First things first…
I reacted with understandable anger two days ago when I heard the first reports that service members’ combat pay (or “imminent danger” pays as Pentagonspeak now has it), had been cut.
The dust has settled and the answer is yes and no.
According to official DOD policy adopted 1 Feb., “… service members (will receive) imminent danger pay only for the time they spend in areas that qualify for the pay. In the past, service members received $225 per month if they spent any time that month in an area where the pay was authorized.
Now, service members will receive $7.50 a day for days spent in these areas. Personnel who travel to the designated areas for periods less than 30 days should keep track of the number of days they are in the area to verify that they are paid for the correct number of days, officials said.
In other words… if you are in a “combat” zone, you will receive hazard pay regardless of whether or not you fall under enemy fire. But if you merely run a supply mission into Afghanistan from Germany for example, you’ll receive $7.50 per day for the time you are “in country”.
There is some imbalance I suppose when people “in the rear” receive the same amount as a grunt who goes on combat missions virtually every day or air crews who fly combat missions most days out of a month. But in this kind of war, when you could have your ticket canceled by a suicide bomber riding a civilian bus, or a truck bomb crashing into your mess hall, the imbalance makes little difference.
Here’s an interesting debate on the issue.
In Vietnam the old combat pay rules allowed some service members to take shall we say, full advantage since any time spent in country netted you a month’s hazard pay. For example an air crew managed to fly in to South Vietnam on the last day of the month and leave the next day… the fliers netted two months combat pay.
Naturally there was some grousing among grunts, corpsmen and medics, PBR sailors and fighter-bomber pilots, but on the other hand we were usually distracted by concerns than someone else’s paycheck.
Young Marines were particularly pissed because lower-grade enlisted and even junior NCOs under age 21 were the only Americans in the war not allowed to buy alcohol from the PX. Now that’s something to get hacked about. Imagine a 20 year-old, two-tour corporal having to get a new in-country, 18 year-old Navy Seabee to buy him a six pack.
And speaking of war and money… I ran into one of those Paulidiots the other day, you know the type…. cut our military down to a tight little $10 billion effort, pull back to CONUS and fight ’em when they get here… then with all that money we save we fix the economy.
Yes, most libertarians are just a frustrating as libs.
A conservative blogosphere friend, American-American, over Free-Market Circle chimed in succinctly the other day:
“According to Bill Whittle, the cost of Overseas Contingency Operations, the ongoing overseas military operations around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan, was 14.3% of what the government spent last year, while 4.4% was for discretionary military spending. That’s a total of 18.7%, which means that 81.3% was spent on everything else!!! Anyway, here’s my reference, and a visual.. see graph in “Vote Pump” video by Bill Whittle
“Also, I highly recommend Bill Whittle’s “State of the Union: The Conservative’s Response” Definitely worth sharing with those who don’t know better.”
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — In his first 2 1/2 years in the Navy, Aeron Crouch jumped three ranks to second-class petty officer and appeared to be a rising star among the forward-deployed in the Pacific. He was a leader — motivated, tenacious, always improving and asking for more, tougher, responsibilities.
His superiors use words like “excellent” and “genius” when describing the decorated 27-year-old sailor. Yet the Navy says he’s no longer wanted.
As the eight-year veteran heads for the door, he is not only stung by the rejection and the daunting prospect of landing a scarce stateside job while overseas, but also by the news that he will never know why he was selected for separation through the force-trimming process known as the Enlisted Retention Board.
The point here is not the loss of this individual, high-achieving petty officer alone, he represents the “brain drain” from the military caused by Obama’s politically motivated defense budget cuts which will cost careers, increased unemployment, and mostly importantly, they will cost lives on the battlefield; especially after this Commander-in-Chief who detests the word “victory” would rather surrender to his Muslim friends than destroy our enemies.
This is the same CnC who is awash in the blood of our gallant troops because he frees sub-human Islamofascists to kill again:
“Last September NATO troops killed Al-Qaeda leader and former Gitmo detainee in an overnight raid in eastern Afghanistan. Sabar Lal Melma, who was released from Guantanamo in 2007 after five years of detention, had been organizing attacks in eastern Kunar province and funding insurgent operations.”
A new report released by the House Armed Services subcommittee revealed that 27% of Gitmo detainees return to a life of terror after their release. Now Obama wants to release Taliban leaders from Gitmo.
The report said:
“Facing domestic political pressures, the Bush and Obama administrations released or transferred 600 terror suspects deemed an acceptable threat from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, only to face the challenge that 27 percent re-engaged in terrorist or insurgent activities, according to a report by Republicans subcommittee.