Saturday, April 19, 2003

Support our Troops. . .

. . .by paying them a salary worth their commitment, says Al Neuharth in an op-ed in yesterday's USA Today. I agree.

Compared to the money one can make in the civilian world, military pay is peanuts. The pay for a E-1 (Private, Airman, or Seaman Recruit) is $12,776 a year. With a little overtime, someone schlepping at minimum wage does better. Yet it's at the higher ranks where the real pay imbalance is revealed. A four-star general or admiral with over 26 years experience earns only $153,950 in basic pay. You can see the entire pay scale here.

Could anyone imagine paying the CEO of any corporation with 20,000+ employees such a salary, let alone a CEO who is at the top of his profession? And don't give me that line about how military members get food and housing as benefits. Have you ever eaten military chow? Or lived in a barracks? I did for five years as a marine. It ain't no treat.

The military profession demands the utmost from those who serve in its offices. It's time we as grateful citizens reward that commitment with appropriate pay. If it were my call, I'd raise military pay by 50%, and I'd do it in a heartbeat. We can take the money out of the billions of dollars the government wastes on things that don't contribute one iota to the national defense.

Junk like this just ticks me off.

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