Military Compensation

Military Compensation

Postby yoshi » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:43 pm

Although I think the author is somewhat cavalier in his approach to military personnel and the reasons they serve (claims most people who join the military aren't normal, for example), there is some worthy discussion surrounding how the military should compensate its personnel. The best line: "Military pay is based on a system of equality that that makes the Soviet Union look like a meritocracy."

http://taskandpurpose.com/real-problem- ... mpensation
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Re: Military Compensation

Postby COMEVIL » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:39 am

yoshi wrote:Although I think the author is somewhat cavalier in his approach to military personnel and the reasons they serve (claims most people who join the military aren't normal, for example), there is some worthy discussion surrounding how the military should compensate its personnel. The best line: "Military pay is based on a system of equality that that makes the Soviet Union look like a meritocracy."

http://taskandpurpose.com/real-problem- ... mpensation


In all fairness the full "normal" quote, which is completely accurate, is this -- "The fair market price for a normal person to risk death, for example, is a ridiculous amount of money. So let’s be honest about something. Most of the people who join the military aren’t normal."

Also, worth mentioning the author is either on active duty or a veteran (can't exactly tell) -- "Carl Forsling is a Marine MV-22B instructor pilot and former CH-46E pilot who has deployed in support of multiple combat and contingency operations. Follow Carl Forsling on Twitter @CarlForsling."

Regarding longevity pay, I passed the window for longevity pay raises years ago. I'm not happy about it but I have stuck around regardless.

As far as incentive pay, the services already do this for both Officer (SWO Bonus, Intel Bonus once upon a time, etc) and Enlisted (SRB). His examples -- pay for outstanding PT or best FITREP -- are somewhat ridiculous.

In the end we don't do this for the money, but... If I were to improve things, I would reduce the number of special pays and bump up base pay. Also, the retirement system requires revamping, but that is an entirely different discussion.

v/r

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Re: Military Compensation

Postby yoshi » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:05 pm

His connection between fair market price for risking one's life meaning and military member 'normality' is haphazard and overly general, in my view. The services draw from society and are inherently part of normal. Judging normality of the military from a monetary perspective seems to me to disregard other, more prolific reasons for serving. I don't know anyone getting rich by serving in the military.

We do have incentive pays today. However, I think the author's point on incentive pay (and one with which I am inclined to agree) is the military should find/have a way to be more efficient with how and to whom they are awarded. Services do need increased ability to be more creative with these pay structures (better performance). More bang for less buck or the same bang for less buck.

Maybe you are right about increasing base pay, but it's a hard argument to make when we assign the same value to everyone in the same pay grade. I am uneasy about the relationship between base pay raises across the board and increased capability/production (cost/benefit). I think we need to find a better way to tailor pay (whether base pay, pro pay, or whatever) to the complexity, education, and difficulty involved in what the services actually need people to do (skills) and thereby enable the military to more accurately and precisely address personnel shortcomings. I think the future is likely to be more austere and, if so, it demands innovation today. As far as compensation is concerned, this is the only recent word from Washington:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014 ... omise.html
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Re: Military Compensation

Postby COMEVIL » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:19 pm

Don't disagree with you on incentives. I could probably open my mind a little more to some options, but when I hear ideas like, "provide higher pay to EP performers" I cringe. Our FITREP system has enough issues. Adding this sort of pressure would be untenable as it currently stands, IMHO.

Regarding base pay, I continue to wonder why we have so many special pays to manage when we could easily just bump up base pay. For example, why is there a separate pay for food?
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Re: Military Compensation

Postby Schlag » Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:31 pm

Gotta keep in mind that anything that is paid via base pay is essentially capitalized as potential retirement income.

From a financial perspective, it is advantageous for the DoD to break as many things as possible away from base pay. Food/housing allowance are perfect examples because they can make the case that while it's there responsible while the member is in uniform, it's not when they're out because either 2nd career/social security (if of age) would cover that.

Bonuses are also a great way of doing it especially since people will consider long-term contracts for up-front money. Hence the entire reason why the "cash is king" philosophy is getting traction WRT retirement "reform".
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Re: Military Compensation

Postby COMEVIL » Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:57 pm

Schlag wrote:Gotta keep in mind that anything that is paid via base pay is essentially capitalized as potential retirement income.

From a financial perspective, it is advantageous for the DoD to break as many things as possible away from base pay. Food/housing allowance are perfect examples because they can make the case that while it's there responsible while the member is in uniform, it's not when they're out because either 2nd career/social security (if of age) would cover that.

Bonuses are also a great way of doing it especially since people will consider long-term contracts for up-front money. Hence the entire reason why the "cash is king" philosophy is getting traction WRT retirement "reform".


Which is exacly why I wanted it added !!! :)
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Re: Military Compensation

Postby Schlag » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:52 pm

Haha, touche'
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