Recently there has been some rumbling out of the Office of Management and Budget that one way of trimming the defense budget in out years will be to revamp the current military retirement system.
What a horrid idea.
Gordon R. Sullivan,GEN, USA (Ret.), former Chief of Staff of the Army, and currently President of the Association of the United States Army, penned a letter to the president.
If you can’t read that, there’s a copy here.
Military retirement pay is fairly large cost for the DoD. But it is a very, very small slice of the budget overall. The recent discussion actually proposes to change the retirement plan for long serving personnel already well into their second decade of service. One of the core values of military service has always been loyalty. And it will be hard to justify the loyalty of those servicemembers when the Obama administration is being disloyal to them.
The real cost driver for the military is the health care benefits system for retirees and their families. Tri-Care is a perfect example of the joys we’ll see under Obamacare. It’s cumbersome, not at all user friendly, and expensive to the government. Sooner or later, something will have to be done about the costs it imposes on the military. And likely as not, we’ll ask our retired veterans to sacrifice once again. I just don’t have a good answer for how to fix that system. I just know it is unsustainable, and what can’t go on, won’t.
But the retirement pay isn’t broke, and it isn’t bankrupting the military or the government.
We ask a lot of our career military members. But this would be too much.