I recently read about an Army general who is having one of his stars taken away for misconduct. As a result of this demotion his pension will shrink from $236,650 per year to a measly $202,802 annually. Something is seriously out of whack here. A career of honorable military service certainly entitles a man or woman to a comfortable retirement, but come on! When I was on a Navy riverboat in Vietnam we seldom saw an officer above the rank of Army captain, or Navy lieutenant in the field. Marines of course were another story altogether; they always had a full complement of majors and colonels “running” through the jungle. Hurrah!
Most senior officers spent their time either “at headquarters,” at the officers club or writing letters begging for a desk job in the Pentagon. Vietnam service was an important rung on the promotion ladder and a colorful campaign ribbon or two added to the salad bar on their chests didn’t hurt either. I can’t believe things have changed much since then. If anyone deserves an over-the-top retirement package it’s the staff sergeants and master sergeants who are the real glue that hold things together in the field and make things work, not a bunch of desk wonks that spend their days patting themselves and each other on the back. A $202,802 yearly pension? Give me a break. What do they think this is — the NFL?