest rank living in the most expensive area ever. BAH is based on the cost of living in each specific area and increases as you go up the ranks. Example; in Pensacola, FL my husband E-1 gets $1000 per month with dependents where an E-9 gets $1500 and O-7 gets $1800 (all WELL under $4,000-$8,000). Also, if you're single and under a certain rank you have to stay in the dorms ON BASE and do not receive BAH. Perhaps you should Google "BAH Calculator" and get your facts straight before you start pulling crap out of your ass.

      Eight grand for housing.....You're stupid as hell. You don't even make that much until you're an O-5 or up and have been in for some time.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • Nic Godfrey

      Mike you are wrong. Our BAH is only 1281. Our rent in the Ft. Lewis area is 1168 per month. Our base pay goes to pay our bills and after getting cheap groceries laden with preservatives, and filling up our truck and car we are broke. We get paid bimonthly. our taxes went up by 2.2% and our pay only 1.7. We have already seen a pay cut, and with rising gas prices it is getting harder.

      So i have some advice to you from a real soldier and not someone pretending to be in the military. We get paid no where near enough for the jobs we do. We put our lives on the line so you can sleep in peace. We deserve more. Congress should not be cutting our pay. Instead they need to cut the pay to contractors who for 6 months of work in Afghanistan make 6 digit salaries. and congress themselves being paid for the rest of their lives for serving one term. Mi

      February 7, 2013 at 12:56 am | Reply
    • USNavyVet

      Oh my, you are so far off base with those figures Mike that I have a hard time believing your "I served" statement. I don't have anything more to add that these other gentlemen haven't stated already. I received all kinds of special pay and it still barely got me by. I can't imagine having been a single E1-E4or5 in a rate that didn't have any special pay. I would have had nothing. Talk about lowering morale among people who already deal with depressing issues.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • 20goyo02

      Mike, sounds to me that you where a worthless Sailor and they had you mopping the deck because that's all you can do. I served for 22 years, joined during the first gulf war, spent over 10 years in overseas missions and stood in many memorials of fallen friends. My family moved 6 times from one side of the world to the other and sacrificed their way of life as I served this great nation. Not many Americans know what that means because they never left their home town and lived with their parents till they are 30. So Mike thank you for mopping the decks, these true heroes deserve everything from us, if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have freedom of speech.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:03 am | Reply
    • guest

      Are you seriously saying that military members should no longer receive housing allowances and that the 20,000 a year that they make will be enough to support their family and pay for their home? Military members don't make anywhere near enough money for such an allowance to be cut. If you want them to take that away then their base pay needs to go up drastically. It is outrageous to think that they are even talking about cutting military members pay when members of congress make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for life and they never have to spend periods of time away from their spouses and children, risk their lives, move around to meet the needs of the country or work long shifts over holidays, etc.. This whole issue truly makes me angry.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • Sailor Jay

      Mike was probably dishonorably discharged, or administratively seperated due to disciplinary issues- and has an axe to grind. 2-3K per SINGLE person for BAH rates is beyond ridiculous and as stated already, MASSIVELY overstated. Sure, there are some people that get that much, but BAH is based on your ZIP code- mine is 1736.00 a month and my rent is 1800.00 a month. Your argument is invalid. Please throw yourself from a moving train.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
  15. Brian

    So Mike Smith you have served 5 years in the Navy from 76-81 peace time if im correct. we were not at war with any one. veitnam officially ended in 1975. So what exactly did you accomplish in your time of service. I seen multiple people call you out and all you answer is with "BAH" Google it. One guy even posted his rank and multiple tours of duty. you answer again was "BAH". From one vet. to another supposed vet. Get over yourself. and no I will not respond back to you because honestly no one really cares what you have to say. and No I will not post my rank, my ribbons, my awards, or any of the such. " FOLLOW ME" is all I'll tell you.

    February 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  16. jesor

    How about we cut some of the contracts and put the work back to the soldiers. For example, if you have an army specialist maintain a ROPU unit in the field, it costs approximately 27,000 per year plus parts, if you hire Halliburton to do it, it somehow costs upwards of 100K per year to do the same work. Multiply that type of difference throughout just the army and you have all the money you need to start paying the soldiers what they're worth and some left over to satisfy the sequester.

    February 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      You got it! Dick Cheney's friends all got rich on GW Bush's fake war on Iraq. Cheney once stated that the Iraq war would be "revenue nuetral"! He, and his friends, all envisioned getting cheap oil from Iraq! Surprise, "we" decided that Iraq should hold elections. Guess what? The elected government gave the cheap oil to China! Another democracy we helped create that holds no alligenance to who made this possible. How many Chinese died in Iraq? ZERO!

      February 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  17. Reticuli

    Let's cut Panetta and Congress' pay instead.

    February 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      Yeah, nice to hear that the guy who makes a hundred times what I make that I'm paid too much. Maybe I should stop brushing off the corporate recruiters that come calling.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  18. lerianis

    Is Panetta serious about this? Cutting pay for the members of the armed forces is the last thing that we should be doing, instead we should be giving them a pay BOOST in most situations.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Ask your GOP/TP members of congress! Not one cent can be cut from supporting Israel. Better to deny our own than to deny Israel! Ask Eric Cantor, he lives the good life!

      February 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  19. StanCalif

    Hooray for Panetta! He is telling it like it is, he has nothing to lose now!
    Who will be the first to complain? The GOP/TP nuts!!! Be sure that McCaine will be complaining loudly! Boehner, nothing to offer, Eric Cantor will complain that we are not adequately protecting his precious Israel! Bengazi was just the beginning. Ron Paul wouldn't vote for more money for security. What will he vote for now that he knows the consequences of his vote?
    One less aircraft carrier in the gulf is simply inviting disaster. Iran must be jubliant today!
    Our country went to hell under Bush/Cheney. Bush gave us a war for no reason, "Shock & Awe" and "Mission accomplished" were nothing but lies (ask Colin Powell). Cheney controlled Bush behind the scenes, his dream of cheap Iraqi oil disappeared, so he secretly made deals with BP, and others, which resulted in the gulf disaster! Cheney's friends all made huge profits in Iraq. Where is the cheap oil today? China got it. What happened to the huge copper resources in Afghanistan? China got it! Yet not one Chinese soldier lost his life for this "free gift"!
    Now the GOP/TP is busy trying to figure out how to make the middle class and poor pay for all thier follies! More taxes on the wealthy is just not their "cup of tea"! The wealthy were supposed to create jobs, but did not! Raise their taxes!
    When tax incentives don't work, stop it!
    GW Bush was an idiot from day one. Handled and controlled by "big money". McCaine screwed up by bringing Palin into national politics! Another very poor choice. Were are Cheney, Bush and Palin today? Silent!!! They don't dare show themselves in public! McCaine is still here, but his message has lost all credibility. He keeps talking, but who listens anymore?

    February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      So what was your point about military pay cuts? Got lost with the emotional flow of your post that seems to have expanded beyond original article's subject of "military pay cuts".

      February 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • Orionwy

      Ok Im all for it, but lets go all the way across the board. Congrees, teachers, welfare, health care all at 1%.
      Oh let me guess we cant limit welfare, or health care, or government employees. But our troops yea thats fine

      February 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • Mac

      More partisan drivel. When will you guys and Obama take responsibility for his Presidency. The blame Bush era is over.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
      • StanCalif

        The "Blame Bush era" is far from over! Bush lied to the American people, he even sent Colin Powell to lie to the UN! When Powell realized he was being used he resigned, Powell had a decent conscience . Powell had no defense against the "big money" he faced. Where is George W, his handler Cheney today? Completely silent!

        February 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
      • CosmicC

        The "blame Bush era" ends when the GOP/TP agrees to pay for his debt. They ran up the bills AND cut revenues at the same time. We all need to kick in more or receive less. We've had 4 straight years of receiving less. Now is time to kick in more (translation: Yes, taxes must go up).

        February 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  20. Greenspam

    Today Republicans demand hearings on why Obama is cutting spending.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  21. James PDX

    Give the biggest pay cuts to the people doing the worst job; Congress.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Spot-on target!

      February 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  22. TVJ

    I currently receive BAH in an area that was not my choice to live in, and it doesn't even cover the rent. And I'm not living in a palace here, it is a run down craphole. They can cut all the stuff they want, but this all volunteer military will soon turn back to drafting people. And I hope the first people who are drafted are the people with the same moronic ideas as you.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Reply
    • Marine

      I agree, since Leon Panetta wants to open combat jobs up to women, let him. Make all women at 18 register for the draft just like all the 18 year young men. Let them keep cutting the military benefits until we have no volunteer service and then have to start the draft back up for our next conflict. Then one of Obama's daughters can be drafted to fight.

      February 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  23. helenecha

    As a matter of fact the more the battlefields are over there, the less the markets. We don’t want to see some steps would seriously damage a fragile American economy and degrade the US military ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  24. Scott

    What else would you expect out of a Wonder Chimp appointee?


    February 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Don't you have a Klan meeting tonight? Look at Panetta's record and then STFU. When you're quired to cut 30%, by the idiot Tea Party in the House, where do you get the money? The other option is to fire Soldiers. Is that your plan?

      February 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  25. Mark

    Leon Panetta makes $199,700 per year.... How much us troops get paid?

    February 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • James PDX

      A LOT less. Non-coms get a very small base pay.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Panetta had nothing to do with the sequester problem. That was caused by Republicans in the House of Representatives. Think of what Panetta would make in an equvilent civilian job – if one existed.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • wallsman

      An active duty four-star can earn up to 235k/year base pay. Mr. Panetta is their boss.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
      • Kevin T

        You're talking about a 4-star general. What about the other 99.999% of the military?

        February 6, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
      • wallsman

        Yeah, but there's only one SECDEF. Shouldn't he earn as much as the four-stars (or more)?

        February 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • Reticuli

        And has a lot more defense experience than Panetta.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
      • MSG

        yes, they can. when they have 38 plus years in the job and a four star. how long do congress have to serve to get this pay?a year.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • Guest

        If every four-star didn't show up to work for a week you know what would happen? Everything. Work would still get done, missions would still happen. Productivity would probably go UP.

        Wanna know what would happen if every four-STRIPER didn't show up for a week? Nothing. The entire military would grind to a halt.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  26. Jordan

    What needs to happen in ALL branches of the United States government is a 50% pay reduction across all senior-level military officers with a rank of O4 and higher, and high-level government executives with a revocation of a senior executive pay level and all MAX wages cannot exceed GS 10. Cabinet level slots should be paid minimum wage based on the home state wages of the individual. As some CPO posted on here....its not about the money. Okay....good. Start with your "Dear Leaders" wages first and work your way on down.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      You've developed hatred for our military leaders who have dedicated their lives to defense of our nation? You aren't worth defending.

      Few military leaders achieved rank without hardship and risk. While you were sitting on your fat @$$ back in Bum-f^(k USA, they were spending Christmas in a war zone while their families celebrated alone. They move every three years and never establish themselves in a local business community. They all have graduate degrees and extensive levels of military training. You suck your way up some corporate ladder – but judging from your comment that hasn't happened. Some really talented and devoted people spend their lives defending complete losers...

      February 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • John

      You understand the GS Schedule might have a GS-10 slot but knowone actually are in those positions. Usually it is GS-7, 9, 11, 12-15. As far as cutting everyone down to a GS-10 for max. A GS-12 makes $8K less than a E-7 after 20 years. I would say a GS-15 is the max. Remove all those SES's.

      February 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  27. wallsman

    Active duty enlisted sailor here. I pull in a fat paycheck twice a month. Living overseas collecting base pay, cola, oha, sea pay, sep, flight deck, etc... all adds up. I can easily support my family with wheelbarrels of money left over for saving/investing and lavish vacations my wife loves to take (during my 30 days paid vacation periods). If a pay lock can help this sinking ship, then make it happen.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • JB

      Go join a real service branch. Navy is a joke

      February 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • Luc

        How about the SEALS ??

        February 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Navy Cook

        who is you?? what branch of service you in??

        February 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
      • retphxire

        You have no credibility. Navy a joke??? The Second World War in the Pacific was predominately fought and won by the Navy and Marines. Battle of Midway, Coral Sea, etc. Where do you think Marine aircraft take off from..aircraft carriers. You think air warfare is all done by ground aircraft and the Air Force? Sorry, read you history, recent history. Heard of Navy Seals? Submarines? I bet you tried and failed to be in the Navy. You just dishonored all the sailors who died in every way since we started fighting the English..a war we would have lost without the Navy! loser

        February 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Steph

      Not all military members are living overseas pulling in the big bucks. Before you go bragging about how much you make and how grand your life is, why don't you stop hiding overseas and come back stateside and live in this economy. Our BAH doesn't even begin to cover these crap hole houses in this area. There are privates on food stamps just to be able to feed their families and pay for the rent off post, which is due to housing shortages on post. Plus, why are you getting SEP pay and have family overseas? Sounds like you are milking the Navy. People like you are the reason civilians have the false image of a lavish military life, which is nowhere near the true. I don't know about you but us Army folk work hard for very little pay. I guess we should have joined the Navy so we could live overseas for our entire careers.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • Navy Cook

        overseas duty is consider forward deployed in the Navy, we have a very demanding job literally out to sea half the year every year, with N. Korea always shooting rockets and China building more military power we're needed for this high demand duty, so for those who stationed in the states the fact of the matter its your choice.

        February 6, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Guest

      You're not in the military, you looked up some acronyms and slapped them up here to look like you know something.

      Anyone who knows what it takes to earn all that wouldn't be so flippant about it.

      I get all of that plus proficiency pay because the military wanted me to learn Mandarin, but if they want to cut my pay I'll just take all that training and go talk to the multiple companies that want to hire me for six figures a year instead.

      Patriotism is great, but to me, being in the military is a means to support my family. I see more and more indications every year that the DoD is thinking twice about keeping their promises, and my contract is almost up. I'm not alone and China will still be there after I'm gone. Think long and hard about making such uninformed blanket statements.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • retphxire

      You are NOT an active duty military. Nothing you say and how you say it has any credibility. We were stationed in Scotland and the perks did not give us any fat life...and my dad was an officer. 30 day paid leave isn't much for someone who works extended hours, is on-call 24/7, is away from family for months at a time, doesn't have sick days or holidays off...you are a sad little man.

      February 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  28. Hm

    I'll guess I'll just go f$&k myself then..... Jeez really wish I hadn't deployed for 9 months just to get this BS.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  29. Al

    Panetta was then and still is today what should be classified as an enemy. You don't take money away from the foot soldiers that are out there protecting your fat rear. And to think that he says that as he will be drawing a fat check, and on top of that will require more tax dollars be wasted on him by having to provide him Secret Service protection, There is a cheaper way to protect Panetta, it will cost less than .75 to properly protect him from the enemy, he will never speak another word again. If you made over $50,000 in the office you filled or the job you filled your retirement should not exceed $5,000 a year, you know that he does not need that extra 45,000 dollar. He should never suggest kicking down the men and women in uniform that have been a war zone in the last 36 months to lose a dime. Those that should be on the hit list of losing money, for there are other hit lists, are those that are driven around on the tax payers dime.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Most mils increased their pay when the volunteered. The majority of volunteers did not sign up to serve and most never served on combat. Not opinion . Not conjecture. Fact. A cold hard fact. Stop parroting the fiction that all or even a majority of today's volunteers served in combat. Doing so is not only a lie and a myth, it's an insult to the relative few who have served in combat.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • Guest

        You're right, many haven't served in combat. I haven't. But I have a skill that the military needs even more than good marksmanship and if they cut my pay, I'll take all that training they paid for to a company that appreciates it if that's what it takes to provide a good life for my family. And I won't lose a wink of sleep doing it.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
      • retphxire

        Starting pay for a seaman is about 1450.00/mo/before taxes..yes, they pay state and fed taxes, SS, medicare...not exempt. So that's less than 18,000/yr.before deductions. You tell me how that is to be considered a big fat paycheck? Firefighters (which I am retired) and cops make more out of the academy, FDNY firefighters start at over $40,000/yr. Now all these jobs place the worker in harms way, even the guys who are not deployed CAN BE at any time. Again..they are away from home for up to 11 months. Now, tell us again how overpaid and under worked they all are!!!!

        February 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
      • Sailor Jay

        Mike, you sir, are a briggand. Everyone who joins the military is subject to deployments, extended detachments, and a myriad of other things you obviously know nothing about. Please stop trolling this thread, nobody likes you- except you.

        February 7, 2013 at 10:38 am |
      • John

        I would agree very few military have seen the actual "Combat" as seeing the enemy up close but there is very few enlisted who haven't gone to the Middle East and those who did go into Iraq and Afghanistan did experience first hand mortar attacks and enemy spies up close. I am talking about enlisted not those Officers who sent us there.

        February 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

        ' TRUTH '

        Keith Grant


        February 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Chris M

        One thing people fail to realize is that yes it is true that many have not fought in a combat setting. But that is because of the fact that there are so many trained to fight back and to attack the US would be costly. I was prior Air Force, and yes I seen combat, but I was never fired on because seeing a bunch of armed men and women served as a big deterrent. Without all the armed soldiers there would not be a deterrent and other countries would not be afraid to attack us. No one in their right minds would attack an armed military base unless they had bigger and better weapons. Yes there are soldiers who sit at a desk but they are still part of the reason the military is able to support and protect everyone. Just some jobs are harder and more physical then others. That is how it is in every job. You cut the pay of the military then you show them you can care less about them and they will find another job. Which will then leave a smaller military, which then makes it easier for the US to be attacked. The US rarely gets attacked because of the fact that we are armed and ready to fight. So like I said no one in their right minds would attack unless they have bigger and better weapons and to cut the military is to make it easier to be attacked. I do not know a lot about politics which is why I am not a politician but I do understand the military and just how important they are. Just imagine if we decide to cut all of the police officers pay checks and their fundings. They would be less willing to risk their lives which would then cause a lot more crime because more people would stop being afraid of getting in trouble since there would be less cops to catch them. I understand that writing this is probably a waste of time since most of the people are already set in their own way of thinking and will not change it, but I feel that there are some people who are just uneducated about certain things, which is normal since we only know what we train for, and are more willing to listen to reasoning. There are a small amount of soldiers who are making quite a bit of money for being young, but that is because they lucked out and it worked in their favor. The rest of the military is not that lucky. And the ones who are higher in the paid grade earned what they got through their blood and sweet.

        February 8, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • FatSean

      How about we close bases and lay off some of these guys, period?

      February 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  30. SJ

    Let's cut him from budget. It's a major slap in the face for those who served in the military. Why don't they stop phucking with military pay and let's start by cutting congressional pay AND allowances.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • bmonteith

      I suppose they could, but there are only 535 of them (voting) so it would be insignificant. And that puts more bought and paid for people that don't need the pay in our nation's Congress

      February 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  31. Matt

    Congress gets a raise and yet the Obama administration recommends cutting the military's pay. Makes sense

    February 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • colinmb

      My guess is literacy isn't your strong suit. Congress and federal employees got 1/2 of 1 percent raise and the military gets a 1% raise. Now how did the military get screwed? Only double the amount of all other federal employees?

      February 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • Steph

        Please tell me how many members of Congress and other federal employees get sent on deployments, torn from their families for months on end, do field exercises in remotes locations, oh I could go on with this. You obviously have never served in the military.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • John

        As a Civil Service Employee, I wish I got a 1/2 of 1%. We have been under a 5 year pay freeze. Now there is a hiring freeze and talks of 22 days without pay. Now, if I was rich and not living paycheck to paycheck hey give me 22 days of extra holiday. Hopefully, I don't work for the IRS or your tax refund won't get processed. The military at least the enlisted deserve a lot more than 1% increase for what they do for this countries protection.

        February 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  32. Jen

    Well, at least it would be an actual raise. This year was 1.7% but we had a 2% increase in payroll taxes (SS.)

    February 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Yea, and you got a 4% raise in these ludicrous so-called "housing" allowances that are tax free. Readers: Google "BAH Tables" and see these preposterous tax free windfalls for yourselves. Most citizens know nothing about them. They are a $21 billion per year and growing WASTE!

      February 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Reply
      • TVJ

        Mike Smith – you are ignorant and know nothing about BAH or military pay.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • ChrisB

        Yeah.. BAH rates... wow.. what a racket... nevermind they BARELY cover living expenses because housing prices are elevated so much just outside of military bases... CUT BAH and Make enough housing for EVERY Servicemember... then no more "tax free benefit"

        Oh yeah.. and the local housing market would collapse and ruin city after city..

        Smart..real smart.... NOT

        February 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • Mike smith

        Ignorant my rear end. I work in a DOD org. Google "BAH Tables" and see these $21 billion per year and growing tax free windfalls for yourselves. Pay no heed to these selfish naysayers who are riding this gravy train and are fearful of its exposure to the general public.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • Emily C.

        Yeah, we got a huge raise this year!!! $11 a paycheck! It equates to $264 a year! That's craziness!

        February 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • TVJ

        I currently receive BAH in an area that was not my choice to live in, and it doesn't even cover the rent. And I'm not living in a palace here, it is a run down craphole. They can cut all the stuff they want, but this all volunteer military will soon turn back to drafting people. And I hope the first people who are drafted are the people with the same moronic ideas as you.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Reply

        February 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • Papa

        Hey Mike.....feel like living in Detroit or how about below Sea level in Houma, La??? No....why not...oh that is right..because you are fat civilian who most likely has not seen his manhood for about a decade. Get your facts straight and research that BAH did not go up 4% across the board, but instead spread across all service members...google that DOD moron

        February 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • Marine

        Most civilians don't know about BAH? What friggin world do you live in? Everytime I went to purchase a vehicle or anything major when I was young marine, they asked for my LES. Now they don't even do that, I show them my I.D. for my rank and they can look it up online. I find that hard to believe when we usually rent from civilians and they seem to have no problem taking out money. I think a financial hardship would be a young military member buying a home and then getting orders and can't sell or rent the property. With that said they cannot afford to do nothing but rent or accept base housing "if " it is available.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • Kirby

        Mike, I bet you work as a government contractor making five times what the average enlisted soldier makes. Do you deploy to a combat zone for 6-12 months? Or are you like the average civilian contractors that work on my base that work maybe 5 hours a day, 2 hour lunches, and have Friday off? The enlisted troops work for every penny they earn. Most BAH barely covers rent.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  33. Brian

    Many of the above comments look to cut something other than military pay, a seemingly appealing idea but not too well thought out. Please consider a visit to usann.us - no ads, no membership/registration, nothing for sale (now: maybe later), and no emails - to read “Fiscal Responsibility” (submenu of “Economics…”). It provides a means to assure honest budgeting, and failure costs…Congress. There is a lot more to it as well, but the actual proposal takes just one page.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  34. Ware

    Regarding the proposal of Penatta to cut pay raise for the military.

    Do they not realize that many of our enlisted military have to use food stamps as it is, to exist?

    Do they not hear and know about the chances of our military being hurt and many are disabled as they serve our country?

    How can the representatives in Washington, DC turn a blind eye to our military? Those serving and giving their lives for our country should be a priority.

    We were in the military for over 22 years and because we weren't assigned in place where we could buy and sustain a home . . . at age 50, we become first time home buyers. After moving every 2 – 4 years, we had nothing even to put down on a home.

    So unlike our many of our civilian counterparts (our age) who mostly have their homes paid for, it is likely that we will be paying for our house for the rest of our lives.

    Our people in the military should not be treated like second class citizens when so much depends on them to serve our country.

    What kind of message are the representatives of our country sending our military? How can they say that our military are not worth a pay increase?

    February 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Food stamps my rear end. As a vet I saw it over 30 years ago utmost today. And even then it was low ranked young enlisteds having 3/4/5 kids before they were 23 years old. Gee, I wonder why they qualified (back in the 70s) for food stamps.

      But that was then and NOT today. With the high base pays and preposterous tax free so-called "housing" (and US taxpayer HOSING) allowances few if any qualify for food stamps in today's pampered highly paid all volunteer mil, most of who sign up as pseudo office clerks and the like and NOT as actual warfighters and combatants.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Reply
      • Tony

        Here is some information about 1000 active military members using food stamps. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/food-stamp-cuts-military-bases-commissary_n_1607249.html
        This article is from 2012. Just saying!

        February 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  35. SSL

    As someone who has spent over 18 years in the military, I get sick of hearing the words, "poverty" and "military" in the same sentence. Today, a 17 year old kid can enlist in the military and earn around $18,000 in their first year alone. How many other 17 year olds can say that? As an E-1, their base pay is over $1500 a month. In addition, using the Basic Housing and Food Allowance rates for my area (Georgia), if that E-1 has dependents, they could earn around $33,000 a year. To put this in perspective, my 37 year old wife with the same educational background, brought home nearly the same amount this past year. As for me, an E-7 with over 18 years of service, my gross pay was around $75,000. Although I have an associate's and have almost completed my bachelor's degree, I would have still made the same amount of money as someone with just a GED or HS diploma. Additionally, in my 18 years of military service (including when I was single), I have never felt that I was living in poverty. I have always had a roof over my head, a car to drive, money in the bank, and any other thing that I needed. Furthermore, even though my wife works, MY income is more than enough to cover our bills (mortgage, car payments, TSP, utilities, etc.) while hers goes into the bank. Lastly, it's also been my experience that those that complain about living in poverty are those that live outside of their means, keep having more kids when they are already struggling with the ones they have, and choose not to take advantage of the benefits available to them. So, please stop playing the poverty card.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Here, here. But don't confuse your open enrollment for profit "e-degrees" with those from a real university. Believe me, you are only fooling yourself.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
      • Caann

        Hey Mike, there are lots of stupid fking students in regular enrollments (on-campus), worse than many of those "e-colleges". You know it, I know it, everybody who went to a public college/university knows it. So cut the crap, will you?

        February 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • mike smith

        Don't fool yourself. The leadership and management experience gained by conducting missions and instructing allied forces and senior military from governing forces around the world is much more epic than the frat house your SAT scores earned you.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Matt

      Now that I can understand. I retired as a 1SG in 2010 and troops are well paid. I used to counsel Soldiers about their finances if they fell into serious difficulty, usually debt, drugs, etc. Most troops are compensated about right. I just think that pay should be rated vs. inflation since servicemembers do not have the option of ending their service and seeking employment elsewhere so a cut is not warranted when waste, fraud, and padding budgets every fiscal year could save money.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  36. don

    My answer to this would be fine give only a 1% increase. I'm a 100% disabled veteran and we ( disabled veterans) went a coupla years without a pay increase while active duty still got one. If they wanna do anything, decrease basic pay rates and increase hazardous duty pay. That way the soldiers who are actually in combat situations recieve more of the incentive they deserve and it keeps us from spending more on non-depolyables. Seems like a fair compromise to me.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Disabled vets deserve benefits that keep with inflation. We also have to remember that pay is an incentive for recruitment, which a reason why it rises when others stagnate. Drops in recruitment or a return to the draft would have destabilizing effects on the force.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  37. Keith

    Welcome to "hope & change".
    No military? Who cares at least we have birth control for anyone that wants it regardless of how much they earn.
    What a world turned upside down.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  38. Mike smith

    Well put. Interested readers need only Google "BAH Tables" to see these tax free preposterous so-called "housing" allowances. Many singles get handed $2-$3,000 tax free per month for their purported housing needs. And no receipts are required. Many roommate and save the residuals to finance high-end cars, weekend party times, and you name it. They all -the singles-should be living on their shops and bases as sailor and airmen previously did for eons.

    And it's even worse, FAR WORSE when two office-based volunteers marry. They get handed TWO of these windfalls to support ONE families surmised housing needs. Many are raking in off the backs of the taxpayers upwards of $4-$6-$8,000 and more per month above and beyond their already very generous base and other pays and tax free allowances. All of this has gotten completely out of hand!

    February 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
    • fsjunkie

      Honestly, look it up so that you'll know personally how ignorant Mike Smith's comments are....

      February 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Read all his nonsense and he is a troll. No doubt about it. Just a jealous kid with an ax to grind getting his jollies by yanking peoples' chains.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • Mike smith

        Yes, Google "BAH Tables" and see these tax free windfalls for yourselves. These windfalls vary by rank and location, but many singles do indeed get handed off the backs of the taxpayers upwards of $2-$3,000 and more per month. No receipts are even needed. Many roommate and use the residuals to finance high end cars and weekend party times. And two married volunteers are raking in upwards of $4-$6-$8,000 tax free each month above and beyond their already very generous base pays and other tax free allowances. It's a sick joke on the taxpayers.

        A vet – enlisted
        A current DOD employee
        A prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office
        An alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellowship Program
        A prior 12 year journeyman Pipefitter in the US shipyard industry

        February 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
      • fsjunkie

        It's more than an axe he's trying to grind. He thinks he's accomplish something...trying to give himself a makeover. 😉

        February 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
      • Matt

        There is no way a guy served and doesn't have the foggiest clue about BAH rates, who is authorized them, who lives where, etc. This cat is a fraud, should have quit while he was ahead. Now he's exposed and much more quiet.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
      • fsjunkie

        Fresh fish on the line, Matt. 😉

        February 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
      • Matt

        Yeah, this "expert" on military pay neglects to inform folks that BAH is tied to location because it is more expensive to live in Washington DC than it is in Fayetteville, NC. There's a lot he doesn't say and that which he does proves not only his ignorance but his jealous rage. What are all those things he listed below his misleading comments? His resume?

        February 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Matt

      Jealous. Join punk

      February 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        Navy: USS Tarawa (LHA-1): E-5: 1976-1981: Honorable Discharge

        We are all STILL waiting for you to state what EXACTLY you do on the all volunteer mil, little man. Step up! Don't be afraid. I'd eat your lunch in a real debate. You are out of your league with me, little man.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • Matt

        22 years regular Army. Retired 1SG. 1988-2010. Desert Storm, Macedonia, Kosovo, Iraq twice, MiTT team and Baghdad. Afghanistan, Shkin, Orgun-E, and Kandahar. 1st Infantry Division, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division. Bronze Star-Baghdad. Bronze Star-Shkin. 8 years in Germany. Current Defense Contractor. What exactly is your point? I respect your service, but you've been out a long, long time and have no idea about the current state of affairs or financial matters of the military. You're an angry man with worse troubles than money.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
      • fsjunkie

        Mike, with all of the crap you've been posting, you want people to take you seriously when you now say you were in the Navy for 5 years back in the 70's?! Dude, GTFOH! You didn't even have to shave back then. Lol. 😀

        February 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
      • Matt

        I had a solid career. Not a desk guy but they have important jobs too. I don't have a Purple Heart and call myself lucky. Who wants a Purple Heart? But this guy is up and down the board attacking people and if folks can't see he is trolling to make people mad for his entertainment I don't know what to tell them. I think there are places the military can cut but pay is so small an amount that I feel they are just playing politics.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Mike

      Housing is based on the price of homes/apartments near the base which are most of the time over the cost of what we receive for BAH. When I lived in Fort Campbell I was receiving 900 dollars for BAH and paying for a apartment that cost 1100. It you rather have your military service members live in the ghetto or trailer park, that’s fine with me. High end cars? Hmm.. How much money do you think we save on a 8-15 month deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan with nothing to spend it on. Of course a young soldiers who probably experience more than anything you have ever gone through and is going to spend his/her money on stupid stuff. Isolate us on bases? It would cost the taxes payers more but ok. I would rather stay on base then deal with the idiots like you off base.

      If two military personnel marry, they only receive BAH from the higher ranker spouse. You are a complete idiot and obviously hate the military. Please, check your facts before you go spew off at the mouth with wild rants.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        Readers: just Google "BAH Tables" and see these tax free windfalls for yourselves. You'll be shocked. Sure these windfalls depend on rank and location. But scores of singles do get $2-$3,000 and mor per month. And yes two married volunteers do get TWO of these windfalls and DO get handed off the backs of the taxpayers upwards of $4-$6-$8,000 a month tax free. It's as outrageous as iit is ludicrous. Don't allow the carping and crying and sniveling from those that like being on this gravy train off the backs of the taxpayers confuse the issue. Again, just "Google BAH Tables" and see these ludicrous tax free windfalls for yourselves.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • MATT

        and this dude just keeps copy-pasting the same comment. What he doesn't tell you is that most bases have no housing left on them. The housing that IS there is old-decrepid and substandard most of the time nayways. Si either we will have to pay more to build and repair the housing that we have or allow these people to live off base. either way its money. Hell I see many bases overseas that can't even afford to maintain the fences or security equipment. Let alone the buildings and support services.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Emily C.

      What a bunch of malarkey. I'm sure there are some people that try and succeed in pocketing a little of the housing money. However, there are plenty that don't even get enough. I have 3 children and finding a place big enough for all 5 of us in North Carolina in a decent school system (which is hard to do) was next to impossible with the less than $1400 my husband is given for housing. Our rent was $1,600 a month for an entire year before I was able to talk them down to $1400. That does not include the $150-$300 in utilities a month we have to pay depending on if we use the A/C set at 72 or the heat set at 69 to 70 or the water that ranges anywhere between $45-$70 depending on how much laundry we have to do that month. My husband has given 16 years of his life to the Marine Corps and has worked in the maintenance admin field, the computer programming field and is now in the computer network security field. You can't tell me that someone in the civilian sector working in the computer programming or network security field that has worked in the field for over 12 years would settle for a position that paid them less than $45,000 as their Gross Income and would be ok with having less than $12,000 of taxable income. That's only because we made so little that we qualified for the credits and deductions that poor people qualify for. We qualify for reduced lunches and free breakfast for our three kids at the school because we make so little. When the kids were little, we qualified for WIC. There are people that will try to use the system, yes, but the majority of the military are not. They are hard working people with families risking their lives for you to be uneducated about what is really going on throughout the United States. While my husband is serving this year in Afghanistan for a country whose government could not even provide any bedding for them while they are there (probably due to budget cuts), I hope everyone that thinks that the military is getting a free ride off of taxpayers enjoys their quality nights being able to relax with their families in their comfortable houses, sleeping in their comfortable beds with good wholesome meals on the table. I'll continue to worry that my husband comes back in one piece, continue to dry the tears of my children as birthdays, sporting events, honor roll assemblies, and holidays are missed, while working two jobs, going to school, keeping a house that we can barely afford, taking care of the kids, and sending care packages to my husband that include bedding he wasn't told ahead of time wasn't provided or extra underwear that he couldn't fit in his bag because with all the gear he couldn't carry anything else or he'd go over the weight limit. Yes, he eventually will get paid what looks like to be an extra $104.25 a paycheck extra while he is deployed to offset the cost of risking his life, spending a year apart from his wife and three kids, missing every important birthday, band concert, assembly, and holiday for an entire year, and having to purchase any thing extra he might need or God forbid (want) while he is gone. I guess that's totally taking advantage of the system and he is way overpaid! Right?!

      February 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        All pap. Google these preposterous "housing" allowances and you will see these tax free windfalls for yourselves. Singles can and should be living on their ships and bases. And twos tried volunteers SHOUL NOT be getting two windfalls to suppress one family. Just add the two figures from the two tables. Many of these so-called "dual married" volunteers are raking on $4-$6-&8,000 a month and more depending on ranks and location. It's a $31 billion waste that needs to END!

        February 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
      • Ladyfressia

        Emily C,

        Thank you!! We Military families sacrifice more than what people think or even care to admit!!! And most COULD never do it them selves!!!

        February 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • Debbie

        I totally agree with your comments! I married my Navy husband when he was an e-2 and he retired as a Navy Chief. It is a hard life and there were times when we could barely afford to buy groceries. I worked the whole time my husband served, but with the frequent moves and living in a "military town" there were not a lot of companies willing to hire a military spouse, nor a lot of opportunities. Most spouses need to work and are only offered minimum wage jobs This does not even count the work hours that are offered to spouses, or the childcare that is involved. People need to remember that with the spouses deploying, being away from family support, finding a decent affordable childcare is almost impossible. There was a time when we qualified for food stamps and other help, but my husband put on e-4 and we were "over the limit" by about $5 to qualify... that is counting both of our paychecks. The cost of Deployments, clothing, housing, moves, etc. on a family unit are not all totally paid for as some people on this blog are saying. The housing allowance my husband received NEVER totally covered the cost of where we lived. My son is currently in the Navy as well as my son-in-law and I will tell you they are currently facing the same exact issues now that I faced 30 years ago.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • Marine

        Mike Smith wouldn't be saying these things if he had the balls to have stayed in the Rich & Glamourous world of the military people. Obviously he didn't join for the right reason.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
      • Shawn

        Mike Smith

        I see you keep referring to dual military housing income. You really do need to do your homework. I am a Navy Vet, Married to an Active duty Navy Corpsman, who is in combat theater right now. While I was serving and we were married, we got one housing allowance, not two. And while we were both making our own paychecks, My wife got all of the "extras" on her paycheck. She received them on hers only because her start of service date was 2 weeks prior to mine. We did not make $1100 each for housing allowance. We made just that much a month for housing. Please wake up, join the 21st century, and stop thinking that it is still the post Vietnam era of military service. Oh, and as a finisher, stop asking people for their service medals. It is preposterous to think that any person who is serving or has served in the greatest military on earth would share such information with you. I certainly won't.

        February 9, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • james mccormick

      I think you have some of your facts wrong. I was active duty for 11 years in the Air Force and was stationed at mcguire new jy, grand forks north dakota, and hill utah. My spouse and i were the same rank E-5 and not once did we ever recieve 2-3000$ a month you speak of. E-1 through E-4 get the same rate in BAH. the only difference is if the active duty member has dependants. If an active duty member is married to another active duty member they both dont get full BAH. And it is hard to raise 2 or 3 or 4 kids while you are at work for 12 or 13 or 14 hours and your spouse has to either stay at home or work a part time job just to pay daycare. have you seen how much daycare costs? yes there are military people married to other military people without kids or dependants and yes they make a nice check. but that is far and few. the majority of them are not that way. Im not for or against military pay raises, its nice but they can manange, what i am iratated with is the ignorant comments about how much they make because you find some BAH paychart. Please do some more research and get facts more accurate before you mislead whoever reads your posts......

      February 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • Ladyfressia

      Mike that is not true!!! You have to send in a copy of your signed lease to PSD and the lease will list any adult living in the residence! 2 married sailors, one gets single BHA and the other gets dependents BHA. And it is definitely not any where $8,000. We just came from San Diego and you can not find a place decent enough to live under $2,000. Our BHA was $2,100 and we still paid out of our pockets extra in rent. Yeah we could have lived in a bad part of town in a dump for less, but when you have kids that is not a viable option. If someone is making $8,000 for BHA they are scamming and lying to their command and should be terminated.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  39. BigC

    1) Kick everyone out who doesn't want to be in the Navy period. Early out? all right get out. That right there would save money.
    2)BAH fraud?
    3)BAH for Single sailors, why? Unless married or on shore duty, no reason for BAH.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Good points. Pays and allowances, according to the prior SECDEF, "are eating the DOD budget alive."

      Pay cuts and these preposterous do-called "housing" allowances that are tax free and require no receipts are going away! And it's about te! If the volunteers don't like it, fine, then DON'T REENLIST! Somehow our county will survive. Most mils are not combatants. Most serve in offices!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
      • Emily C.

        Yes, that sounds like a great idea. Keep cutting military pay and benefits. Keep cutting military funding like when they cut funding and took away shields from guys in the back of the trucks over in Iraq because the government thought that was a good way to save money and thought that only certain people rated them so my neighbor came home with a blown up arm and the guy I used to sing in church with came back with no legs. Soon, nobody will join the military. We will have nobody willing to protect our freedom, our enemies will have free reign to attack us, so our biggest worry will no longer be the debt we owe China. We can worry about the lives that end up being lost instead. Great idea!! 🙂

        February 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Mark

        I do see you absolute confusion of the rate tables and how they are applied. But, as a former vet, you should appreciate the fact that our military are being taken care of. Secondly, you should relize this is the 21st century and nothing is the same as it was when you served. Third, you are highly mistaken about the jobs the military members hold, and not all are desk jobs, and those that are can be thrown into combat at a drops notice. I was infantry for 12 years until a medical condition forced me to change jobs. However, while assigned to a scout unit in Afghanistan, I was given 14 Soldiers and four uparmored Humvees and made into a scout platoon, with only two of the forteen Soldiers being combat arms which meant I had commo, supply, clerks, medics, and mechanics all doing combat patrols and security patrols. If you care to check up, just google Rat Patrol secures Afghanistan for the new article. So, come into the 21st century. By the way, you time of naval service was during a peace time mission as Vietnam was over. What force were you fighting while serving?

        February 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • Marine

        Mike Smith I am not going to challenge you to a debate. However I am a retired Marine and have been for nearly 6 years. I also work for the DON. For you to say don’t reenlist is wrong! If I heard you say that to one of my Marines, I would have removed from the position you were in so that you could not lead Marines. I wanted to keep my hard working, dedicated, and very experienced Marines. If all of us military superiors acted like you, they would all move on and we would be conforming to a military much like Saddam Hussein and Hilter… To scared to make their own decisions for fear of what their future would be.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • Marine

        Mike Smith they do not let criminals in the military today like they did when you entered the service.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • MATT


      First off most bases have no housing left on them. The housing that IS there is old-decrepid and substandard most of the time nayways. So either we will have to pay more to build and repair the housing that we have or allow these people to live off base. either way its money. Hell I see many bases overseas that can't even afford to maintain the fences or security equipment. Let alone the buildings and support services.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  40. Kevin T

    Shawn L, I'm in the military and I've spent approximately $600 in plane tickets just to see my family during my leave. Yes it is possible to use the military space A flights but they aren't reliable and are limited in locations, so most people don't use them.

    Oh, and please don't come here BSing about how you're a special education teacher and sent your special ed students into the military, because we have several procedures during MEPS which would instantly eliminate anyone with a mental disability.

    Lastly, I'm not necessarily against the pay cuts. I believe everyone needs to chip in for our nation to recover, and military isn't immune to this either. BUT, we don't need idiots like you going around attempting to badmouth the military and take credit away from their commitment. So please, do us all a favor and quit your crying on here. Thanks.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Debbie

      Kevin, I hate to tell you this but the MEPS people are missing a lot of special ed. being admitted to the military.I am a certified special education teacher in Texas and I have witnessed many special ed. students being admitted into the service. I will admit that some of the more obvious students, such as those with Down's Syndrome, Life Skills, or severely Austistic students are obviously recognized as being special ed, the other special ed. students, such as those with and Emotional Disturbance, Behavior Disorder, Learning Disability, Other Health Impairment, Attention Deficit Disorder, etc...will graduate with the same high school diploma as their peers. There will not be any notification on their transcript as to what accommodations, changes to curriculum, content modifications, medications, etc. that will be posted. The only way MEPS personnel find out if a student is Special ed. is if the student discloses that information to you. I have been amazed at some of the students I know that have been admitted to the military by lying about the mood altering, behavior changing, etc. drugs they have taken in the past. They know that if they are off of them for a certain amount of time the medications will not show up in their medical screening. Students do not have special ed. listed anywhere on their transcripts, and they will graduate with the same diploma as their peers. Just thought I would share this with you.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  41. It's ABOUT TIME

    Military pay has been rising since the early 90's, making enlisted service a far better option than just about anything else an 18-year-old with only a high school diploma can hope to get. Meanwhile, officers are now paid extremely well. In most career fields other than physicians and a few others, a military officer will do far better financially than his or her civilian counterpart. For those who want to argue, check out the numbers – they are public information. And yes, I'm a retired Air Force officer and OEF/OIF vet. So why am i stating this? Not to be anti-military but because the argument about our "fighting troops" come first is a lame one to throw up every time there is a discussion about fiscal responsibility. Yes, the military deserves to be well supplied and service members should earn a respectable living, given the stress, the hours, the sacrifice. But as a point of fact, most of the military is "tail" as opposed to "tooth." And as noted, military pay is quite good. If anything, they need to look at restructuring pay somewhat to give more incentive to the career NCOs. The officers in the field grades and above are (and I was unapologetically one of them) are paid very very well. Especially when a third of your income is nontaxable allowances. (and a 50% pension to boot....who gets that nowadays?)

    Something has to give....and everyone, even the military, have to be part of the fiscal solution.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Does a fry cook pull the trigger? When people get in my face and say things about how good the military has it I say join, see if you can hack it. When they say other people have it better I say fine, do what they do. Don't cry about it to me. If you qualify and want military pay and benefits join. Don't say you have it worse or better. You have no idea. You don't pull the trigger. You don't know.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        Matt, many of us ARE VETS! Get off your high horse! So what EXACTLY do you do on the mil? List those combat ribbons and awards while you are at it. My money is that you earned none. But prove me wrong. I am waiting.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
      • fsjunkie

        The more Mike Smith demands people to list combat awards, the D U M B E R he looks. Shhhh! Don't tell Mike. 😉

        February 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • john

      I agee. ALL federally paid people should get the same % raise each year. Social Security recipients, the military, welfare recipients, Congress, EVERYBODY.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
      • Emily C.

        In an ideal world, that would be great. It doesn't work out that way. Instead, budgets are being cut left and right. The government will screw people over to no end if they feel they can squeeze a dime out of somewhere. My dad fell short of 2 years to collect full government retirement because the government did their best to close the airports 5 or 6 years back where all the older people were getting ready to retire. Their brilliant idea to save money meant that all these people that had worked for the past 25-30 years would get screwed when it came to retirement because they sold the airports to companies like Lockheed Martin. Now my dad is going to be working for Lockheed Martin as an air traffic controller until he's at least 70 just so he can fix his house so his roof doesn't cave in and so he actually has siding on his house so his entire retirement isn't used to fix his house. instead his government retirement he did get is used to fund Medicare that he is forced into because he's 65, though Medicare will pay for none of his care, which in turn causes his other insurance carrier that he's had for years to refuse

        February 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • Emily C.

        In an ideal world, that would be great. It doesn't work out that way. Instead, budgets are being cut left and right. The government will screw people over to no end if they feel they can squeeze a dime out of somewhere. My dad fell short of 2 years to collect full government retirement because the government did their best to close the airports 5 or 6 years back where all the older people were getting ready to retire. Their brilliant idea to save money meant that all these people that had worked for the past 25-30 years would get screwed when it came to retirement because they sold the airports to companies like Lockheed Martin. Now my dad is going to be working for Lockheed Martin as an air traffic controller until he's at least 70 just so he can fix his house so his roof doesn't cave in and so he actually has siding on his house so his entire retirement isn't used to fix his house. instead his government retirement he did get is used to fund Medicare that he is forced into because he's 65, though Medicare will pay for none of his care, which in turn causes his other insurance carrier that he's had for years to refuse to cover his care. WTG government and your ability to save money while in turn screwing over the working man.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Kirby

      I will complain less about my pay being cut when lawmakers cut their pay and allowances.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  42. CClaybern

    So before we start making these cuts as well as cuts to veterns, why don't we start cutting in other places such as overseas bases and reducing the troops we have overseas. I hate to say this, but we may need to go back to pre WW2 stature with our military. We need to reduce our presence overseas and allow the world to begin to police itself. And another thing as well, instead of buying new equipment that we have hundreds of sitting in deserts not being used and continuing to pile them up, take that budget and use it to repair and maintain what we have. I think the cuts should start there first and proceed to other places.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • Emily C.

      The problem with that is if we remove our presence from around the world, and stop giving aid with money we don't have and have to borrow, we will not be seen as powerful by other countries we are trying to do business with. Now that so many countries have global economies, it is extremely crucial that the U.S. maintain whatever power we can so that we can continue to do business with everyone. Now that we import most everything we consume from other countries, we can't afford to lose our global economy.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  43. Wayne

    See, spending trillions of dollars on two unnecessary wars does have consequences.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  44. CGDoc

    Headline is misleading and would tend to suggest that our troops salaries would be cut, which doesn't appear to be the case. It seems that next years pay increase will be capped at 1%. Although we owe it to our men & women in uniform to a lot more, CNN should scre them upfront and say they are in for a pay cut!

    February 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  45. Lee

    I have and am serving my country. And you? Panetta earned a retirement based on his any years in a variety of positions, and doesn't get a full salary pension based on 2-3 years as SecDef as many believe. Same applies for our Representatives. They don't get a full pension after serving a day in office as many believe.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      So what EXACTLY do you do in the mil?y money is that you, like most volunteers joined up and serve as pseudo office workers. Prove me wrong. Also list you combat awards and ribbons. I say you have none. But again prove me wrong.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • fsjunkie

        This guy Mike Smith strikes me as the guy who got kicked out for dope or violating DADT. Hey Everybody, inbox Mike your service records for audit. D U M B A S S!

        February 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • Emily C.

        Just because someone is in an office position doesn't exclude them from being put in harms way. Office positions today are important over in Afghanistan for instance. With computers being a huge source of communication, who do you think is needed to help complete missions? Computer geeks, radio guys, and more. Ignorance is bliss I guess, Mike Smith.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • Bigby Wolf

        I'll tell you what...you list YOUR combat awards that you earned from 76-81 when we weren't fighting anyone and I'll list mine that I earned in 2004-2005 in Baghdad...

        February 7, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  46. Qvilleman

    Mr. Panetta how about you account for the hundreds of millions of dollars "lost" during the Iraq war (CIA payouts), before you cut pay raises for the troops.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • johnk

      Who watches the roost? It is not the ground troops, it is private contractors, the pentagon chiefs, and the pencil pushers who have screwed up the waistful spending in both these wars! There is no watch dog and not accountability to this gross overbilling that has taken place, it is all about greed!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  47. fsjunkie

    What exactly has that fat piece of trash done for our military such that he would have any room to say troops are overpaid? Meanwhile, Congress has accomplished nothing, but vote themselves raises regularly. I don't advise anybody join this deteriorating military at this point. I'm on the way out after 23 years.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Goodie for you . So what EXACTLY do you do in the mil. My money is that you, Luke the vast majority in the mil, have not spent one solitary second in combat. List your combat medals and awards. I say you eared zip. But prove me wrong.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
      • fsjunkie

        STFU you i d i o t!

        February 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
      • Mike smith

        Just as I thought. A de facto office clerk who likes to portray herself as a pseudo Rambo. As abet, you are embarrassing yourself. We laughed at guys like you when I was in. If you wanted to join the realil you should have "tried out" in the infantry or armor. Get thee back into your air conditioned office with your HD diploma.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
      • NNN

        There are a whole bunch of jobs not directly related to on the ground combat that are absolutely essential to successfully engage and destroy the enemy, and in some cases the per person effectiveness of their mission is far in excess of anything a single grunt is capable of.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
      • fsjunkie

        Dude, you're gonna break a nail. You're full of it. You've done nothing. If anything, you were kicked out for dope or violating DADT.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
      • Bj mack

        I venture to guess, mike, that you are one of the 99.55% of americans who were greedy cowards and sent us to go fight. Now that the war is over, and theres no chance of you being put into harm's way, you get to armchair the whole thing, and call everyone out. You are correct, only about 25% of us killed people on your behalf. i am a part of that .11% of Americans. What was your reason for not joining the all volunteer force?

        February 6, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  48. Isoldel

    Though I believe that financial cuts are needed, there are those in the government that need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they too need a bit of trimming. Just from watching the past rallies for cuts here and there, it seems that they target the easily acceptable cuts first, those that will not or cannot be fought hard against. If they really want to decrease out deficit, we need an overall cut from every corner of our budget, not picking from here and there and forgetting about what matters to them and only them.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  49. topperG

    civilian employees havn't gotten a pay raise and we will be getting furloughed in the near future so I think we are getting more of the axe...deal with it, at least they aren't taking your money....600.00 a month is going to suck for me if the furlough is excuted...

    February 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  50. You must be kidding yourselves.

    I find it very funny that everyone is so riled up about this. Pay cuts happen all the time in civilian work place and have been common place since there are so many currently out of work. But what is most concerning is that everyone on this board is arguing the merits of a potential raise being lowered. The reality is this is political grandstanding by the Pentagon so they can save their budget cuts and put pressure on the president and congress. This was state clearly in the article but many here chose to ignore this. I would be more impressed in the Patriots on this board took to the to think about why Panetta would throw the troops to the wolves if he actually cared about the financial security of troops.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Roger


      This is not about pay. This is about the pentagon trying to avoid cutting a LOT of money from their budget. As it is the 4th quarter economics were bad because of this (growth halted in the economy). nEveryone in the military is holding their breath waiting to see the hammer fall.

      I for one look forward to it. We HAVE to cut the military. AND reform social programs (some) and SS/medicare (some). EVERYONE is going to have to suffer. That is the only way to get our fiscal hourse in order

      February 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  51. N

    I do not agree with this. how bout you cut your pay? *that is all.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  52. Erick

    I'm in the military, we don't do the job for the money but seems to me that it's hard to put a price on being willing to put our lives on the line for our country. Cut weapon systems we don't need not the benefits we've earned.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      So many Purple Hearts have you earned? And how many combat medals and ribbons? Cite date and place of action. My money, as a vet myself, is that you signed up to serve and have served in an office job. Prove me wrong. But don't forget about the Stolen Valor Act. I can't stand all of the self-righteousness coming from volunteers who never spent one second in cost or actual danger. Get over yourself, fella.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
      • fsjunkie

        Lol. Now I'm going through and looking at the posts you've been making all night. Dude, get a life! How pathetic. You had me for a minute. Lol.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
      • Who Cares

        Mike Smith, STFU. You aren't anyone to ask military personnel to prove anything to you. So, go play Modern Warfare and pretend that you have done something productive today. Thanks and have a nice day.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • LaC

        Yeah there are a lot of volunteers who have never seen combat. But there are a lot more who have. Some argue that my job (detainee ops) isn't a combat MOS. But when you go to Baghdad for a year to try and handle thousands of terrorists in an enclosed area, to me that's just as much combat as anything you MIGHT have done Mike. No I don't have a purple heart or any medals or awards but I do have the satisfaction of knowing that I, as a volunteer E-3, did something for this country. Realize that there are a great many with stories like that before you go spouting off about volunteers never doing anything

        February 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
  53. Senior Chief, United States Navy, (Retired)

    Don't know where you young military think your working. You all seem to expect to walk into the military, fresh out of high school, no marketable skills (in MOST cases) and make $60K? I joined because I was poor. In 1998, my BAH was $650 per mo. Base pay was a little over $1300. 2012, as a Senior Chief, COMBINED, I was bringing in close to $7000 per month.. During those years, I put two kids through school, able to use my money WISELY and purchase homes. As a senior leader, I have had the DIS-pleasure of dealing with MANY financialy chalenged Sailors, 99% of the time it is self induced. Stop crying about the pay.. It's the same with any other job ladies and gents, entry level jobs get paid less. Time and experience along with self motivation is the key to 1. Getting promoted...2. Getting paid more. Are pay raises needed to keep up with inflation? Absolutely..But not for you to keep up with the Jones-ez!

    February 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Julisa, Fomer army wife

      My husband was an E4 when he got out of the Army, and we were only getting 2000 a month and we had barely any money left over after bills rent and a car payment plus groceries. im wasnt excepting 50k or 60k a year but at least 30k a year instead of only 24k a year when soldiers have families to support. I would have liked my husband to get paid a bit more so we could have some savings to build up in case something on our car broke or a family emergency. how much more is the government going to cut form the military, the enlisted and ncos need more money especially when they have families to support.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Thanks for the candor and honesty. There are far too many volunteers with HS diplomas or GEDs who whine and cry about their pay when the truth of the matter is that they are grossly overpaid when viewed with their demographic counterparts. And Google "BAH Tables" to see these preposterous so-called "housing" allowances/windfalls. They are a SICK $21 billion per year and growing JOKE and rip off on the US taxpayers.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
      • cath3dr4l

        You Sir are a complete moron. BAH is based on location. In San Diego, good luck finding a decent place to rent for under 2k. That's why BAH is up around the 2k level (and San Diego has one of the highest per capital housing costs in the Nation).
        Secondly, generous base pay? LOL. As an E-6 with over 12 years I made approx. 41k in Basic Pay, not including the BAH and BAS allowances. BAS = Basic Allowance for Sustenance (and it's about 300 dollars).
        So if you want to add it all up – I made about 67k a year while I was active duty, with a wife and child. Wow!!! We're just super wealthy!

        Third, most members of the military are highly trained in a certain technical field. You think you can effectively pilot a Carrier? That's what QM's do. You think you can troubleshoot and repair complication Helicopter Tactical Navigation equipment on the fly during intense missions? That's what AT's do (and it's what I did). You think you can troubleshoot, repair, implement and manage secret telecommunications networks and/or systems that are mission and war fighter support critical? We do these things EVERYDAY and we make pennies for it.

        And we do all of that while on board ships or deployed in FOB's (Forward Operating Bases in case you didn't know) away from our beds, homes, families, and loved ones for over six months at a time...and in many cases longer. And we do it all because we realize that despite all of the hardships even people like you deserve to be able to speak freely.
        You're Welcome.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Ladyfressia


        You are right on the money!!! Thank you! I couldn't say it any better!!!!

        February 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Ladyfressia

      Wow!! You call your self a senior chief? You saying that you had the dis-pleasure of dealing with struggling sailors? Where is your compassion, Man? We, Military families are not trying to keep up the Jone's. We are trying to keep our heads above the water. Most young sailors do not make very much more than the equivalent of minimum. A sailor making $18,100 like in the article makes basically $9.45 an hr and that is calculating at a 40hr work week. But boat sailors work 12 on 12 off 7 days a week (no over time pay). So they get to risk their lives and be separated from their families for that little bit of money. For most of the sailors it is not about the money, it is about Honor and serving their Country. The least we can do is treat them better than our government does.

      Most never make it to your rank, due to the Military thinning the ranks (by PTS) and combing 2 or 3 rates into one. Flooding that rate. They dumped all the flyers into one rating. Then being 140% over man and did not open but a few Billets per year. One year they did not open any Billets for Chief. The next year they only opened 2. It is not that the men and women don't deserve to be promoted, it is due to the Military is thinning the career men and women out of the military.

      They need to start cutting pay at the top and work their way down, not at the bottom that can least afford it!!!!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Reply
      • Chelsea

        Ladyfressia I have to disagree. How is it fair to cut higher ranking pay but not lower ranking? That is ridiculous (and this is coming from the wife of an E5 so we aren't exactly swimming in dough.) Higher ranks deserve their pay and don't need it cut because of the boo hoos and bawling of military house wives that pop out babies they can't afford and cry that they aren't living in a mansion. My husband is an E5. We don't make much, but we plan very carefully and own our home. We live well within our means so that we can put away for our future. We also have 3 kids. We don't have a lot extra at the end of the day but the fact that we have a roof over our head, food on our table, and are able to afford to go out here or there is absolutely fine by me. Military pay isn't glamorous, but you are lucky to have medical benefits and so many things that people in the civilian world are struggling to get with 4 year paid degrees.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
      • ladyfressia


        The higher ranks I was talking about are the big wigs in the pentagon!!!

        You said "boo hoos and bawling of military house wives that pop out babies they can't afford and cry that they aren't living in a mansion."

        That is a terrible thing to say!! Most Navy wives do not do this!! Maybe in the lower ranks (E1 to E4) do that to get off base. And trust me we do not live in a mansion!! Our rent is exactly what our BHA is. It was the lowest rent that I could find near our base that was in a decent neighborhood. I found somethings lower, but they were in the bad part of town.

        I am glad you are able to own a home. Maybe your family does not get re-stationed every 2 to 4 yrs like my husband does. We can not buy a home, due that we would not be able to sell it in this economy and we can not afford a house pymt and rent pymt. I have a girlfriend whose husband was re-stationed and tried to sell their house last year and it took 8 months to sell it. All the while they were paying rent at the new station. They almost depleted their savings trying to stay above water, cause if they got behind in their bills her husband could have his security clearance taken.

        An to the poster from above about Military still getting their raises? No, they did not. They froze the Military pay along with the federal workers. This years raise was the first my husband got in 4 years. They only time they got a raise in pay is when they advanced in rank.

        Every situation is not the same for every military family. Yes a few may abuse the system, but most military families do not. When men and women are coming home missing limbs or coming home draped in The American Flag, the least we can do is give them the full 1.7% raise that all of them deserve!!! There are other ways to cut spending and doing it on the backs of the those men and women are just plain wrong!!!

        February 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  54. Mike N

    Military is on the same pay scale as Federal employees. The numbers are different, but pay bands are the same. Feds have not had a COLA adjustment in 3 years (going on 4), and the majority of people seem to think that's a good thing (at least based on the comments I read on boards like these). My feeling is this: If you are deployed overseas you get the raise + combat pay etc. If you are here, flying a desk and expanding your gut in Crystal City while pulling down an O5 salary + housing etc then you can suck it up with the rest of us Federal employees and get no raise at all. Take the money saved from that and give it to the folks in harms way (and their families) so they can get the raise they deserve.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  55. Tom

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. All this unnecessary and excessive military spending plus all these useless and unnecessary wars are a large part of the reason that this country is financially bankrupt! This needs to stop and soon. Besides, too many people are being killed who don't deserve to die!!!!!

    February 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  56. Richard Right

    Kipling's poem says it best.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • Bigby Wolf

      Oh it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy go away, but it's "thank you, Mr Atkins" when the band begins to play.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  57. CPT S

    Freeze the pay for officers. Give enlisted a bigger pay raise. And reduce the pay for Congress by 2%.

    It's that easy...

    February 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  58. Ted

    Eliminate full pensions at 55 for cops and military and see who really wants to serve this country.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • brianabbe

      Or just push pensions back to 65. That would help. Eventually, any remaining pensions will be at 70 anyway.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Are you kidding? Most lifers in the mil are vastly overpaid office staff who are scared to death about getting out of the mil and losing their generous base pays and preposterous so-called "housing" (and US taxpayer HOSING) tax free allowances. Most WANT to stay in as long as they can to stay on the gravy train/binky!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
      • fsjunkie

        Translation: Mike Smith couldn't make the cut and got kicked out of the military...if he's not telling his dad's story.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  59. Nate

    Congress should get scaled back also 2% or greater. They don't do nothing anyway.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  60. Ted

    Cut the pay to senior brass and down and see how many stick around for gold old USA.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  61. 82ABNWife

    I am not surprised by wanting to cut defense spending by protecting never ending unemployment payments and a pathetic welfare system. It is better to sit on your behind and get paid than sacrifice in the US Military.
    Someone through the feed made a remark about housing allowance......this person claims to be AirForce....BAH is offered ONLY if you do NOT live in the barracks. It is a different rate for NO dependents that WITH dependents. The amount for each military installation is based on a COLA table. And only certain bases have an added COLA. You still get the BAH if you live on post....but it goes DIRECTLY to Housing....that is privatized.
    As for those that think that health care is great.....um well then you must have not served Active Duty and you was never needed treatment at a MTF.
    And 70 years ago the National Cost of Living in the United States was much lower. Hence why Min. Wage in the private sector was much lower and not regulated by the government.
    Then lets add that today's military member works more hours......My soldier leaves at 0515 (we live 2 miles from gate) and as I write this he still isn't home at 1915.
    Here is a thought,
    if the commissaries and PX/BX did not have limited shipments (thank you US Government) then people could do more shopping on post/base where the cost is lower.
    Audit Piercene Housing....and stop building on a whim projects that get 'changed' every few years.
    Make a LAW where no PORK will be allowed...end of discussion.
    ALSO, if work from welfare was in place and unemployment was LIMITED, then WOW imagine the money that would be freed up. If you take the funds away, I can guarantee the line would get shorter.

    This country is to much in to being NEEDY and LAZY. We The People have allowed this. If you think this is fine, just remember in a fox hole the world looks much different than on your couch and one day you will be in that fox hole. AND if you feel compelled to speak up then pick up your phone and call your congress person, heck call of them.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Amen!! Thank you!!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • Padraig

      There are many things wrong with what they are doing. First I would like to thank your husband for what he is doing and also yourself. Remember, where he belongs, he is Airborne and the demands on specialty forces is much greater than the other. This is a life you both have chosen and need to accept or find alternatives.

      First the person you mentioned about housing was Navy not Air Force. Gigantic difference. I spent 13 years in the military and fully understand what you are stating. The military has a penchant for not spending wisely, for those who served a couple of enlistments you understand. For those who don't he is a scenario of the Air Force I experienced each year of service. We are informed that there is not enough money and we are over budgeted. Many things are cut and severly reduced this always happened towards the end of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd fiscal quarter. The start of the 4th fiscal quarter all of a sudden there is a lot of money mad available and to start buying. The wanted all of the money spent so the base would get at least the same amount of money as they did the year before.

      Now, short changing the pay is not the direction to go. The military profess to lead by example, well I would then recommend that our Commander in Chief, his side kick, Penetta, and all senior officers to not take a pay raise. It will only make a small difference but they will show they lead by example.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • 82ABNWife

        I am not complaining about his average 60-65 hr week....and 5 deployments, 2 months in the field training a year, all the schools/ leadership training that is always somewhere else, and all that other stuff......I love him and this is his job, his children know and have seen sacrifice. This is our life, Lord knows we didn't get in it for $$. He would most prob. do better private, but we are career and it isn't about $$ but about Service of Country. I was trying to point out the number of hours......people are claiming that it is easy work easy pay....I was trying to illustrate that it isn't a 40wk but much more so the 'big pay' isn't as big if hours are counted.

        February 7, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  62. Independent Jim

    Most of our Military are there becauser of the pay and benefits...there are some who regard military service as a duty but most just see it as a secure JOB with a great pension and health benefits for life

    February 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Graveyd

      If you believe that many of us are in it for the pay, you are sadly mistaken. Everyone in the world has access to the Military Pay Charts and if you think $1400 Base pay a month is a lot of money for E-1's to live off of, you are crazy. After taxes that's about 1050-1100 ...Before I joined the military I was bringing home at least $2500 a month at the age of 19 and attending college but that was a choice I made to enter the military but it damn sure wasn't for the pay and benefits. I'd rather pay $200 a month for Health Insurance than to live off of TriCare and the VA for the rest of my life. The Doctors suck, nurses have no clue, and it's just overall a sad system

      February 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Reply
      • Dale

        Actually i disagree with the last comment in reference to TRICARE, a benefit – premium FREE for the standard option with a max catastrophic cap of 1000.00 annual for Active duty families and 3000 for Retiree's. The prime option , if you so select at any given time to enroll the monthly premium for family is under 50 bucks. – i guarantee you you will not find anything close to that out in the civilian sector that will come close to this benefit. what families pay annual for prime, some pay that in a month or two with employer based and or civilian policies. It may be your dis-satisfied with what you have locally with Tricare .

        February 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • hammeerschlag

      Perfect! All teh boys and girls from the southeren State choose Military because of pay, pension after 20 years and free education. The Government and Military is teh biggest rip off this world has evere seen. Gongress, the Senate and all teh rest is nothing more than one giant fraud. All these Gov. Employees are in for a free ride abd tell us citizens that they are serving this country. BS! this is all grand theft and robbing the country blind.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Go to Arlington.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  63. 21 year CPO

    21 years in the Military speaking here; our pay is good, but not great. Some of our jobs pay better on the outside, some do not. That said:
    #1 you don't join for the money.
    #2 not all of our pay comes in the form of a deposit in your account on the 1st and 15th.
    #3 our pay is directly linked to retention: if a lot of us walked, they'd pay more
    #4 military life is a choice, and anyone who has decided to stay longer than thier initial contract shouldn't complain.

    But before the band wagon types jump on: in the late 90's, there was a huge draw down. We then had a huge event occur, and we need the military. It took us YEARS to catch up, and the result was an overworked, over stressed force that continued to answer the call, year after year. Suicide rates are up. Divorce rates are up. Rapes are up. Violence is up. Why?

    We're under pressure to perform, but know we're under the fiscal knife. This makes for a very tenious existance.

    And, for all the junior's on here being disrepectful to anyone senior: you wouldn't say it to thier face: So:
    #1) you've got no guts
    #2) you've got no military bearing
    #3) you're not upholding your service core values
    #4) move on if you can uphold the right thing.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Lee

      Right on CPO! Couldn't have said it better. The only thing I'd add is that respect is a two way street and applies to the CMSgt speaking to an Airman as well as a Seaman speaking to a CPO.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Radiowave

      Thank you for your service chief.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • hammeerschlag

      Leon Panetta has lived of the US government for 26 years. BS public service. Thsi guy is flying back to California each weekend at teh expense of the taxpayers at a cost of about 60K. What has he really done that is measurable performance. He is an administrator, part of the inner circle. He has a Consulting firm charing the Government millions for advice? You have got to be stupid to belive all this "serving the US" crap. May be you are stupid?

      February 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Ladyfressia

      Well, a senior should not throw his JR's under the bus in public either!!! We should all be a Military family when we show our selves to the public. We should all stand together as one, no matter what our personal views are. How does it look to people who are not in the military, when the seniors are disrespecting the people under him? Doesn't make the Military members look very good now does it?

      February 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  64. T-Bone

    And he will retire with how much a year for life!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • Lee

      Why don't you tell us T-Bone? I suspect it's because as a political appointee on a three year appointment e Ernst zero in retirement income. I despise the man and what is going on here, but lets kep it honest.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • Soylent

      Leon Panetta has been a public service since 1966. That's nearly 50 years serving his country in Congress, the OMB, the White House, the CIA, and finally at the Pentagon. What have YOU done for your country?

      February 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
      • Lee

        Many years my friend, and still am. And you? Pancetta ears pension based on all the time you outlined, and not just for serving a couple years as SecDef. Many believe these folks earn full pensions after a day on the job as either appointees our elected officials.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
      • FatSean

        I work to pay your salary and your fancy benefits. You are the tail attempting to wag the dog.

        February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Nick

      How much will he retire with for life?

      How about NOT AS MUCH AS HE SHOULD considering he spent over 20 years doing it and your great incompetent politician gets to retire with more pay, more benefits, and more perks, and doesn't even have to serve 20 years or anything close to it! So before you criticize the men and women who bust their asses for 20 years or more and DESERVE their pension, start with the mass amount of money and benefits given to people who work half as hard and take advantage of the very system they campaign on! Politicians were NEVER meant to be a career option, yet somehow there they are, paying themselves big money and giving themselves big raises and lavish retirement pensions and 20 years isn't even a requirement! Get your head out of your ass! Any service member who serves 20 or more years more then deserves that pension!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  65. mbw

    The republicans have been very vociferous and effective in limiting the tax increase on the wealthy to over $450,000.00
    instead of $250,000.00. Now the military will have to pay by getting their income cut. This is outrageous. Bring all the troops home NOW. W#hy are we sending them into combat and then stabbing them in the back.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  66. SWO

    Everyone seems to be upset, let's try and attempt to add some data here shall we? First, you can't put a tangible price on deployments, danger to life, being away from your families, etc. So I will leave that discussion alone.
    Regarding compensation and pay, the military is really doing just fine. Please review: http://militarypay.defense.gov/REPORTS/QRMC/11th_QRMC_Main_Report_(290pp)_Linked.pdf
    Click on the link for the 11 quad report and look at figure 2.2 and 2.3 on page 27/28 (61/62 of the PDF). As you can see, compensation for military members compared to their civilian peers accounting for level of education is just fine.
    Looking here: http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR1185.html#key-findings
    You can see a RAND report that shows much the same thing.
    Enlistment retention is just fine, the military is not hurting for qualified people right now, boosting pay will do little do make the military better, but will take money away from DoD that is needed elsewhere.
    Also, it's not a pay cut, it's just a raise less than CPI. The article is very misleading regarding this point. Yes CPI is the basis of miltary pay raise, but congress has exceeded the pay increase asked by DoD year over year for almost two decades (usually about 3% when CPI averages 1-1.8). The military had bad compensation decades ago, compensation now is very competetive with the private world, especially for those with little or zero post highschool education.
    Navy LT

    February 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • Ramjet

      While I must agree compensation is far better than when I was a young enlistee, CPI is woefully below real inflation. If does not include the price of gasoline or a couple other things that escape memory right now.
      Gasoline alone would raise the CPI by at least 3 percentage points this year and several recent years.
      Thus a 1% raise will lower spending power by at least 3%.
      Now, to be fair, I have not had any raise in the last 3 years. And yes times are tough. But lets keep the numbers real.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  67. Austin

    What's more unbelievable is that rather than cutting operations in accordance with budgetary cuts, the DOD missions have been expanded by the Obama admin to include now Nigeria and other areas. It's a move that makes it clear, they want to weaken the military. Otherwise we could just cut military operations in accordance with budget cuts and we could retain the strength and readiness of the military by reducing that spending.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  68. clem kadiddle

    This will definitely prompt more suicides.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • Dave Brett

      It would be palatable if all Fed Employees had these limits; hello politicians. They are never affected by these cuts, in fact get 10-20% percent at times.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
      • SWO

        Federal employees actually did have their pay freeze, and they certainly don't get 20% bonuses.
        Average wages among all workers in the economy have risen by 632% since 1969. Salaries for civilian federal employees have increased by 428% since 1969, and the salaries of Members of Congress have increased by
        That is from the Congressional Research Service and took Google and about 76 seconds of intellectual effort to find.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  69. beloved

    This is unbelievable. I am very concern how our military is being treated. We currently have troops in Afghanistan, on deployment, and aren't being served "hot" breakfast. A form of a "budget cut". Some may scoff, but I find that to be awful. These soldiers, eat when they can and sometimes the meal may be the only meal for a while. On top of this they want to cut pay? Why not start at the top? I was always taught, that when you're the leader, boss, or delegate, everything is your fault. So why can't the Fat Cats take one for the team, and kiss their pay goodbye for a time being?

    February 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  70. Ray Zenns

    I hope their are no cuts for disabled vets. I badly bruised my ankle playing softball once, and after getting out it took me several tries to get the VA to award me 51% disability.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Shawn L

      Nice troll.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • TNT

      Well considering VA disability ratings go in increments of 10%, I'd say you're an A$$H0LE troll. Your mother would be so proud

      February 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Reply
      • Independent Jim

        I agree

        February 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  71. Chuck

    Time to make cuts, ok lets dismantle america's deffence, that will show us

    February 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  72. John

    As there is the 1% in the Private Sector, there is the same in the Department of Defense. Keep the pay increase for the Enlisted and Freeze (or cut) the pay for the Officers. On the Civilian side have pay increases for GS but Freeze (or cut) for the SES's. Too many upper management. Time to get rid of the weeds. Read the Department of Everything by Senator Tom A Coburn November 2012. There is your pork $67.9Billion. The only two areas Alternative Energy and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) when they deal with future savings or employees are investments and may be trimmed but not cut. One last area not mentioned is the benefit of Civil Service to Housing costs. Why should they get anything more than mileage and meals to get from one place to another especially when they ask for the reassignment. Military members are told, civilians ask.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • Shawn L

      Cuts should always start at the top and trickle on down to the bottom. If you cut the bottom by 10% you better cut the top by the same amount if not more.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  73. Military Major

    I am military. All enlisted active duty military members receive a a clothing allowance yearly on their anniversay date. This allowance allows the member to replace uniforms as needed. Active duty military officers do not receive the allowance. If military members elect to move off base, lower ranks need approval, then they are provided a monthly housing allowance according to their pay grades. Those military members living off base receive an allowance for food. The pay and allowances one receives are based on factors such as family numbers, how expensive your off base rent is, how much food you buy. I was an airman basic on the enlisted side, made the rank and am now a major. I am also a financial manager, yes, I am pay, benefits and compensation. I am no means taking anything from the military member, Congress does need to do away with the expensive weapons platforms, costly contracts, and stacking odds and ends on bills as they are approved. Trust me, it is my job, each Congressman is looking out for their own good. It is all about personal budgeting and living within your means as a military member because Congress does not have our best interests at heart.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • J

      So you're in charge of screwing up my pay! jk I think military pay increases should match the percentage in which congress gets raises. Those jokers are quick to vote a decrease in my pay but an increase in theirs. Doesn't sound right to me.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Michael Smith

      Readers: Google these preposterous so-called "housing" allowances for yourselves via "BAH Tables." There you will see how single volunteers, most of who at HS educated (or less) and have never seen one second of combat and work as pseudo office clerks, are geing handed TAX FREE upwards of $2-$3,000 and more per momnth in so-called "housing." Its ludicrous. Most are room-mating to lowere their actual csots and are using the residuals for cars and patry times. And its even WORSE when two volunters get marrried. THese so-called 'dual marrieds' get handed off the backs of the taxpayer TWO allowances, repeat TWO allowances to support ONE family! and smany arre getting tax feree windfalls of upwards of $4-$6-$8,000 a month and more. ABSOLUTELY PREPOSTEROUS!

      And keep in mind that rhese give=aways are above and beyiongf their already generous base pays and other tax free allowances. All singles should be living on their ships and bases. And no TWO allowances for ONE family!

      February 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
      • ourglamour

        2-3k per MONTH? I was in the Army for 5 years and never heard of anyone making that much. That said, I will say our allowance was 1100, but it was all taken out of my paycheck since we lived on post. Dual military gets 1 1/2 BAH allowance.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • J

        I've been in combat, will be in combat, and will continually go back to combat. I think I deserve more than a 1% pay raise. What have you done?

        February 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • ourglamour

        Also, as far as the Army is concerned, if you are single, you live on post (and therefore do NOT receive the BAH stipend) from rank E1 to E5. E6 and above must live off post. Married at any rank may choose to live on or off post. And the BAH rates were certainly not up to 3k. Most I ever saw was around 1.5k, which makes sense if the COL is higher. Also, its offensive to called two people who get married "dual volunteers" as if we dont love each other. I married my husband while we were both active duty (and on leave from deployment!) and sure didnt do it for the money. You get 1 1/2 BAH for dual military. Yeah, that extra $500/month was really pushing us into upper class territory!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
      • Malvavisco de hiero

        I don't know where you are seeing these outrageous numbers unless you're looking at officer BAH in expensive areas like DC or California. The paycheck we get is not worth the sometimes 20 hour days I put in and I have at times taken a civilian job on the side to help support my family through some tough times. I am by no means complaining I volunteered for this. However, I would like to see that I and my fellow service men and women weren't always on the chopping block every time there are budget constraints. Civilians are increasingly added to buffer our numbers and they make the same if not more than I do but unlike them if I buy a house and have to be forcibly moved due to needs of the military the government won't help me by buying it back like they would for a civilian they tell me to "suck it up". Being a leader myself I see the hardships imposed on the enlisted community by tough times, budget insecurities, and relatively low pay.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • Wendra

        You have obviously never served in our armed forces. Fine, your choice. Yes, there are some monthly BAHs that reach $3000/month for officers, married with dependents. You know what that buys in Honolulu? A 1200 sq. ft house with no yard in a relatively safe neighborhood with no sidewalks. Most officers' have a college degree and my husband has 20+ years in the service. As many others have said, yes I think officers can survive on less than what they get and it wouldn't be bad to thin the ranks a bit anyway but the enlisted side of the house should be given their normal raise. They need it and they earn it.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • cath3dr4l

        You Sir are a complete moron. BAH is based on location. In San Diego, good luck finding a decent place to rent for under 2k. That's why BAH is up around the 2k level (and San Diego has one of the highest per capital housing costs in the Nation).
        Secondly, generous base pay? LOL. As an E-6 with over 12 years I made approx. 41k in Basic Pay, not including the BAH and BAS allowances. BAS = Basic Allowance for Sustenance (and it's about 300 dollars).
        So if you want to add it all up – I made about 67k a year while I was active duty, with a wife and child. Wow!!! We're just super wealthy!

        Third, most members of the military are highly trained in a certain technical field. You think you can effectively pilot a Carrier? That's what QM's do. You think you can troubleshoot and repair complication Helicopter Tactical Navigation equipment on the fly during intense missions? That's what AT's do (and it's what I did). You think you can troubleshoot, repair, implement and manage secret telecommunications networks and/or systems that are mission and war fighter support critical? We do these things EVERYDAY and we make pennies for it.

        And we do all of that while on board ships or deployed in FOB's (Forward Operating Bases in case you didn't know) away from our beds, homes, families, and loved ones for over six months at a time...and in many cases longer. And we do it all because we realize that despite all of the hardships even people like you deserve to be able to speak freely.
        You're Welcome.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  74. fed up

    That's it, cut the pay for the very people who protect this country. How would you like to be sent to Afghanistan 3 or 4 times, and also risk dying for nothing? Cut the pay for Congress and the Senate. They're more useless, than ticks on a dog.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  75. kieran walsh

    First they brainwash recruits into joining, then they pay them crap. After that if they were unfortunate enough to get injured they get discarded and have to fight for everything owed to them. Now they want to cut their pay while companies such as Halliburton get cost plus contracts......

    February 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • 13directors

      If you don't like the government, don't fight its wars. May sound harsh, but as long as people keep showing up, the more wars they'll keep starting.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
      • J

        That is up there in the list of the dumbest comments!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  76. Shawn L

    A world war 2 private made 600 dollars a year in 1945. In today's dollars that is around 7400 dollars a year.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • ourglamour

      Obviously there is a little thing called inflation. And things were a lot cheaper in the 40s.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        Apparently you don't understand what adjusted for inflation means. I will spell it out to you. 600 dollars in 1945 has the same purchasing power as 7400 dollars does today.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • yup


        February 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  77. Jon

    I'm in the military and have been active duty now for almost 8 years. I support only increasing salaries by 1%. I believe if we want to beat this country's deficit and turn our country around we all need to make sacrifices and I'm willing to sacrifice only a 1% pay increase if it means helping the United States of America prosper in the long run.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Marine4Life

      Agree with this. Been in for 13 years. If a little belt tightening squeezes out those members who are half-hearted or had 'no better option', I'm all for it.

      I, for one, am not going anywhere.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  78. jim

    How about cutting the $45B "miscellaneous" in the Defense budget? Is too funny these bozos!

    February 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  79. USNVet

    Here's a thought. How about Congress stops voting themselves pay raises and oh btw, they stop getting paid until they get their heads out of their asses and fix the damn budget!

    February 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  80. sybaris

    how about congress and the senate take a pay cut and the military get an increase

    February 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  81. Marine4Life

    If you joined the military for the pay, you're in the wrong line of work...

    Times are tough. You can either deal with it or seek employment elsewhere.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • sybaris

      "I'm going to join the military and become a millionaire!!" Said nobody

      February 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • Shawn L

      The military offers more than most employers do in this day and age. People are spoiled today, imagine if they got what our world war 2 vets received.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
      • USNVet

        says the idiot who probably hasn't served a day in his life...OUR pay is based on 24hrs/day not a 8hr shift you moron! so when it's all said in done, my pay based on 22yrs of service comes out to abou $6/hr....WOW, I believe that is below minimum wage...think before you speak next time Moron....oh, and btw, we pay for our families medical and dental coverage now.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • Shawn L

        So does everyone who has medical. And stop crying, if you dont like the pay go find another job. World war 2 vets were paid half as much as you are.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
      • cindy

        Most people in the military don't make that much, and it depends on your rank. How can you define spoiled when things cost a lot more than they did then?

        February 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
      • Shawn L

        They made 600 dollars a year in world war 2. That is, in today's dollars after inflation, 7400 dollars a year. An e1 makes 18000 dollars a year today.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • USNVet

        Well since you brought up the Greatest Generation, WWII vets, lets discuss that..1st, they were drafted, although some volunteered..2nd, the military was smaller and technology wasn't nearly as expensive as it is now days..3rd, pay was comparable to todays pay...BTW, what branch did you serve in? i'm guessing not a one but if you did you probably couldn't hack it and got out and our now disgruntled. We will probably hear about you on the news next kidnapping people and living in a bunker!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • USAF NCO

        You have got to be some kind of stupid with your comment. A WW2 vet might have made $600 a year but prices for items were not near what they are today. Landlords did not charge exactly what we receive in housing allowance like they do now. While I do not agree with capping at 1% when it comes to the difference between 1.7 and 1 I would gladly just take the 1%. Most of us work our asses off for what we get just like the older generation.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  82. Hertz Donut

    I joined up mainly to loose wate. I was career infantry, serving almost 2 years. Some military personnel deserve pay increases, like that Gen. Allen who was able to send over 30,000 emails to socialites while deployed.

    Even from the safety of your home, you just try it. Seriously, it is an exceptional feet!

    February 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  83. don

    Wrong. Military personnel should receive a pay INCREASE. This is the effects of the GOPers who want to cut military in a time when we are being faced with Terrorism, North Korea, Iran and other foes. No, get out of Afghanistan.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • Average Joe

      I think you may be very miss informed Don. The gop is for defense spending not against. However, many would like to see our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is coming from the Secretary of Defense. That is a cabinet position hand picked by the President. If you think this is a GOP issue, you need to seriously invest some time in researching politics and not bandwagon vote.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Reply
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