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Readers Respond: Are Military Members Paid Enough?

Responses: 217


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

Do something about it

If you want more pay and stay in the military, all branches offer college and pay tuition, so..what i'm getting at is if you need more money and want to serve "GO TO COLLEGE" get off your lazy asses and do it
—Guest USAF E-4

We are NOT getting paid enough

I am an E3 in the US Army. I have a wife and two kids. My base pay is only 1700. Sure, i get bah. Only 800 bucks. But i have a car note. Insurance. Phone bill. Hospital bills. And everything else that comes with babies and rent. Elclectric. Water. Food. That 1700 is not anything. As far as different pay scales for combat and non i am not sure about that. I am a 91M. Bradley mech. I could very well be out in the mess when deployed so if the pah scale happens hopefully it will be in very much needed detail.
—Guest 1P.o.M.o.f.o.

the difference is

the difference is that alot of people join the military to get away from their problems -or- do it because they really want to serve. if you make the commitment to do special forces or other sof mos you should get paid more. dont get me wrong infantry, ranger ect are in line of danger but when you make a commitment to put yourself through all the training and then what lies ahead, its a career. treat it as such.
—Guest difference

Reply to really really

Sir, Non of us joined the military for the money because as we all know, military members are way behind their civilian counterparts. I agree that many people enlisted because they wanted some sort of training, education or direction in life. However many have enlisted because it was the right thing to do. Whatever the reason, we all share a common bond. And for those who have sweat, bled and wept together, that bond is much greater. In reference to Burger King or the factory, neither asked thier employees to work a double shift, stay late, etc without having some sort of monetary incentive. Speaking from my own experiences, I was married in 2005. Since then I have deployed to Iraq 3 times at 7 months each. Currently I am deployed again to Africa for 9 months. That is 30 out of 72 months away from home, not to mention the training evolutions prior to each deployment. Do we get paid enough? No we do no not but, I would not trade what I do or who I am for anything.
—Guest Combat Doc

Not so much too little or too much but..

My husband is an E-4 currently, being promoted to an E-5 in a month and leaving for warrant officer school soon thereafter. We have been in for just under three years. I disagree greatly with some of the posts as to why people enlist. My husband enlisted after obtaining a helicopters pilots license as a civilian. He enlisted though to be trainind as a mechanic as well and get his Airframe and Parts rating and fly for the army. His plan worked well and next year he will be starting flight school and is qualified to take his A&P exam. The thing about military pay is that I don't feel that its so much the ammount but that all MOS's get paid the same is silly. Many of the jobs in the army require no actual skill. The ones that do should at least be paid equivalent to what civilians with that job make. The other thing is that in the army just like in real life if are smart and qualified you will advance and make more money if you aren't you won't.
—Guest Army wife 17

how so

I think military member gets paid more than enough especially officers. As an enlisted you joined the military because you don't have any skills and you didn't know what to do in life. As an officer you did it either because you couldn't find a job with that biology degree or you wanted to pay for college. Really as an enlisted member what skills to you have that you think that you deserve to get paid that much. If you worked at Burger King and said I have a wife and kid they would just tell you to work more hours. In the military they say here you get more money. Don't give me that about being shot at because most people aren't getting shot at. You shouldn't join the military for money and if you did then your freedom should be worth more. Tired of getting shot at then get out. Can't support your family then get out and work at a factory and do overtime(time and a half). You joined the military because you heard they have benefits so just do your job make rank and get paid.
—Guest reallyreally

Depends how you look at it.

Officers are extremely over paid. Mid level NCO's E-5 to E-7 are under paid. All combat arms mos skill types are underpaid. Admin Clerks, supply, maintenance Air Wingers, Non combat MP's, IT guys and all the other non fighting MOS types other than DOC's Should not get paid as much as Infantry, Artillery, Scouts and Recon, Rangers, Special Forces, Tankers, UDT/Seal, Combat Engineers, Snipers. There should be a seperate pay scale for the MOS types that involve actual risk where they may die doing their job, or their job actually means using a weapon to survive.
—Guest Served USMC and Army
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