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Thread: Military Pay HigherThan Ever Compared to Civilian Pay?

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    Military Pay HigherThan Ever Compared to Civilian Pay?

    Here's a link to an article that says so. http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,246954,00.html

    They are saying average enlisted pay is better than average civilian pay for workers of same age and education. Better pay than received by 90% of civilians of same age and education, actually.

    They are including housing/subsistence allowances.

    I had no idea mil pay had gone up that much--not that I think it's too high. NO WAY.

    You active or recently active guys, comments?
    Time for the book "The Decline and Fall of the United States of America?"

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    Imperial Marine Stormtrooper
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    i have a friend that is an e4 in the airforce with 4 years in, lives offbase in an apartment, is single and takes home almost $4000.00 a month tax free. He has more toys than i do - i say good for him!

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    Buckshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perro Del Diablo View Post
    i have a friend that is an e4 in the airforce with 4 years in, lives offbase in an apartment, is single and takes home almost $4000.00 a month tax free. He has more toys than i do - i say good for him!


    His 2012 base pay, (which is taxed), is $2,266.50 at the pay grade of E4 with over 4 years service. A single guy at that pay grade would normally be required to live in a barracks and get almost no additional allowances
    (at least when I was in). I am guessing he is drawing housing and ration allowances as on base quarters are not available to him at that assignment and maybe a COLA (cost of living allowance) for living in a high cost
    area. These allowances would not be taxed. He would loose them as soon as he was transferred to a base that had barracks/quarters to put him in and/or a lower cost of living allowance. Allowances come and go
    depending on assignments. Base pay is consistant and the only thing that counts for retirement purposes. His pay seems somewhat high, but I agree with you on the good for him. His next assignment maybe spending
    18 months living in a hut in some desert hell hole drawing only base pay.

    updated: I am only talking about federal taxes, as states taxing military pay depends on many different things. I never paid state income taxes during my military career as my home state didn't have
    a state income tax. You are considered a resident of your home state, even if your assignment has you living in another state. Some states don't tax their military members, some only tax them
    if they're living in the state, not with duty assignments outside the state and so on.
    Last edited by Buckshot; 07-03-2012 at 01:49 AM.
    Occam's razor, the simplest explanation will be the most plausible

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot View Post
    His 2012 base pay, (which is taxed), is $2,266.50 at the pay grade of E4 with over 4 years service. A single guy at that pay grade would normally be required to live in a barracks and get almost no additional allowances
    (at least when I was in). I am guessing he is drawing housing and ration allowances as on base quarters are not available to him at that assignment and maybe a COLA (cost of living allowance) for living in a high cost
    area. These allowances would not be taxed. He would loose them as soon as he was transferred to a base that had barracks/quarters to put him in and/or a lower cost of living allowance. Allowances come and go
    depending on assignments. Base pay is consistant and the only thing that counts for retirement purposes. His pay seems somewhat high, but I agree with you on the good for him. His next assignment maybe spending
    18 months living in a hut in some desert hell hole drawing only base pay.
    im reporting basically what i have been told and it may not all be correct. I know he gets BAH and BAS but im not sure about COLA
    im told anyone who is an e4 here gets to move out in town if they want, and im also told that Nellis is a dead end base to be stationed to. You will not deploy from this base. He is assigned to a Raptor mechanic squadron, and is considering cross training to get out of Nellis. I tell him he is RETARDED for trying to leave here cause he has it MADE, but he is a young man and wants to do exciting things which i understand. When i was that young i was full of piss and vinegar too.
    I know he makes almost a grand a week - how much of that comes from where i do not know, but he is living high on the hog and i think thats GREAT!!

    Nevada has no state tax - tax free pay
    Last edited by Perro Del Diablo; 07-03-2012 at 01:51 AM.

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    Buckshot's Avatar
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    Mike, airforce doesn't seem to move as many people around as much as the Army and other services. I averaged a move almost every 18 months in the Army and most of that time I was married with kids.
    Last edited by Buckshot; 07-03-2012 at 09:58 AM.
    Occam's razor, the simplest explanation will be the most plausible

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot View Post
    Mike, airforce doesn't seem to move as many people around as the Army and other services. I averaged a move almost every 18 months in the Army and most of that time I was married with kids.
    i was in the Marine Corps and was home 2 months out of every year - he has never went TDY to my knowledge - a completely foreign concept to me, but in my later years with hindsight being what it is, i respect what he has compared to some of the shacks i spent time in. He is currently trying to get into the unmanned aerial vehicle program so he can get sent to Creech AFB and then deploy overseas - no matter how much i tell him he is stupid, he wont listen

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    bigdaddyhatty's Avatar
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    I agree with the article that active military guys are in the top 10% of wage earners among their peers. I was active Navy from 2001-2008. When I first came it you had to be an E-4 to request to move off base (unless you were married, of course). Then it depended on the manning level in the barracks. I didn't get approved even after I made E4. But by the time I got out their were E2s with 9 months in service living out in town getting BAH/BAS allowences. Even basic pay is not bad when you have no rent/utilities/groceries to pay.

    The pay is good, but they can have it. If they pay and beneifits weren't good no one would do more than one tour. The military guys put up with a lot of BS and family seperation (not everyone, some guys luck out). They deserve the money they get paid, Tricare, and pensions.

    The Navy is downsizing greatly at the moment. Guys have to fight tooth and nail to stay in. Reinlistment recommendation used to be basicly automatic, not anymore. Before I got out they were cracking down on physical readiness standards (a very bogus system) I talked to my commanding officer on the way out the door about how I felt about it. He said "I agree, it's not right, they have kicked a lot of good people out that were in good shape, but it's not really even about fittness, it's about the navy is downsizing and they need to get people out" WHAT KIND OF GARBAGE IS THAT. I said he is an O6, he should say something or do something, he said you have to pick your battles, I was a little disappointed in him.

    Even if you do dodge the bullets of higher tenier, prt, and pts they had a wave of Elisted Review Board ousts that kicked out 2947 sailors in the middle of their carreer simply because the navy said they didn't need them. I know of a buddy who said 3 E6's with 10-12 years in got sent packing from his command. That's dirty, those guys have already made the commitment to go till retirement, they are on track for their carreer path (not dead weights who are not getting advanced) but your name is on the list, there isn't anything anyone can do for your.

    Sorry about the rant, like I said: They deserve the pay, and they can have it.
    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson

    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips

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    shibbykins's Avatar
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    6 years active E4 Health Inspector. Married with kids. Take BAH is BS as we live on base in substandard housing and also have to pay for electricity and gas now. I could have a nicer place and pocket a couple bills if I did live off base. Factor in the costs of family medical (that shit aint free). I have to keep a time card for my job. I worked 151 hours the last 2 weeks to include weekends. If fluctuates regularly between 120-160's for work time per 2 weeks. We don't get any training days off and only get the day of for fed holidays. Working in a "Hospital" has disadvantages for any time off contrary to popular belief that we don't do anything.. I have friends who got out and are getting paid to do our job overseas in the 150k range. Stateside 80-100k range. "Health inspector" is a all encompassing term.

    People who think we get paid too much have never worn the uniform and lack the balls to do so.
    COG# 1987

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    bigdaddyhatty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkane View Post
    Alright, I've digested it a bit and there's still a fundamental problem with it. It flatly compares civilian work to military work. That's basic flawed logic. Is military pay higher after you work compensation in? It depends. As an example I'm going to throw some math out there based on the numbers in the QRMC.

    They compare Joe civilian making $28,947.00 a year to joe troop making $50,747.00. Shocking? Hang on a a sec.

    If joe civvie makes $28,947 a year working a 40 hour week he'll average 80 hours a pay period with 26 pay periods a year. That works out to $1113.00 per pay period or roughly $13.91 an hour. That's with no overtime or paid days off (fed holidays, etc..).

    Joe troop makes $50,747.00 a year in RMC according to the QRMC. The average troop workday I saw during my couple of decades was from around 05:45 to 17:30. So we'll use 11.5 hours in an average work day. 11.5x5= 57.5 hours a week, 230 hours a month, and 2760 a year. Since there's normally at least one training holiday a month (considered a paid day off) I'll rebate two work weeks from that number - so the number of hours a year becomes 2645 hours a year. Broken down that's $1951.00 a pay period or $19.18 an hour. No overtime (no such animal) CQ/SD, no field time or deployments. Just morning PT, garrison duty and off at 17:30 every day (which from my experience is rare - anyone ever had an assignment like that?).

    Now let's have another take on it. Joe civvie works Joe troops hours. Joe Civvie would have 17.5 hours in overtime a week based on joe troops average workday. Overtime pay is normally what, time and a half? So we end up paying joe civvie $28.77 an hour for those extra 17.5 hours. That comes out to $503.47 extra a week in overtime. $1006.94 extra a pay period. $26,180.44 in overtime a year. So if Joe Civvie works joe troops hours he ends up getting his normal pay of $28,947.00 + $26,180.44 for a total of $55127.44.

    What this doesn't take into account is taxes which would reduce the civilians income and the troops income. That is another basic problem with the QMRC in that it deals specifically with gross incomes. Likewise the QMRC doesn't have an allowance for troops contributing to the TSP. There are no real reductions in troop pay in the QMRC for things like SGLI, TSP, etc. It also fails in it's comparison when it comes to senior folks (SNCOs, Warrants, and Officers). It's not uncommon for those troops to put in a 14 hour workday every day and skip training holidays. The level of responsibility in those positions is incredibly greater than their civilian counterparts (how many guys with a AA do you know that supervise 160 people? Or are signed for $100 million in equipment? or responsible for briefing the equivalence of an executive VP on a regular basis?). Also their skillsets are normally much more diverse than their civilian counterparts which is why industry actively seeks them.

    If you break it down what we pay troops is actually a pretty damn good bargain for the taxpayer. Especially when it comes to comparing their work with contractors and civil servants.
    I agree those that searve in the military are by no means overpaid. I understand the calculations you made, but the article was addressing the differece in actual pay.
    I agree that military guys work a lot more hours, but many civilian counterparts WOULD jump at the chance to work those extra hours, but their employer doesn't offer them. They could get a second job but they would have to work 26.25 hours of strait time to get the 17.5 hours worth of "overtime" pay. Allong with that comes more taxes. And what the article says about medical benifits is definatly true. I saw my medical cost rise $8000 the first year I got out WITH INSURANCE.
    Once again, I'm not arguing they are overpaid, they are not. But they do make more money than the private sector.

    I was active duty for 7 years, a researvist for 2, DoD contractor doing the same line of work for 4 and worked along side civil servants. That said, I do not agree with your last sentance, but if that is your experiance, I won't argue. My experiance is not the same.
    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson

    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips

    “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” William Penn

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    Imperial Marine Stormtrooper
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    nobody is saying they dont EARN there money
    they are saying that pay for the military compared to the civilian sector has never been higher.

    That is impossible to argue - when i was in the Marine Corps in the late 80s i remember taking home $400.00 a month after my 2 small allotments and in California thats just enough money to last a weekend. Now an E4s base pay is 5 times that amount - hard to argue that there pay is not higher than its ever been.

    nobody said anything about our military not earning there pay - i remember working 14 hour days 6 months straight on the boat with maybe 3 days off in 6 months - i certainly earned my pay, but that is not what the article is saying, they are saying that the pay is better than its ever been and better than the civilian peers.

    factor in the medical expenses, the free schooling that you get when you join the military if you are in a technical job and the fact that its pretty hard to get laid off because of bad times and it actually starts to balance out the long hours being argued by everyone.

    Nobody is trying to argue that the troops dont earn that money, or deserve it

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