The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reduce Military pensions to reduce the budget deficit?

I just read an article that states that our wonderful representatives in Congress are working on reducing the retirement pay of Military personnel and Civil Servants.  No where in that article was there even a thought of reducing the extravagant pensions of Senators and Congressmen!  That evidently is not a good idea in their estimation.

When retention is good, the Military always trims incentives to reenlist.  Reenlistment bonuses, special sea shore rotation deals, schools, and duty assignments have always been used to sweeten the pot for reenlistments.  When the ranks are healthy, these incentives are reduced or done away with completely.  But from what I read, some of the retention figures are not good.  For instance, Military pilots are at a premium!  Now think about it, if we loose a F/A 18 pilot after 6 years of service, we have to train a new "Nugget" to replace that pilot, and in six years, he or she may be able to be the replacement.  The bottom line is, we can never replace the experience of the vetted individual.  Another issue is, most of the men and women in the Military have combat experience.  That experience is impossible to replace.  I was the Command Master Chief of VA 55, an A-6 squadron for a brief period of time.   When they bombed Benghazi on the orders of President Reagan, to silence Khadafi, the Executive Officer was the ONLY Aviator that had combat experience!  Trust me, going into combat with all green personnel is like running into t cave in the dark!

Another issue is implied contracts.  When we join the Military, certain "Promises" are made to us by the Recruiter and in "Boot Camp" through training and publications.  One of these promises is our retirement program and the condition of retirement.  How that retirement compensation is computed, when the checks start, and how the COLA is computed.  Along with that promise was life time health care for the military member and their family!  Then there is the promise of Commissary and Exchange rights.  Of course, I have already informed you that the Administration is seriously contemplating closing all the stateside Commissaries!!

All in all, the prospect for the benefits of Military men and women is bleak!!  I encourage you to write, email, and call your Representatives and Senators and let them know your opinion of their disrespect for the contract they have with us!  Then, if they blow you off, vote against them in November 2014!  That is truly all the ammo we have!

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