Skip to comments.(Letter from) Sullivan to Obama: No military benefit cuts (Retired Gen Gordon Sullivan)
Posted on 11/07/2011 3:37:45 PM PST by xzins
Dear President Obama,
On behalf of the 100,000 members of the Association of the United States Army, I write to express how deeply troubling it is to read proposals from your Office of Management and Budget that would place military health care and retirement benefits in the crosshairs of attempts to solve our nation's fiscal crisis.
As Commander-in-Chief, you are aware of how much we ask of our military personnel.
At a time when we are fighting in Afghanistan, and threats remain around the world, our military personnel — less than one percent of our population who volunteer for decades of service and in essence write a blank check to the United States for an amount up to and include their life — should not have to wonder what benefits they will retain and what the retirement system will look like in the future.
Perceived erosion of benefits, proposed or implemented, creates enormous morale, recruiting, and retention problems and leads to perceptions of betrayal of trust among those serving, those retired, and those who would join the all volunteer force in the future.
“Modernizing” the military retirement system and health care benefits to more closely mirror industry standards completely fails to account for the vast difference between civilian jobs and the military profession.
Military retirement and health care benefits are not gifts — they have been earned through the blood, sweat, repeated deployments, missed birthdays and anniversaries and sometimes loss of limbs or life.
They are designed to provide a powerful incentive for top-quality people to serve full careers despite the hardships of such service for troops and their families.
The richest nation on earth can afford to continue the current retirement system and health care benefits for those few who defend it with a lifetime of service. Defending freedom is not free. The members of our association and I will continue to say just that.
I urge you to remove proposals to change military retirement and behalthcare benefits from your deficit reduction plan.
Gordon R. Sullivan
General, USA Retired
President, Association of the U.S. Army
Just yesterday, Leon Panetta was being directed to make massive cuts to military medical and pension benefits.
You need to read the letter Sullivan wrote DEMANDING there be no cuts.
I am tired of tax-eaters, whether they are in the Pentagon or getting Social Security, “demanding” money from the taxpayers.
In the case of soldiers, they are demanding deferred pay they are owed.
In the case of the US, those who don’t recognize the need for these deferred pay programs are dooming this nation to lose its cutting edge military.
They are threatening the continued existence of our great nation. They are sunshine patriots. Starship Enterprise notwithstanding.
Make no mistake about Obama's "interest" in jobs for vets. He intends to find more spending money on the backs of vets, active duty, and retired.
bring that retiree ping over here, too, if you don’t mind, jj.
Remember the bonus army in the 1920’s? Just remember that the promises of politicians are worthless, always have been, always will be. Just be thankful that they haven’t reduced the actual pensions ... yet. Oh, and just like what happened to the bonus army, don’t expect those currently serving to back you up because they won’t.
OK, now you can curse me and call me all sorts of bad things but it won’t change what’s happening or what will happen once the squeeze gets put on the US budget. Those left in the service at that time will be looking out for themselves even though they’ll know in the back of their minds that they may get the same treatment. Interesting that both Generals Patton, MacAuthor and Eisenhower were involved in the attacks on the war veterans in one way or another back then.
Encampment White House, 2011
You got it.
Thanks for letting me know.
Active Duty/Retiree Ping.
If they’re seriously talking about cutting military benefits then non-military federal employee benefits should be subject to the same cuts. And that includes congressional benefits.
Please add me to your list. Thanks
You are added.
they make good money, better than in the private sector...superior benefits and unbelievable pensions....
we don't want a mercenary military.....
slow down the pensions....make it standard that few can be "lifers" and offer pensions that are similar to the guard and reserve.....and start pensions at age 60....infact all govt workers should wait to age 60 to start collecting........
most military jobs are not risky...most are mundane....and people need not be deployed, they can simply decide eventually to end their enlistment....no one is forcing them to be in the military....its all voluntary...
we don't want a mercenary military, one that will back the govt no matter what just to secure their pensions....
The pay of the average rank in the military, E4, is 2200 a month or 26,000 a year. That works out on a 40 hour work week to about $13.50 an hour. (And soldiers work 40 hour work weeks....sure they do.)
The highest paid rank in the military is the 4 star general/full admiral, the O-10 rank. It is bound by law at Level II of the Executive Salary schedule, and that is just under $15,000 a month.
That means that the highest pay in all of the military, for the best executives on this planet, cannot exceed 180,000 a year.
The high pay of a teacher in NY city is 100 grand.
During that time the teacher has been shot at, wounded, spent countless years overseas away from family. They have missed birthdays and holidays because of absence for training or war, they have witnessed the most horrendous deaths imaginable, and they have experienced those fellow citizens who spit on them figuratively (and literally in some cases) because of the profession they follow.
Such is the life of the teacher.
Meanwhile engineers make something like 150,000. Doctors make a two to three hundred thousand.
And Executives supervising similar numbers of people (hundreds of thousands)....they make millions.
And you think that the military is “paid the same” as other similar professions. (As if there is a similar profession. Even the cop goes home at night to his family.)
The ONLY way to make that work, cherry, is to realize that the scales you’re looking at are INCLUDING the deferred pay that you want to cut....education, pension, etc.
Now, all that said and done, if you plan to have a system in which each soldier has an IRA that belongs to them alone, how exactly do you plan to keep people in that life for 20 years, seeing that your goal is to make that retirement no better than a civilian one?