Military benefits for longer duty

There has been much discussion recently regarding military benefits. Now, let me make this clear: I am not suggesting that the following apply to those who spend their career at the point of the spear. Rather, it is about the 90 percent who – and this includes all the way up to the highest ranks and comprise the rest of the military – never serve in actual combat.

Further, this is not to say that what they contribute is not important and that they do not sacrifice. Given that, they are still, basically, clerks.

My suggestion would be that benefits remain essentially the same but the tour of duty be at least 30 years. The kicker would be that “duty” in a combat zone would be at an accelerated rate depending on time served and the relative danger. Time earned would be in a multiple of 1-2-3 depending on the dangers and hardships incurred. Retirement would be at the highest rank satisfactorily held for a stated period of time.

There is also a real tendency in the military for “grade creep” – promoting personnel to give them additional pay. As I recall (and my memory is not as good as it used to be—and probably never was as good as I remember!) during World War II they had “technical” ranks which conferred additional rate and pay, but was not a permanent rank. Reassignment could, and usually would, result to assignment at the permanent rank.

This would allow promotion when needed without crowding at the top.

William C. Curtis

Sweet Home