The entry below originally appeared on my blog, "Musings of a Factotum." I think a repost is appropriate here. It is the first of several repostings that fit the theme of My PA blog.
One realizes on an Army deployment that there are many Soldiers who don’t do much work. They represent all ranks and branches, and they are a drag on Army Efficiency.
But, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about the Army, you’ll know that I’ve never accused the Army of being efficient. Nevertheless, the reality is that too many Soldiers take advantage of the opportunity that Uncle Sam gives them to collect a paycheck without much effort.
A certain Sergeant Major—-representative of many, many more—-is past the point when he can retire. There are likely many E-8s who can fill his shoes admirably, so in the spirit of preparing the younger generation and giving troops an opportunity to grow, what does he do?
He stays on. And why not? He can take one more short year of his life away from home to collect good pay on deployment. He’s pulling in over $6,000 a month base pay. Add to that the housing allowance of over two grand, plus a few little extra goodies like sustenance pay, separation pay, and hazardous duty pay. All this is tax free.
So while the Army looks to replenish its ranks with young men and women, enticing them with bonuses and college money, it is merely adding to the dole of the largest Federal Work Program. Many politicians lament the size of our military, saying the money is better used helping put people to work. It already is.