a reply to: ladyinwaiting
Well....as far as enlisted personnel are "cannon fodder", here's some food for thought:
Army/Marines: Enlisted personnel sent out to do battle, with low ranking officers, higher ranking officers tend to be back from the battle directing
Air Force: Officers tend to be the ones flying into battle while enlisted personnel tend to be the ones safe back at base working on the aircraft and
Navy: When a ship sinks......it doesn't just take the enlisted personnel with it.
Go Navy! An EQUAL opportunity employer!
I was thinking about the OP's project. OP, keep in mind that there are many, many volumes of books on military pay used by the military to figure out
who gets how much pay.
Every military member's situation is not always the same as others. There are so many different things that can affect one's pay.
For example, a few months before the first Persian Gulf War, I was a E-5 in the Navy, married with kids. I was living in an apartment in Charleston,
SC where I was stationed on board the USS MacDonough (DDG-39). I'd been in the Navy for 6 years at that point.
I had my Base Pay, Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), Variable Housing Allowance (VHA, which the amount is dependent upon several things, including
WHERE you're living), and Sea Pay (which is based on rank and amount of time stationed aboard sea going warships).
Just before we left for the Gulf, My family got into housing, which meant that we no longer had to pay rent, electricity, water, etc. Phone and Cable
you have to pay for yourself. When you get into housing, you no longer receive BAQ and VHA.
So my pay went down, but so did my living expenses.
Then off to the Gulf War, while there, I received Combat Pay, which was no longer having to pay Federal Taxes (so that amount varies too). When we got
back, I no longer received the Combat Pay of course.
Some months after getting back, I was promoted to E-6, so my pay went up again. However, we decommissioned the ship, and I had to go to Shore Duty (I
fought that tooth and nail, because having 7 years at sea under my belt as an E-6 meant I was getting quite a bit of money in my pay check for Sea
Pay), and when that happened, I lost my Sea Pay, which for me was like loosing half my pay check.
Was I payed well?
As I rose in rank, and put more time in service, and was able to take advantage of certain situations for my pay, I couldn't complain. It's a salary
job, so I was being paid even if I got sick. You earn 2.5 days leave (vacation) every 30 days, so you earn 30 days vacation a year.
If you don't use it, you get it back in pay.
Was I able to take all that vacation? Not all at once, no, but I was able to take vacation here and there (sorry, can't take it while you're in the
middle of a 6 month cruise. The ship needs you during that time).
I received full medical of course. So did my dependents (wife and kids). We never had to worry about medical bills.
If I compared how I was paid to my father who was also in the Navy, back say in the 1960s and early 1970s, I can tell you I was paid much better than
he was then. But that changed in the middle of the 1970s. Military members started getting paid a lot better then.
Over all I can't complain too much. More pay would have been nice. But considering all the stuff the military did for my family (housing, medical), I
really can't sit here and say: They were not paying me enough.
Any time we ran into debt, it was because we were either trying to live above our means, or didn't budget our money right. But my kids never went
And my wife didn't work during my naval career.