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View Diary: Military Privatization (67 comments)

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  •  Transformation (10+ / 0-)

    The intro to your diary at first made me think it was going in a different direction - probably because it echoed something the higher-ups have been preaching nearly verbatim for a couple years now: how "unconscionable" it is that there are so many military retirees drawing full pension for more years than they served, starting when they are still "young enough" to have a whole other career.

    When you talked about how many times you thought about getting out, I was reminded of how we were told our pensions are going away, to be replaced with a few % of TSP matching, that vests as early as 5 years in.  For those who are "grandfathered in" with the pension, it will not be accessible until one is 60 or 65 (like reserve pensions).

    I'm guessing you know how they are eliminating Tricare Prime for retirees more than 40 miles from a base, pushing thousands more onto the more expensive plans, and raising the rates for those.  How military commissaries are on the chopping block again - can't have a couple million Americans buying food "at cost" from a largely self-sustaining agency.

    While on the surface it may seem expensive to hire civilians and contractors to replace the military, after a 10-year war the government has realized that troops are expensive after you're done with them: retirement costs, health care costs, GI bill, etc.  Contractors may earn a lot for their "boots on ground" time, but the government is only paying for that time...not to train them (have to come fully trained and ready to go), not to handle their health care after they are gone, not to pay for their post-service education, not to pay them a retirement, and I don't believe to take care of any death or disability issues if/when they are injured.  All of this apart from questions of legality or accountability.

    Personally, I think it is creating a hollow force that will become painfully evident as the economy rebounds and many military folks go outside - particularly the senior enlisted and mid-grade officers who take so long to "grow".  Without a 20-year retirement I think many more may decide it's time to move on.

    Thank you for your service!

    •  Thank you Square Know. (7+ / 0-)

       Actually $21 bucks a month was big money to me when I joined.  I even sent a few of dollars to my mother and that help keep her from hunger.   I used the military to get out of poverty.  Much later it served minorities the same way.  When I first went in service – remember we were segregated.   The black service man owes a lot to Hairy Ass Truman.
         I think youre right about the hollow force.  You can't treat people like crap and then expect loyality.  It works for a little while - but    

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