Generals said what?

 
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Generals said what?

This story is absurd on the face of it:

Senior Pentagon officials told Congress on Tuesday that troops are willing to sacrifice portions of their pay and benefits if it means keeping and improving the training and equipment needed to do their jobs.

The first bit of idiocy is putting pay and benefits on some linear line with training and equipment.  The Pentagon seems to be treating these as some sort of zero-sum game, where we can either provide what we promised in terms of benefits, OR give the troops adequate training and equipment.  I'll come back to that.

Personnel officials from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the Department of Defense met with the House Armed Services' Military Personnel subcommittee to talk about cuts to pay and benefits the Pentagon is proposing for its upcoming budget.

These include a smaller pay raise -- 1 percent raise, an average 5 percent reduction in housing allowances, and higher health care fees for some retirees.

A five percent cut to an Admirals housing allowance won't land him eating spam five nights a week, but on an E4's budget that's harder to take.

However, the personnel officials who offered testimony before the subcommittee could offer only personal anecdotes to back up their belief that troops would welcome pay and benefit cuts. No survey results were offered. Leaders also said it could not wait for the results of a commission due to issue its report on military pay and benefits next year.

You don't say?

Testimony from the military brass took some lawmakers by surprise after troop advocacy groups have rejected the cuts to pay and benefits proposed in the upcoming budget.

Again, you don't say?

This comes from the same people that brought us the boondoggle of "unexpected overhead costs" with the LIttoral Combat Ship.

The 52-ship LCS program was supposed to be one antidote, but the Navy has struggled to realize its onetime hopes for LCS. The ships were supposed to sail with smaller crews than traditional warships, reducing the steep costs of personnel. They were supposed to easily swap out high-tech mission equipment so that the same LCS could go from being a subchaser to a minesweeper to a pirate-fighter. And they were supposed to enter the fleet in large numbers for comparatively low costs, helping boost the surface force at the time when the Navy’s favorite talking point was “quantity has a quality all its own.”

Instead, the Navy has had to add sailors to its LCS crews because their workload was too exhausting. The mission equipment is years away from being ready to deploy. And the Navy has abandoned its onetime hope for the ships to swap equipment quickly. In fact, the Navy itself is home to some of the biggest skeptics of LCS, who quietly worry the fleet has bet on the wrong horse.

OK, so we need to spend more to fix the LCS, and that should come from soldiers and sailors earned benefits?

But we're still paying the manufacturers on time, even though the ships don't do what they were said to be able to do, cost more than expected, and cost more to retrofit to do what was promised. 

And we're cutting benefits?  In what world does that make sense?

As one commenter on the American Legion's Facebook page noted:

I had to check twice just to make sure it wasn't a Duffel Blog article*.

*Duffel Blog is a satirical publication like the Onion that covers military issues.  If you don't read it for your daily chuckle, you should.

Posted in the burner | 55 comments
 
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Comments

I was NOT surprised at the tone of these "War-Fighters" at the top of the heap. In every war "draw-down" ( after every war we have ever fought) the idea seems to be cut troop levels/cut pay/cut benies/cut everything except "our billets!!" How do we have so many Generals/Flag Rank billets?? We have more general officiers on duty now than at any time in our history. Does that bother any one but me??

Cut the number of High ranking officers. Cut the ones who will not or have not followed The Oath that they took when they joined first. That should take out quite a few of them. The enlisted man does the work and takes all of the risks do not mess with their pay. I remember when I was in the Navy from 1966 to 1970 my pay qualified me for food stamps when I was an E-2 up to E-4. That was not real good.

I guess the idoits running the government have finally brainwashed our military leaders. Wake up America before we are no longer free .

In any situation, the further removed you are from reality, the more likely you are to be pedantic about your opinions. Politicians and Generals are oftentimes so involved in themselves that they forget hat their real purpose is leadership and representation. It is sad that there are so many highly paid mouthpieces who haven't been in a line company or similar situation is decades.

There is a cold war happening internally in this country. The liberals have gained the advantage and are now decimating our military. Why is it that it's the military budget and social security that's always threatened, yet welfare is never "too costly". Military folks actually provide a service for the pay they receive, and they pay taxes and they pay into social security. Welfare recipients pay nothing, produce nothing, and contribute nothing to social security. Yet this get's placed ahead of our military and social security? I have a small pension I worked my tail off for, paid taxes and social security my whole life and these yahoo's think it's ok to take from me and give it to some low-life who refuses to better him or herself, refuses to work, or scams the system but taking welfare and working under the table. We need an honest to goodness revolt and then throw every #$@%@$%@% bleeding heart liberal out of the new America.

This is what happens when you get Politically Correct Officers that are more interested in promotion than taking care of the troops. Yes, the Services waste a hell of a lot of money: 7 or 8 complete uniform changes in 10 years; ships and airplanes that can't live up to what they were contract for; trucks that were built for the interstate and not the battlefield; tanks and trucks that need a computer just to find a minor problem. Yes, there is a lot of waste and cuts can be made. Like the number of General/Admiral officer billets, contractor billets, start real contract negotiations with enforced penalties for not meeting requirements/deadlines. Establish a clean defense budget that's for DEFENSE and not every other damn thing that can be thrown in. So that when it needs to be cut, you cut the add ons and not the defense. BUT NEVER, EVER DO YOU CUT THE TROOPS PAY AND BENEFITS!!! The Soldiers, Sailers, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen are our bread and butter. They are the ones that carry the burden of defense. It's total BullShit to think that some of our Flag Officers would even propose it. You would never hear officers of the likes of a Patton (both of them), Bradly, Gavin, Nimtiz, Halsey, Chesty Puller, Hackworth or the hundreds of others that could be named here advocate something like this. These officers were tough as nails on their troops, but they totally respected them and supported them 110%. I just wander where officers like them have gone. I grew-up in the Army, my Dad served 33 years retiring in 75. I served 40 years, both active and reserve. I've seen it all, from 47 to 07, the lean years, the fat years, and the years that you just don't want to talk about, but never did I here an Officer support this BS. The only people I know that supports this BS is politicians who have never served. GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY and MAY GOD CONTAIN YOU TO BLESS THIS GREAT NATION.

Officers enjoy many more privileges and much greater pay but never are the placed in Danger or Direct Combat, not since Vietnam that is ! NCOs first officers second, NCOs fight get maimed and/or die while high ranking Officers never approach direct combat but most somehow find a way to gain a CIB to place on the uniforms they are now disgracing. I come from a line of NCOs that date back before the Revolutionary War, we number in the hundreds. We Still Serve, We Never The Oath Lightly and consider our Oath as a Life Long Oath that does not expire !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JB, Officers do enjoy greater pay and privileges, but as already pointed out, they do face combat especially in the USAF as it's the officers flying those Combat support missions when the "ground pounders" need direct air support. The Generals in the "5 sided puzzle palace" are not Budget experts and they are fed a line of bull from the civilian bureaucrats in the Pentagon. When the Budget crunches start coming the Personnel and Pay lines in the budget are big numbers and an easy target. So rather than doing their homework and looking at areas of waste, bloat, and efficiency, the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Military Brass initially shoot at pay and benefits for the troops - both Officers and Enlisted. I spent 4 years in that puzzle palace trying to make sense of a lot of waste tied to individual SES and General's special programs and contract overruns that no senior officer would consider cutting because that program was what got them promoted to begin with. Generals like McPeak who directed the whole Air Force go to V-neck T-shirts. I'm still not sure who greased his palms for that "brilliant" (useless but expensive) change to uniforms. I'm not sure now many millions we wasted keeping outdated missile silos open, or reorganizing Major Commands when no reorganization was needed, but ACC wanted to run the Air Force instead of the SAC generals. All dollars wasted for cosmetics, not improved mission - all for some few General's glory. It still goes on today - but you won't see those "dollar drains" go away because we have the wolves guarding the hen house. Preclude SES's and General's from retiring and then taking defense industry jobs and you might see some change, but without that separation of defense money from the Top Brass pockets after retirement, you won't see them argue of efficiencies and the death of out-of-date weapons systems which is where the first cuts should come from. It's easier for the Brass to cut your pay than jeopardize their future income stream!

Same name, but fortunately unrelated (I hope!). Wrong'o, 'Moosebreath!' Save yourself embarrassment by not talking "Sierra" about what you are ignorant of, OK?! Starting with the USAF where we've had no "flying sergeants" for 60 yrs, YES, very many of us Rated ("flying") Officers have been and are sent to fight at the tip of the spear by our outstanding Enlisted support back at "home base!" Same with all fixed wing, and very many rotary wing Officers in the other Services.

O.K. John, you defend the USAF/ I get that. It's a little different with flying Ground Support Missions vs straight bombing runs, I get that, too. What I don't get is: are you defending the idea of cutting troop levels to the bone/cutting pay and benies for enlisted/raising medicial costs for enlisted/ trying to force "more bang for the buck" on a force that has had the hell worked out of them for 12 years? Not trying to pick a fight, just a little confused about what you are saying??

In 2012, I took a return tour of MCB Quantico, having served there in 1967-68. I was appalled at the run -down appearance of the Base. At present the are Eleven(11) General Officers on board! Apparently all the
Generals cant make up their minds about who is responsible for Base Maint. I was embarrassed to take my wife to the mess hall (OPP's DINING HALL) for lunch. The grass was two(2) feet tall in front of the place
Recently The Commandant of the Marine

A Big No to Cuts in Enlisted Military Pay!!! I recently went for a return visit to MCB Quantico Va.I served there in (1967-68); and I was appalled to see the condition of this once Beautiful Base. I was embarrassed to take my wife to lunch at the Base mess-hall.(OOP's I mean the DINING HALL) The grass was Two(2) feet tall in front of the Building. At present there are ELEVEN(11) General Grade Officers aboard this base, Evidently they are prepared to have it fall apart, so they can have a new one. Also the Commandant of the Marine Corps(yes, I know how to say the word.)asked the Corps NCOs to instill discipline back into the Corps and INSULTED every Viet Nam Veteran while asking it. I guess he has forgotten who he is, but after-all he was an Aredale.

I guess a cut in pay and benefits would be appropriate - the the 07s and above! Say a 30% cut in their pay to begin with in 2015 and a 10% cut each year after that. Then we would see who's willing to take a cut and how fast the story would change. The idea that lower enlisted personnel are ready and willing to take any real cuts in benefits is ridiculous. They have face a decade or more of multiple deployments and hardships and now their Generals sell them out up front. This is the same budget crunch game played every time money gets tight. Don't look at holding large defense contractors to their promises of super ships and planes, just keep paying for their overruns and take it from the little guy. What BS! The Generals can't say no to the Big Corporations cause they are the source of their incomes after they retire. Guess what the next assignment is for most of the Generals leaving the Pentagon ? Retirement and cush jobs in the Defense industry. We have the wolves guarding the hen house when it comes to the Defense Budget. I say Congress should cut pay for the Generals significantly and by law preclude any of them from taking any kind of Defense related Job once retired, then you would see their testimony change drastically!

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, didn't O bama clean house during his first term and replace the competent leaders with ones that would just give him lip service.

They should LEAD BY EXAMPLE! I'm not referring to the Senate or Congress example!

Useless and clueless, what esle can I say they all should be fired

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.