July 20, 2003 in Politics

Military Pay

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If you sign up to serve your country by being in the military, thinking you should be paid a living wage. I’m thinking about this because one of my friends is dating a guy who use to be in the military and he feels sort of behind the curve, because he wasn’t really able to save much while he was in the military. Plus, my 19 year old nephew who in currently in the Air Force never seems to have any money. Heck, he sent me an instant message yesterday asking me to call his mother to send money. He couldn’t afford to get his military uniforms from the dry cleaners. Ok, I’ll admit that my nephew is probably not the best money manager, but if you sign up for a job where the possibility of you dying for your country is extremely high, shouldn’t you be paid a living wage? I think so. Heck, instead of giving more tax cuts to the rich, this administration needs to be redirecting that money to the military budget so that the men and women in the armed forces can get a decent wage. The 4% recently approved by Congress is not enough.


  1. February 2, 2004 at 1:51 am


    I was in the navy, so i’m not ignorant of this topic. Let me see…food, clothing, rent, and pay. Not too shabby. Also, no draft, just enlistees. Sure, the money’s not on a scale with Corporate America, but neither is Mickie D’s.

  2. November 15, 2003 at 10:20 pm


    I have to laugh at things like this. If I didn’t I’d be one angry person. I am currently serving in the desert right now and am in the US Air Force. I have two children, ones 4 the others 10 1/2 months old. I also have a civilian husband who has recently had to leave his job because they wouldn’t let him work just days while I am gone. When I joined the Air Force, I was right out of Highschool, I don’t see myself as someone who would have been a burden on society unless I joined (Toonces remark). My Father was in the Air Force and I was used to the military life so I said why not. Now mind you, as the young ladies above, when I joined, I bought a car and I partied and had a good time then too. However I lived in the dorms and didn’t have any bills or responsiblities. Life was good. Now I am married, have two children, serving proud, but poor. Now mind you, we aren’t starving by no means, we have decent clothes, two vehicles, one new, one old, 2 credit cards, and that’s about it. Now, I have to pay for car insurance and utilities out of pocket, gas and groceries, what do I have left? not a darn thing. I haven’t been able to save a dime. I joined this service not to get rich, anybody who does has been misinformed, however anyone who has served and have had to leave thier spouse and/or children knows that anything extra in our paychecks makes our lives a lot better as well as appreciated. Try digging a hole in the field in South America to go to the bathroom in because your bathrooms haven’t been set up yet. How about going to the field for a 2 week exercise right before Christmas and sleep in a tent with a rusty old heater that quits working in the middle of the night and you have to get up at 0500 to get dressed with a bunch of other women chattering your teeth while there’s ice covering the inside of the tent. Also when the morning warms up a little and then the ice drips all over your stuff and you come back to sleep in a damp cot and sleeping bag. I have another one for you, how about the fact that I have missed my first childs 1st birthday, her first steps, her first crawling, her first words, and now as of yesterday I have missed my 2nd childs first steps. Now I am not whining, because I know that I am the one who joined the service and decided this is what I would do with my life. My choice, I understand, I don’t need to hear people ragging me on my decision, however, I don’t want to hear people saying we are well off either. A few extra dollars in my paycheck is well deserved and if anyone who looks at what I do and have had to do would say “No one could pay me enough to do that!” Well, think about the people who have chosen to do it whatever thier original intentions were. You have a safe life and remember people like myself who are sleeping in tents in the middle of the desert with 10 other people in bunk beds with a personal area the size of a bathtub when you start saying we get paid plenty and don’t deserve the extra money. -M-

  3. July 22, 2003 at 3:47 pm


    It comes down to supply and demand. The army takes a lot of people who would be unable to keep a consistant job in corporate America. The job is critical experience for many careers and comes with free college tuition and lifetime benefits. But the pay depends on what the market will bear, and since the Army does not have a shortage of people considering what they pay, they don’t need to pay mare than they do.

  4. July 22, 2003 at 11:01 am


    I agree with Josh above for the most part.
    That having been said, my dad’s in the military, and granted, he gets some really good benefits…such as health care for life and a nicer retirement package than I could hope for…but even with those benefits, he’s still going to need another job in retirement.
    All of those benefits come with costs, too. There are costs associated with having to leave for months at a moment’s notice. You can’t ever have a normal apartment lease. You can’t buy groceries in bulk, or if you do, you end up wasting them if you have to leave. You have to find storage for your car (most bases don’t provide it), if you even bother having one. Think of all of the pain in the ass that a consultant who travels 70 – 100% of the time goes through. Consultants get paid premium wages because of the travel, which has associated costs in stress as well. Does our military see the same relative increase? Nope.
    But this argument is similar to the argument for teachers’ pay raises, and it gets pretty much the same respect. The military and teachers are trusted with some of our most valuable things, but we rarely give either group the pay they deserve for it. IMO, neither political party does much to address the issue. They give it alot of talk because it’s a sympathy-winner, but the solutions they present never work.

  5. July 21, 2003 at 11:37 pm


    We also have the largest and most sophisticated military on the planet earth. Of course, if we are the only sentient life then I suppose we have the largest and most sophisticated military in the universe :0 It takes a lot to feed that army and I think it is abused.
    They don’t pay our boys enough. That money goes down the drain, is mispent, dissapears and goes into useless government programs that I don’t even know about.
    I think this nation needs a simpler tax code and I do think we need to take care of our boys.
    Giving tax cuts to the rich? Well, I think taxes should be lowered on everything. We have ridiculous taxes. For marriage, birth, death, income, residence, consumer items, and more. We even have taxes on investing in corporations, known as divident tax. Those corporations employ consumers who in turn spend money and help employ other consumers. Trickle down. If those corporations don’t have enough money they don’t focus on growth, merely production and employee cut backs. The whole economy suffers and it hits the little man the most. Lower the freaking taxes.

  6. July 21, 2003 at 9:39 pm


    Sure you both saved some money. But I’m inclined to believe that in comparion to your peers who had corporate jobs, your savings was much less;primarily because you got paid less. That is the point. NOt that it’s impossible to save, but because military pay is not up to par with corporate pay for even similiar jobs, your saving potential is reduced.

  7. July 21, 2003 at 7:30 pm

    Dennis Cottingham

    I have to agree with Senerity. When I served in the Marine Corps – long time ago – I was making $282.00 a month, but I owned a car, had alot of fun and saved money.

  8. July 21, 2003 at 8:05 am


    I have never understood people who could not save money while serving in the military.
    I was in the military and managed to not only save money for college but also came out with over $10,000 in savings from 3 years service.
    Lest anyone think I ate at the chow hall or stayed in my barracks all night, you could not be more wrong. I had myself a blast while in Germany, went out every night I didn’t have to work and set foot in the chow hall a total of two times.
    It’s all in how the money is managed, as you pointed out.
    Granted, people in the military aren’t paid very much more than someone else just fresh out of college but they get their cuts in several different other areas that it makes no sense to not be able to save.
    Sorry, I have no sympathy for those who can’t figure out how to cut up their credit cards.

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