Sequestration has become a dirty word. Almost as bad as
betrayal, back stabbing, or simply a dirty trick.
Marines that have been fighting America’s wars are quickly finding
out just what their Marine Corps thinks of them. I remember in boot camp, T1
(training day one) we learned you always take care of your Marines. As a
Lieutenant, I took that lesson and continued to put troop welfare ahead of my
own personal interests. However, the betrayal sets in and the Marine Corps is
taking the fight to its own Marines.
The Marine Corps plans to be as low as 174,000 (actually
150,000) by 2017. We haven’t been that low in decades, and we are supposed to
defend America with that? How will we get there? Easy, eat our own.
Staff Sergeants are eligible for these lump-sum buyouts and a few other
programs that give the “early” retired Marines some money but nothing like they
would have received if they went their full programed 20 years. Further actions could include “Ending the de
facto guarantee of service through a 20-year retirement, which is extended to
all enlisted personnel who reach the rank of staff sergeant, convening an early
retirement board for senior enlisted Marines.Using enlisted retention boards,
like those used by the Navy last year to cut thousands of sailors before their
contracts were up.”
These are just a few actions enlisted Marines are facing but not the full
spectrum and they won’t be on the “winning” end of a career as they planed
while they were in combat situations just a year before.
“Officials are targeting majors and captains selected for
promotion in 29 career fields, up from 12 last year. Eligible officers can take
home nearly $200,000 if they take the lump-sum buyout. A major with 12 years of
service making $81,000 in base pay would cash out with $194,000 before taxes.”
This isn’t too bad of a deal for Captains that have marginal
years in the Corps but the target is mainly on Majors. Majors are the bulk of
the Marine Corps currently and will be hit the hardest.
“SERBs are an involuntary measure being used to cull the
colonel and lieutenant colonel ranks. An estimated 87 colonels will be
considered by the fiscal 2014 board, according to MARADMIN 529/13, signed Oct.
“Majors twice passed over for promotion are no longer
guaranteed a full 20-year career. This controversial move was announced in
August because the rank remains bloated, hindering promotion prospects and
timing for junior officers.
Noncompetitive majors now face an annual continuation board,
which will send some officers home before retirement. All officers denied the
opportunity to continue will be able to apply for TERA, which could cushion the
financial blow.” As the Marine Corps Times reports here
Enlisted and Officers alike are going to get shafted. So let
me get this straight, as a Marine, you deploy when told, work your ass off, fight
your Nations battles when told, put in nearly 20 years and they can boot ya
without any retirement, health benefits, etc? Does that seem like the Marine
Corps is taking care of its Marines or simply eating its own to save some
money? You can tell me we have to cut costs somewhere but when did we start
screwing over Marines and stop looking out for them? Those taking early retirements are actually losing
$10k a year now or they can try to stick it out to make 20 and get nothing for
retirement as the TERA etc dry up. Note,
the “TERA” and other so called payments may not always be an available option
and could run out.
Does it seem right for Marines to dedicate almost 20 years
in service to be short changed before their 20 years are up? Last I heard when
we were trained to go to war, went to war (multiple times)they told us if we
stuck out the Marines for 20 years we would get what was coming to us. Lie. Lie.
Lie. They wonder why so many Marines are jumping ship. Back during the so
called 1:1 ratio (being deployed for 7 mo meant you were home for 14 months) of being home and being at war you very rarely
got a 1:1 ratio and Marines stuck it out because they were told and taught one
thing about dedication and loyalty to the Corps. Now that we see the betrayal, great
Marines are jumping ship, with or without any benefits.
These Marines that are leaving are combat hardened Marines.
You can’t get the experience they have over night because they have been
fighting for ten plus years to obtain it. When these 35k plus Marines hit the
streets what’s that going to do to our employment numbers?
Remember all those people that said the sequestration won’t
make much of a difference? I bet they aren’t Marines. Makes you wonder what the
Corps will actually be like in a year or two. Transparent comes to mind. Wait
until America needs Marines again, they will call for them, and there will be
Time for a C-Gar