You are absolutely correct, except to say there are some things you just don’t know until you’ve done them for a decade or two. The younger guys ALWAYS need NCOs and officers with more than one hitch. But once you get in your 40s and start physically slowing down, it is time to let the next cadre take over. In doing it this way, I believe the US Armed Forces has the best NCOs in the world, and that’s why our military is so good. But in the end, it’s all about retention. Right now, they think they have enough people willing to make a commitment by re-enlisting/staying on as a regular—even without the retirement benefit.
That made a lot of mistakes over the years, trial and error, and finally came up with the current system. I retired under the previous system. Had I not been able to, I wouldn’t have stayed in as long. Under what they’re proposing, I would do 4 and out.
So, when the shit hits the fan, and they really need experienced NCOs and officers, they very well will not have any, or have too few.
If we’re lucky and not get totally defeated early, the benefits and enticements will return.
It’s always been that way up until WWII. After WWII, the Cold War was “fought” for 45 years, immediately replaced by the “Global War on Terrorism”.
It would be typical for this country to drop down to a tiny cadre of regulars and have very few benefits until the next fan hit.
I’m not saying the younger guys should get screwed, I’m just saying if they hadn’t offered me what they did I would not have been a career man. So I think the younger guys are more than welcome to bail. I understand that in my day, they needed me, offered me a contract I liked, and we both fulfilled it.