Skip to comments.Military Pay Higher Than Ever Compared to Civiliams
Posted on 07/03/2012 7:22:45 AM PDT by Wuli
As private sector salaries flattened over the last decade, military pay climbed steadily, enough so that by 2009 pay and allowances for enlisted members exceeded the pay of 90 percent of private sector workers of similar age and education level.
The military gained its lead with annual raises from 2000 to 2010 that exceeded private sector wage growth and some extra increases in housing allowances to eliminate average out-of-pocket rental costs. Meanwhile, civilian pay growth stalled as markets collapsed and jobs disappeared.
By 2009, the report says, average RMC for enlisted exceeded the median wage for civilians in each comparison group -- high school diploma, some college and two-year degrees. Average RMC was $50,747 or "about $21,800 more than the median earnings for civilians from the combined comparison groups."
For officers, average RMC was $94,735 in 2009. That was "88 percent higher than earnings of civilians with bachelor's degrees, and 47 percent higher than earnings of those with graduate-level degrees," the report says.
Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Gallagher, 29, doesn't believe pay comparisons using only age and education level, even with associate's degree earners tossed in the mix, is fair to career enlisted.
Gallagher will pass the 12-year mark in the Corps this November. He has served three tours in Iraq, the second shortened by wounds suffered in an IED attack. His total pay, before taxes and including BAH and BAS, is about $58,000 a year at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
You can also read the full "11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation report
(Excerpt) Read more at military.com ...
The demographic values used for comparison do not fully identify similar groups, between the military and civilian sectors. Neither age nor age and education combined do it. At a minimum "years of service" vs "years employed in the same career" need to be used. But, the comparison is not made and it's likely that good data for it is available only on the military side.
I guess, given when these latest military raises began, one can maybe say either "it's Bush's fault" or "Thank you George W. Bush", depending on your perspective.
IMO the only important part of this article is that they are going to try and reduce pay/benefits for the military.
This is the reality that all authors while talking about military compensation.
Military members, almost regardless of their military specialties write an dated check to the Republic. it is for all of their futures. Sometimes that check is cashed in a “training accident”; sometimes in combat, sometimes there is a partial refund (WIA instead of KIA), and worse of all the military member pays but the check isn't cashed (MIA).
I first wrote my personal check in 1969 and the government held it until 1990. I was lucky, I got the check back uncashed. Too many of my friends and students didn't get theirs back.
Well if they aren’t, they should be.
Today’s military is a “smart” military, and smart people don’t come cheap.
If you had a private sector profession with a similar risk of death or injury, the pay would be much greater (e.g. wildcat oil well fire fighters). And in those industries it is a risk of accident, not a risk of someone intentionally trying to kill you.
I wonder if a part of these increases counted include “combat pay,” given the fact that we’ve had men and women in harms way for the last 11 years.
It sounds like the government is looking to cut enlisted pay, while trying to come up with increased compensation for welfare queens and illegal aliens.
May I suggest that you do some research, and answer your question for yourself?
If you think the answer is "none" or "very few" ...
You will find your research very enlightening.
If they are not in a war zone, then a pay scale comparison of "military lawyer" versus "civilian lawyer", or a "military chef" versus a "civilian chef" would be more valid.
These kind of comparisons make me sick. What private sector jobs even come close the requirement to place one’s life on the line? In many cases, our military personnel have had multiple tours in Iraq/Afghanistan, many coming home wounded, leaving families behind, etc. These kind of stories imply that they don’t EARN the higher pay. No, they do earn it and then some.
You mean like to the level when I was in? I remember my first ‘pay’.....A twenty, a five and a one. The DI then marched us over to a little building with a Red and White striped pole where that bastard proceeded to cut off all my hair. And, I had the privilege of having to pay that bastard a dollar. Much later in training, I got to spend the five in the base bowling alley and drank some 3.2 beer.
When I got out of basic, my pay was the equivalent of $47 every two weeks. Eight years later, I left that good job, and my pay was a whopping $594.60 per month...
Based on what I and others got, pay seems pretty good now.
Exactly. You get what you pay for!
Don’t forget military is not a 9 to 5 job , it’s a 24/7 job ,so now break down the hourly wage
yes times have changed
According to this site the pay doesn’t match what this story implies. http://www.militaryfactory.com/2013-military-pay-chart.asp
An new E1 makes $1,516 per month. Of course for most of them they are making combat pay of a couple hundred.
Someone with a 4 yr degree makes a few more bucks, still not that great.
I still have my first LES once out of basic: $212, $100 a week after taxes. The LES I have for living off base was $435. This was in 1984 when an apartment was still $350. I was one broke SOB.
‘The exception of 2001, how many civilians have died while at work?’
Many more than in the military. Go research it yourself.
Well, let’s not forget Steven Seagal was just a “cook” in Under Siege!
Seriously, the problem with that is those who are in non-combat gigs or stateside can, in a few hours, find themselves up to their necks in it. Case in point, the First Fighter Wing at Langely AFB in 1990. On August 2nd, they were at peace. Sure, flying F-15’s in its own right is dangerous enough, as is working on the engines, loading missiles and bombs, etc. But those are just a few Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC—same as MOS), while the rest of the wing were cooks, assorted pencil pushers, bottle washers, gaurds, first sergeants, supply clerks etc, etc, etc.
But on that very day, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Within a couple of days President George HW Bush sent Sec State James Baker and Sec of Defense Dick Cheney to Saudi Arabia with vital intelligence. They explained to King Kahlid that there was no line, no defense at all to keep Iraq from just continuing into the Saudi oil fields; indeed, intelligence showed they were continuing to stream past overrun Kuwaiti positions to the very border of Saudi Arabia itself, with a long train of supplies streaming in from Iraq. At that time, Operation Desert Shield began on 7 August 1990 when U.S. troops were sent to Saudi Arabia due to the request of its monarch, King Fahd, who had earlier called for U.S. military assistance.
The troops that led were those from the 1FW. All the planes left on August 6th, and the rest of the Wing joined up over the next few days.
The point of my tale is to show that you never know, as a member of the armed forces, when the balloon is going to go up, and you may be being shot at or dead withing 24-48 hours. This can happen EVEN if you are a cook, a bottle washer, a potato peeler, or, like me, a computer operator.
I too agree with the quoted Marine. He is spot on.
Liberals like to lump a lot of things into the equation to show how overcompensated the military is.
And this is definitely a movement to prepare the turf to cut the budget even further.
Damn them all, damn them to hell. This is the 1930’s again. Just go ahead and cut the military, and pollute it with social experiments to turn it into a jobs program. Just watch and see what happens when we get into a shooting war.
Damn this makes me madder than a hornet.
In the Marine Corps Infantry, about the top 30% of enlisted earn E-4 shortly before the end of a four year tour. E-3, over two years, pay is currently $1868/Mo.
If we consider the average of 60 hour weeks worked, this is equivalent to a civilian working the same hours at $6.15/hr, less than minimum wage. Getting sent to a combat zone runs the hours worked through the roof. Blackwater, for instance, has to pay $150k/yr with full room and board to get civilians to do the same thing.
Civilian work is not comparable to military SERVICE, and the good men and women to SERVE our country, generally, do not do it for money.
SENTINEL=Former USMC SGT
An even better illustration is what happened in Korea in 1950 when North Koreans invaded the south. Our troops that were there at that point were ill trained, supplied and prepared, and were composed largely of support personnel not suited for more than light peacetime guard duty.
Granted, today, our composition of forces in the path of an unexpected and aggressive foe might be more computer specialists than cooks due to the changes in the way the military handles support personnel and logistics, but the end result would likely the same.
well, according to the military pay table for 2012, you have to be an E-7 over 16 years to make the kind of money they describe...
Or an O-5 over 14 years to make the kind of money they describe....
what a crock of an article this is.. just an attempt to get support to reduce pay..
I was in the navy in 1962 making $250 every other week stationed on a ship as a doctor and was selected to be part of the invasion of Cuba during the Cuban Crisis and practiced climbing down a debark net into a pitching LCVP (poppa boat. “Great fun”.
For anyone who thinks that is disparaging to what our troops have been doing since 2001, I didn't mean it the way it came out.
What I meant was, watch what happens when we get into a shooting war with an enemy who has the means and resources to prevent being bowled over by our forces.
Somehow, people think that fighting against a foe who is going to contest our control of the air or sea is never going to happen.
Good post and thank you for your service, SENTINEL.
I am not in disagreement with any of your comments.
As I said in my original comment - like the Marine taff Sgt. who was quoted, the basis of comparison in the study does not make for a matching of equals.
And like all of you, I feel how can it be. One involves putting your life on the line for the nation (potentially always and in reality often enough) and the other doesn’t.
So here’s the reality:
No matter what we think of military pay, morally or economically, time, demographics and the persistence of it versus the ups and downs of other expenditures has military pay as the second highest component of the DOD budget, after “operations and maintenance”.
see chart in: http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense-Spending.html
And, due to pension and health benefits in the “military personnel” expense, it will not decline as fast as “operations and maintenance” when active combat missions, and the DOD infrastructure to support them, are scaled back.
Unless other categories of DOD expense mount greatly (as for possible new weapons acquisitions) we could find “military personnel” as the top DOD budget item, or at the least it will continue as the second highest item, as it is now, but not likely ranked lower.
What is the point?
No matter what you and I think, DOD spending is political.
When the pols are fighting over the pet projects in the DOD budget (yes including their pet weapons that will employ or keep employed workers in THEIR district) their first choices, the easiest choices when looking for budget offsets to pay for them IS the categories in the DOD budget that are already the largest.
When the pols get done, the moral value of the troops sacrifice is reduced to an economic figure that permits the pols to get whatever else THEY want to see in the DOD budget.
It’s not fair, to the troops, but it is the battle we are up against when defending military pay.
There is probably not a way around it that does not cut Congress too much out of the authority they need.
They will continue to work the DOD budget as an economic interest THEIR district has a rightful portion to, pushing up the cost of political priorities in the DOD budget, from which strategic and moral commitments must give up some “savings” in order to get a DOD budget passed.
It stinks, but it’s the reality.
For officers, average RMC was $94,735 in 2009. That was “88 percent higher than earnings of civilians with bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent higher than earnings of those with graduate-level degrees,” the report says.
LOL! What a joke. A LT with a bachelor’s degree first has to gain admission to naval flight training (think top 3% of applicants) and then has an additional 1 1/2 to 2 years of astonishingly tough training to become an aviator or naval flight officer. After that they have another 3-4 years to become an aircraft commander or mission commander, responsible for a $200M aircraft, the lives of their crew, and the custody and use of weapons. I think a JG or LT making $90K all told versus an unemployed loser with a “BA in Social Thought” living in his mom’s basement means the officer is underpaid.
yes, as we all said
they are comparing apples and oranges
To me it sounds like happenstance. Military personnel got a much needed and long overdue series of pay hikes. It wasn’t *anybody’s* fault that civilian employment and salaries went in the crapper. Also explains high re-enlistment rates and competition to get in, despite all of the problems this regime has foisted upon them. The only way to save them is to throw these thugs out.
They stood up for us. Will we stand up for them?
You could look at that as starting pay. Interestingly, on that chart it shows that the salary for an E-1 or an E-2 can never go up no matter how many years of service. That tells me that those ranks are intended to be an up or out situation. Once E-3 is attained the salary begins to rise. The same does NOT hold true for baby officers.
For an 18-year-old, I was living rather large. Young, single and not a care in the world!
You would have to get a job that paid a whole $9.50 an hour to make more then that.
Considering that minimum wage is $7.25 an hour a job paying that would not be hard to find.
“’An new E1 makes $1,516 per month’ You would have to get a job that paid a whole $9.50 an hour to make more then that.
Considering that minimum wage is $7.25 an hour a job paying that would not be hard to find.”
But you also need to toss in medical care, room & board, loads of excellent and expensive training, and many other items that cost civilians even more money, not to mention special duty pay for various duties.
Sure, I'm getting ready for a seven month deployment but most of the time I spend at home working 12 hour days four days a week. In an hour I'll be off of work for the holiday and I don't have to report back until Monday. All of it "liberty" (not counted against the 30 days leave I get each year). Not a bad gig at all these days.
People are lined up around the block to enlist these days. All branches are easily meeting enlistment and retention quotas. In fact, the navy is kicking people out left and right.
It used to be a typical E1 was fresh out of high school, 18-years old with no dependants. E1 pay was sufficient. These days recruits are increasingly older, often well into their 20s with spouses and children to support. E1 pay doesn't go very far with more mouths to feed.
del is is considerably better than the $68.00 a month that I enlisted for, and I think that is about $28.00 a month more than the men who fought WW II received.
I think only 16% of Army personnel are “combat” with the rest being support. There certainly never seems to be an end to REMFs.
Propaganda is the Left’s bread and butter. They don’t even need facts or reality for that matter.
Using an E-6 with time in grade of $58,000 with BAH and BAS (gross), let's see what the hourly pay is: $58,000/24/365 = $6.62 per hour. That's 87% of minimum wage.
Plus, you have the added bonus of getting shot at, and bombed...not to mention disease, stress, and various other sh@t.
Ok, the G.I. bill kinda makes up for that...
They earn every penny they make and no one should be envious of them
Right. If I recall correctly, in 1966 I got $92 a month in basic training, minus haircuts, and the Army, unlike the other branches, still only paid once a month. I got out after three years as an E-5, married, over two and was taking home about $350. It wasn’t easy getting by.
Not to mention, the cash is directly deposited, vice being given a “voucher” that you might be able to cash in after returning from the hot theater.
With all things said,...I still prefer the cash paycheck given by the pay officer,...(though it sure looked tempting driving by all those Porsche 911s to Atsugi from Fuji twice a month with a .45 on the hip and 2 satchels of cash on board....7;^)
PS,..what’s a civiliam?
My active duty husband has gotten up MOST days, for the past 26 years, around 5 a.m. His days have usually ended, on MOST days, around 7 p.m.
Some jobs he’s worked 6 days a week, with this schedule.
Not to mention, deployments.
When you break it down by an hourly amount, it’s pathetic.
My husband is an officer, and is compensated well, but folks our age who didn’t serve, who went to college, are now at the top of their game — well, some are making several hundred thousand per year or more. Some are millionaires and VP’s, presidents of companies, business owners, etc. doing extremely well.
My husband likes to think he could have been all of these things — and the level of responsibility he’s had in some jobs rivaled many a CEO — but he barely tops $150K at the end of a 26-year career.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not — not for what he’s put into it. However, he’d gladly do it again, I’m sure. He’ll get a nice retirement, in increments, but guys like Obama are going to see to it that all of that is eroded, piece by piece.
That puts it in perspective.
Let’s be honest - a good percentage of junior military members are in financial trouble due to bad decisions i.e. idiotic car loans, spending more than they take in.