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Readers Respond: Are Military Members Paid Enough?

Responses: 224

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No way!!!!

Our men are out there dying to reserve our freedoms for minimum wages. Until you are an officer you cannot afford basic necessities.
—Guest Rebecca

Most definetly

with all the benefits coming from being in the army, all of that is pocket money.
—Guest TK

NO WAY

They put there life on the line and do not get nearly enough money for it
—Guest Ryan

Engineers are not paid enough

I am an active duty engineer. We come to work before any one else does and are the last ones off. We stand well over 40 hours of watch in a week when we are out to sea. We work 12-14 hours a day. We never get recognition for our work. So yes military people are way underpaid.
—Guest Underpaid Engineer

paid enough

are you kidding me?! How can you ask that? No they are not. I wasn't. They are on call 24/7, go to the field more than being with family, and give thier lives because someone that has a higher rank told them to. And, if you choose life over death by not going to war you are sent to prison. You may volunteer when you enlist, but that is as far as your rights go. Obama might be criticising the military benefits stating that we volunteered for this crap so we can afford our own benefits, but guess what? If that is true, then we need to get paid higher than minimum wage for 24/7 service, period!!
—Guest ed

If you don't like your pay . . .

The military encourages and provides for those who want to go to college. The GI Bill is incredible and if you don't like your pay, you have the opportunity to go and complete college and then transition into the officer corps. If I can do it, anyone can! What is my pay? As a major I receive $6850 a month + 2600 for BAH and BAS. This is in addition to medical and dental and commissary/BX opportunities. Not a bad package, but it takes time and hard work to make this happen. The military has hired you and given you the chance to improve your station in life. It is up to YOU to make this happen. School awaits--sign up today. Education is everything!
—Guest MR

Seeing all sides

First off, yes I am enlisted, and a career guy at 15+ years. Do I get paid enough? Depends on who you ask. For those who want to throw in benefits such as housing, food and medical/ dental.. sure I get by alright. I do have some nice material things, but, let me be clear...I have worked my butt off for every one of them. I still have bills that have to be paid just like everyone else. Just how many civilians do you know who will voluntarily put them selves in harm's way, just for the sake of doing so for the country they love? Only 1% of the population serves in the military. Why is it so hard to allow them the luxury of a fat paycheck when those who DO have the fat check, sit on their butts and determine our sacrifices? Take the private jets, limmos, fancy hotels, fancy cars etc.... and give it to the Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine and Coast Guard. Either that, or pick up a rifle and go fight for yourself.... if your not too much of a coward........
—Guest Seriously?

Definitely not

No civilian can comment on this in my opinion because they have never lived ina military families shoes. If so, then so be it. But as much as finance in the military messes up pay, we could stand to get paid more. We DON'T get overtime like civilians. This week alone my husband has pulled almost 100 hours of work and NO, I am not lying. He's an E-4 and we are about to move on base. I think it could stand to be more.
—Guest AF wife

Depends on the job

Waaay back in the Stone Age, I was a grunt, with a HIGH GT, so any of that drivel about "qualifications" "prepared go stuff in your hat. Anyhow..Grunts do grunt stuff, try 'going to college' in the Fleet. Success depends on how verrrry badly you want it and how friendly your command is to the idea. , or try gettng a PT job to supplement your income..good luck with that. And the Remf's well, they work "regular" hours, get PT jobs, go to school. hang out with the dependents etc. Everybody draws the same pay though...
—Guest Been a while

Agree to disagree

I am a proud military wife for over 20 years. I do understand the pay between a officer and the enlisted.. But what I do not understand is how you can have a CSM with 22 years in service, 2 degrees putting in the same hours as his Lt. Col. The officer gets $7,000 plus and the enlisted gets $5,700.. That is just wrong, I know the enlisted have a choice to go green to gold but they want to be a part of the nco mentoring. I believe the military should give a incentive of raising the enlisted pay, if the soldier has college degrees, to what is comparable to his/her counterpart.
—Guest Guess who

Could be higher

Here's the thing. I feel I make good money considering I don't have a degree. Right out of high school I had no skill, but after bootcamp I went to school and learned a skill. Now civilians say "well that was free school". No it wasn't I payed the price at bootcamp. If you look at our benefits and wages you will see that most military get payed relativley close to civilians. Now lets look at quality of life? I'm away from my family at least 6-9 months out of the year on deployable duty. My deployable duty is 5 years. I bet if you generalize, most civilians go home when they clock out. Working hours are non-exsistant to military. There are guidelines in place for it but I usually put a 50 hrs a week in when Im not deployed and you can easily double that when I'm deployed. Non-deployable duty is three years for me and that consist of about a 45-50hr work week. Here the thing its hard to compare civ. and military, but it would be nice if our pay would keep up with inflation.
—Guest I'm enlisted

No it's not enough

Enlisted soldiers do not get paid enough. We are a military family with 4 children. Do we live comfortably, yes. Could it be way better, of course. Moving constantly doesn't really allow me to build up a career. And paying childcare most of the time outweighs even the logic of getting a job. Officers in my eyes are way overpaid. They get paid all this extra money for what????? They don't have any actual work experience in that field. I think soldiers should get paid by experience, and not whether they have a college degree. My husband is gone most of the time, has missed numerous birthdays, Christmases, Anniversaries, etc. Housing isn't available most of the time, so we have to find something on the economy, and pay our own electricity and water. BAH doesn't cover it all, so we have to pay the rest out of our own pocket. So to all the people that have never lived a military life don't sit there and talk crap about how good we have it. There is more sacrifice than you will ever know.
—Guest Military wife

Just throwing it out there

It's funny to me that people come on here and bash the military pay. To an extent I do feel that those who serve are under paid. Civilians come on here and get mad but they have NO idea what it takes to work hard. Honestly. You wake up, work 8 hours, with an hour lunch and 15 min smoke breaks every hour, and think you deserve good pay. I joined the service because I felt obligated. Period. Money had nothing to do with. Yes, I got some college paid for but I was focused on the betterment of my life and serving this great country. Officers do get paid pretty well, but for anyone who is somewhat intelligent should see that Officers deal with more responsibility and longer hours, by far. Senior Enlisted deserve more pay. But those who dictate how much service members make have NO idea what it's like to wear the uniform. Never will. I wish we would make in mandatory to serve 2 years after H.S. graduation b/c this country would have a whole new understand of hard work.
—Guest Me

The sense of entitlement astounds me!

Yes, an enlisted service member isn't going to get rich, but most start out right out of high school...with a high school education. What kind of pay do you expect at that point? Don't forget the free health care and tax benefits you receive. If you think an officer makes so darned much, then get your commission and become an officer! Most enlisted I know have bigger TVs and nicer cars than officers. The housing on post is nicer than it is for company and even low field grade officers, so I don't know how you can complain about that. As for the soldiers who live in the barracks and says he only makes $1500/month take home...what are you spending that on?? Your housing is free, and you're not paying for water, electricity, trash, etc. Your education is free for the service member and there are SO MANY programs for the enlisted spouse, you could hardly complain about educating yourself to make more money. As for having to support kids...don't have them until you can support them!
—Guest astonished in KY

Not Enough...

As an army wife of a deployed soldier, it is not enough. With kids at home and hub gone - we either pay a ton for childcare or live on one income. It is very difficult for me to get a job when we have lived in 3 states in 4 months. I chose to give up my career to raise a family. And we chose this life and we are very happy but when this tour is up my husband will not re-up, too little money for the sacrifices. And to the ignorant comment of "go to college". Many soldiers do thanks to the GI bill they receive AFTER service. We were asked a question and are giving an honest answer, not complaining. God Bless all the service members, their families and our supporters. Thank you.
—Guest amyarmy

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