From War On Terror News:
Obama requests Congress to cut Guard pay in half
In the 11th Quadrennial Review, the Obama Administration is asking Congress to cut the amount National Guard and Reserves are compensated for giving up their weekends and maintaining their military proficiency on a monthly basis. To be clear, this proposed cut in pay would affect only their monthly pay, not the 2 weeks Active Training or paychecks while mobilized. In a "transparent manner," the Administration did not come out and state that they wish to cut pay, but hid the proposal in a 4 year review of DoD policies. They did not say they wish to cut pay, but instead used the acronyms that most civilians and many Troops have no understanding of. In fact, when the issue was first made public at This Ain't Hell, even Veterans of the Reserve forces were confused with the acronyms used.
It is time to write your Congressmen, and ask all your friends to do so. Here's why:
Would you work 16 -24 hours in a weekend for as little as $100, $150, or $200? Would you dedicate 7 1/2 years of your life in 20, to get a monthly check of $800/month 10 years after you are done risking your life? Would you give up a month a year, for 20 years, for $321/month 10 years after you've finished your commitment? Obama is asking Congress to approve changes to the Reserve Force pay structure that would create these scenarios.
Hondo, at This Ain't Hell, has done as good a job as can be done explaining the Guard/Reserve retirement system. In summary, no two retirees are paid the same and retirees are paid a fraction of what their Active Duty counterparts are paid in retirement, up to 22 years later. What Hondo didn't do was demonstrate the actual dollar amounts effected by pay and retirement cuts, nor did he demonstrate the impact to those Reservists that meet the annual requirements, but do not go on year long deployments.
A Reservist had previously asked Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld about making the Retirement system more fair, and Rumsfeld had responded in a callous and uncaring manner. At task, is that not only is the Reserve retirement check very small in comparison, but that it is not paid until a person is 60 years old, several years after the individual is typically eligible for retirement. The Obama request offers to move that first check up by up to 13 years, in exchange for a severe cut in pay, and a cut in what they earn in retirement checks.
No one can live off the Guard/Reserve paycheck. An E4 makes about $300/month (currently) for giving up his weekend and maintaining his military proficiencies once a month. Under the Obama proposal, that will be cut to $150/month. I point to the E4 paycheck because there are more E4's than any other single rank.
The Administration has previously requested that Troops be given only inflation based payraises for the next few years, as the Administration requested and got in previous years, and that after that Military pay be frozen. Strategically, his request calls for the pay freeze to occur after the elections. He has also requested that Military Retirees be charged up to $2000 (plus inflation) for Health Insurance that was promised them for serving 20 years, and up to $60 per prescription for the drugs they need as a result of that service and old age.
Returning to our E4, he will typically have between 2 and 12 years of military service. I once met an E4 that had 20 years of service and had served in Viet Nam. A few years ago, I read a report of an E4 that was a Professor in the field of Agriculture in his civilian job. Many Reserve/Guard E4's have very good civilian jobs, but many are also blue collar workers. Some actually depend on their Guard paycheck to keep their households above water, financially. Few will make less than $10/hour that the $150/weekend would represent, if a Reserve weekend were only 16 hours....
Your Monday mission? Call your own local politicians and demand that BHO NOT be allowed to use the US Military as his perennial, personal tool as a deficit reduction mechanism for the country. You can find the contact information for every Congressman or woman here.
Wake UP, America!