Skip to comments.Pentagon Sets Bonuses to Retain Members of Special Operations
Posted on 02/05/2005 10:05:40 PM PST by neverdem
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 - The Defense Department has approved a series of incentives for members of elite Special Operations Forces who remain in the military, including a $150,000 bonus for the most experienced and highly trained combat personnel who promise six additional years in uniform, military officials said Saturday.
The pay and incentives package was devised to stem an exodus of senior sergeants, petty officers and warrant officers to higher-paying civilian security jobs in places like Baghdad and Kabul, just as they are needed to continue playing a pivotal role in combating terrorists and training indigenous security forces worldwide.
"Our investment in these professionals is great, and the experience gained through years of service makes them invaluable assets to our nation's defense," said Lt. Col. Alex Findlay, a personnel officer with the Special Operations Command. "Younger replacements can be trained, but experience is irreplaceable in the current worldwide war on terrorism."
A statement released by the Special Operations Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., said that a new incentive to retain senior sergeants, petty officers and warrant officers with "critical skills" would offer bonuses of $150,000 for those who sign up for an additional six years. The sum decreases for re-enlistments of less time, down to $8,000 for one additional year.
About 1,500 members of Special Operations Forces would be eligible for the bonuses, Pentagon officials said. Enlisted personnel and warrant officers who have more than 25 years of service will receive a pay increase of $750 per month if they agree to stay on active duty for an additional year. And midlevel to senior noncommissioned officers in certain demanding assignments will receive a Special Duty Assignment Pay of $375 per month, the statement said.
The military's Special Operations community includes members of the Army Special Forces, often called Green Berets; Navy special warfare units, called Seals; and Air Force crews who fly specialized helicopters and airplanes to transport these forces in and out of the combat zone and to take precision firepower to the battlefield.
Army Special Forces units were the first members of the American military to set foot into Afghanistan at the start of hostilities there after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Their ability to build relationships with anti-Taliban commanders is credited with toppling the regime and ending Al Qaeda's safe haven there with a remarkably small use of American military force.
And in the hours before the United States' heavy armored units crossed from Kuwait into Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, members of the Navy Seals quietly secured oil platforms in the northern Persian Gulf to prevent their sabotage, and Army Special Forces teams knocked out Iraqi forward military positions all along the country's border.
Although the number of Special Operations Forces in Iraq decreased after Baghdad fell, an insurgency that has continued to attack Iraqi civilians and coalition forces prompted commanders to again deploy these fighters in growing numbers.
In recent interviews in Iraq, senior military officers said that the number of Special Forces teams dropped rapidly after May 2003. But starting in late fall 2003, commanders realized they needed to increase the number of Army and Navy Special Operations Forces to hunt the insurgent leadership, train Iraqi forces and guard senior members of the emerging government in Baghdad, military officers said.
Senior enlisted members of the Army Green Berets or Navy Seals with 20 years or more experience earn about $50,000 in base pay, and can retire with a $23,000 pension. But private security companies, whose services are in growing demand in Iraq and Afghanistan, offer salaries of nearly $200,000 a year to the most experienced of them.
The commander of American Special Operations Forces, Gen. Bryan D. Brown of the Army, has been so concerned about the potential drain on his most experienced troops that he has gathered senior members of the Special Operations community - and their spouses - to hear what kind of bonuses, educational benefits and "quality of life" offerings might tempt them to remain in uniform.
Whatever we're paying them, it's not enough.
"Whatever we're paying them, it's not enough."
It is way past time to quit treating the defenders of freedom as though they were worth less than paper-pushing bureaucrats.
Whats interesting here...is that a special ops NCO can retire after 20 years...and go commerical...contract himself out...to make over $100k a year. You can pick your own jobs, and if you aren't happy...just walk away. Numerous companies hire them to provide guard and security help overseas. Its simply a hired gun type deal. Except for the extreme hardcord type who absolutely loves the military...no one else is going to take the military bonus. Remember, this is for a four-year type committment...so the bonus when compared up to $100k might not be such a great deal. And at least with the contractor job...you collect your military pension, and might only work six months out of the year at your contractor job...you can fish the rest of the time.
Ya got that right!
"Except for the extreme hardcord type who absolutely loves the military."
And love their country. Some folks like that do still exist, and God bless them, everyone.
You see, this is what is really bad about the Ted Kennedys and Nancy Pelosis running them down. Not to mention the MSMers in general.
As the other poster said, we can never pay them enough. And that applies to all our military, all our cops, all those folks who do the real dirty work that keeps the rest of us free and easy. But we can give them RESPECT. Aretha Franklin sang it best.
But when you've got the NY Times, John Francois, and Teddy the K, et al. saying that you are just war criminals, tortuerer, Jenjis Khan like, well, yes, then who would pass up the big bucks, and the lack of risk that it entails?
"The Navy is concerned about retaining special operators at the eight- to 12- year mark. "For those over 20, we're retaining about 45 percent," said Master Chief Petty Officer Clell Breining, the senior enlisted adviser for Naval Special Warfare Command. "The Navy average is about 25 percent. Where we're seeing the problem is about the 10-year mark where guys are making the decision as to whether or not to make the military a career."
"Breining said he had lunch with three Navy special operators who decided to get out at the 10-year mark. "I asked them if they were getting out because they don't like the Navy, or you don't like being a SEAL," he said. "And the answer was absolutely not they loved the work, but they are looking at their futures and looking at the money."
I'm skeptical of this statement. The term "special forces mission" may be difficult to define, but I don't think USMC takes the brunt of it.
That said, you would be more in the know than I. Thanks for your service!
These guys give credibility to our war on terror. They should be earning six figures a year.
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