Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Make no mistake about this plan to cut veterans benefits is an ill disguised attempt to make a military career unattractive.  Bullshit you say.   Well I'm here to tell you that they never wanted you to stay beyond about 10 years.  My last job in the navy was as Force Career Counselor , Submarines Atlantic.  At a meeting in late 67 or early 68 at a meeting in DC with the mucky muks of the Navy we were pushing for more to offer 2nd reenlistment's .  It was felt by all of us Force Counselors that we were getting nowhere, so we kept pushing and finally managed to anger the Admiral running the show when he made this statement "We are not going to offer them anything , because we want them to get out at the 10 year mark".  We were stunned.

Now I see not much has changed except how they are going to go about it.  This select panel has come up with a plan.  Here is what they are proposing.

Putting vets into a 401K retirement plan instead of getting 50% of your pay after 20 years you would get about 40% of that amount.  I can see the troops jumping for joy over this bene.  On top of that they want to put the vets into a private health care system similar to Fed employees, this would do away with Tricare the current health care plan.  They argue that this plan is so good that us vets abuse it, which is another case of bullshit.  If these two items are not enough, they also suggest cutting funds to commissary stores, cutting military food stamp programs and other sleezy cuts that will remain unmentioned.  I believe we need to focus on the big items named above.

A little disclosure is in order here, I am a retired Chief Petty Officer USNR-R  , which means I am retired reserve.. I did 11.5 years active and 16 in the reserves.. Therefore I do draw a pension and I also am Tricare eligible , but I only use Tricare to pick up my co-pay on drugs. 

As mentioned above the military has never wanted to many to stay for a career , they wanted your services when you were young, dumb and productive. They are missing something that is very important to a youngster entering in a service, most will or are already married , placing more burdens on a married troop will decrease the effectiveness of that troop.  During long patrols at sea on a sub , the underlying thought in your mind at all times "How is my family doing"  In my case there were no communications with home for  70 days or so. If we had to worry that our families have enough to eat, or are they getting the health care they need.  A preoccupied mind does not perform at his peak, the changes proposed would accomplish the exact opposite  of what they want.



  1. Once again you hit the nail on the head! It is/was a game to get you in, then force feed you in whatever is your career field, then one big bonus to get lock you in to a 10/11 year career and then the hammer drops. You accept what they offer or get out which is fine with them and the preferred scenario. I got a VRB-4 when I shipped for 6, electing to do so on the STAR program and then the fun began. I wanted a specific "C" school and wanted the school identified by class number/designation in the contract as with that particular school it made me eligible for pro-pay & that worked out well as when I got to the school's command they slotted in another school until I went to legal as it was in the big blank space on the I have been promised nothing except as indicated...., so I got the school, got the NEC and got the pro-pay and then it was the 10 year mark and it was take what the detailer offered or bail out, but married with 3 kids, I drank the Kool-Aid and did quite well. As a CPO on AS-34 the career counselor got a hardship reassignment and I wound up in that billet and again and again and again the first term reenlistees did well, but beyond that nada. As regards this 401(K) nonsense, perhaps if you had all the education in the world and could snag a great job on the outside, usually due to nepotism, it was an easy choice, but the "average"," or even "above average" sailor with nothing really sellable you stayed and effectively the current 2.5% a year retirement if you do make it to 20 the system to a degree protected a person from themselves who knew nothing about investments. It may not be the best system, but it is a great safety net for most.

  2. I'm glad I got out after four!