Letter to the Editor: Equal ranks get equal pay in military

I have long suspected that the liberal mindset of having a condescending and self-aggrandizing penchant but in her weak attempt at insulting me, Carol Hotte left no doubt.

In one letter, she managed to insult every enlisted person in the military even while claiming her own service made her an expert on the subject. In one short rant, her moral turpitude implied we weren’t smart enough to hold higher positions in the civilian world and our financial troubles were from capricious breeding and callous disregard of personal financial matters.

After 29 years of proud service in the U.S. Air Force, I’m sure I’m not the expert she claims to be, but I would guess she served only one enlistment in some administrative position based on the Vietnam time frame she referenced. I’m sure in whatever capacity her civilian job is, she was never required to pull a 16-, 20-, or 24-hour duty shift without compensation. Neither did she leave work in the morning only to find out that instead of going home, she was being sent on a six-month deployment.

She implies that ancillary payments for housing, meals and COLA should provide more than equitable pay to live in a local gated community. I have no idea as to what universe she lives in, it is not the real world I dedicated my life to.

Here is the facts. Regardless of a rank one holds, whether a private/basic airman or a four-star general, equal ranks get equal pay. This means captain flying a desk makes exactly the same as a Captain flying an F-35. (The pilot does receive a “flight pay allowance” and possibly hazardous duty pay but the base salary is the same. The housing allowance is basically what the government thinks it would cost to provide quarters on base and the COLA varies by the cost of living in the local area of assignment.)

The insinuation of education is extremely insulting. No one serving this country has less than a high school equivalence and after technical training has the equivalence of a year in college. A great many enlisted people have an associate degree or better and when I retired, more enlisted people held masters degrees than the officer corps.

In the chaotic world with violence and societal changes, veterans are in an even higher demand in the civilian workforce because is this discipline and detailed knowledge of the job requirements. Many actually transition into civilian life doing the exact same job.

Mankind developed from a hunter-gatherer society in a symbiotic relationship. As everyone wasn’t a good hunter, the same is true of the warrior. In that era, gatherers dared not insult hunters. Times have changed.

In my nearly three decades of service, I never considered it a “privilege.” Everyone I served with felt it was an honor like no other in representing the arrows in the eagle’s talons.

George Roof

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