Todays leaders must become robust and creative leaders as todays politicians and general officers have lost touch with reality in reducing soldier pay, implementation of troop reductions, stopped tuition ssistance for troops, and threaten to reduce or do away with retirement benefits. During these turbulent times, we must make every effort to convince soldiers to continue service to our great nation and if needed protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America. In addition the research conducted emphasizes drastic changes that the Obama administration has implemented throughout the Army.
The purging of soldiers and officers throughout the Army and its willingness to risk national security amidst huge budget cuts to the Department of Defense (DOD) which will without a doubt hurt troop readiness. Budget cuts implemented across DOD not only hurt troop readiness, but cripples Americas’ ability to respond to contingencies that will undoubtedly happen in the future. In disregarding troop readiness through budget cuts, the Obama administration has accepted the risk that our Army will undoubtedly fail to remain ready when the wolf comes knocking on our doorsteps.
Broken promises Throughout the last decade of War, approximately 1 % of the American population have fought in the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One major blow came when families of fallen service members were cut off from death benefits. This in itself is the reason service members raise their right hand in defense of American knowing they may not return alive because they knew that their loved ones would be taken care of if they were killed and no longer available to do so themselves. Leaders in the U.
S. Army must contend with such situations and somehow convince subordinates that although this is going on governmental leadership Will ensure that their families will remain taken care of. Our political leaders have lost touch with reality and disgraced the very fabric that protects them at night and allows them to make unethical ecisions with total disregard of the American veteran. How them at a time that these families mourn they use the dead as a pawn for one’s political financial motives.
If a promise such as this is broken, the trust is now gone, the numbers of Americans willing to step forward and pick up arms in defense of America will quickly dwindle; for good reason. It is unfathomable to any veteran that the country that they so dearly loved, defended, and would be willing to give one’s life for would one day turn their backs on them. The fact is that this actually did come to fruition. This country exists because or as long as we have been a nation, enemies have wanted to defeat us. Throughout time there have been brave men and women that stood tall and said to all; This We’ll defend.
When our nation’s leaders refused to pay death benefits for fallen soldiers this became shameful that a country built on values and morals would dismiss this as simply 0k. Poor is the country who has not heroes, but many are those who having them forget. Retirement Pensions Under Fire A very low amount of service members actually commits and stay for the long haul; 20 plus years of service. Congressional leaders proposed a reduction of etirement benefits to service members in an attempt to reduce the deficit over a 10 year period.
Veterans’ groups say “the cut could amount to an average cash loss of $80,000 or more for each affected retiree and a loss of confidence in the U. S. government’s word. ” (Scotti, 2014) The U. S. government has broken its promise and disregarded its own view of commitment. All soldiers go into the military under a contract that is expected to be fulfilled. Once signed, the contract is law and must be fulfilled. When a service member enters military service the soldier is promised a umber of entitlements and one of them is a pension if the service member serves in excess of 20 years.
The pension is not modest by any means when you take into account the wear and tear on the body over a 20 year period as well as serving under the most stressful conditions under fire. To receive a pension for the rest of one’s life is a compensation for being that one percent. Senior leaders in the Army preach values our congressional leaders use loosely; loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage (LDRSHIP). The leaders in the highest levels of government have a elief in what is considered a social norm and what is acceptable and in the process set a do as I say not as I do attitude.
Our nation’s leaders have become a group of hypocrites. Political leaders are no longer there for the people, instead are in office to take care of Washington’s political lobbyist who are more concerned about lining their pockets that taking care of constituents who put them in office. The federal budget committee agrees with reducing retirement benefits and look at it as a “tiny cut’. (Scotti, 2014) “They are giving you a half-truth,” said Barron, “These are people who, after 0 years of service, had a base pay of under $50,000 and are now losing around $83,000. (Scotti, 2014 ) An Attack on Healthcare The president has proposed cuts at military retirees and military families by increasing the cost of Tricare payouts. Another promise made to sen,’ice members from the inception of their contracts has or ultimately will be broken. This does not come as a surprise as service and defense to the nation has become nothing more than a waste of time to the American population. The days of an all-volunteer force will dramatically come to an end if the right decisions are not made at the highest levels of government.
The constitution of the United States of American clearly dictates that by law elected officials will fund a military has now become debatable and is thrown out the window in order to fund other unconstitutional programs that our elected officials support. The takeaway from all of this is not that military and retired military benefits are becoming unionized, the issue at hand is that our elected officials dictate what we the people receive yet their pay, benefits, retirement entitlements go unscathed .
If Obamacare is so good for the people why are our government officials not on the same plan? Retirees and ilitary personnel have sacrificed so much for this nation especially in the last decade and should be provided with the best medical care available. If ObamaCare is the best, then so be it, but it should also be mandated for elected officials in Washington. ‘We will compromise our nation’s defense and risk losing highly qualified individuals so that our elected officials can fund all their little pet projects and unconstitutional programs that are driving our nation into bankruptcy. (TRICARE, 2012) The issue at hand is not that veterans are not willing to pay increases in Tricare co-pays, the problem is hat veterans have been lied to for so long that veterans don’t believe that the nation’s leaders will use funds saved to actually pay down the nation’s debt. Tuition Assistance Chopped All service members are entitled to tuition assistance and is used greatly in part as a retention tool. By cutting the militarys tuition assistance program would greatly hurt recruitment as well as retention. Service members in todays Army are well aware of the benefits of securing a collegiate level education.
In order to get ahead in today’s Army one must hold at a minimum an associate’s degree. How are service members careers held to his standard and expected to pay out of pocket from an already tiny paycheck? If you are to make a college education a requirement then the federal government must provide the means and time in order for service members to continue their education. The troops “need the assistance to advance their careers, “and failure to restore the funding could damage recruitment and retention for many years to come,” said Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, the Army’s deputy chief of Staff for Personnel. Sisk, 2013) Perks over Patriotism Gone are the days where Americans picked up a weapon in the name of atriotism. Today’s service member will without question, tell the federal government here is a check payable up to and including my life. However, here is what one would want in return while one is still here for dedicated and honorable service. The truth of the matter is that it is more difficult for todays Army Leaders to entice service members with the thought of patriotism. Leaders must work diligently and become creative in motivating service members.
The thought and potential to be sent into harm’s way is never at the forefront of military personnel. The biggest and most popular eason for joining the military is for college assistance and job training. Why are so many soldiers leaving? The reasons are many; loss in leadership confidence, troop reductions, benefit reductions, toxic leadership and the list goes on and on. It seems as if throughout the military, the best and brightest always seem to be the ones who end up walking out of the door. Senior leadership in todays Army are forced to retain the very best.
But how can leaders do that? How can one stand there and tell them this is a great choice to make in their lives when leadership has nothing to offer them in return for their service. Even in the civilian sector, employees are compensated for their labor. If the employee works beyond their scheduled time they are compensated. Military personnel often work in excess of 60 hours a week and receive no compensation for it other than their normal base pay. There is no overtime pay in the military. Service members also site a loss in leadership confidence.
Due to over a decade of war, the military was forced to simply promote or advance individuals to higher levels of management not because one was the best or the brightest but simply due to that slot or position needing to be filled. The result was an increase in under trained leaders and in most cases service members forced into leadership roles who for all intensive purposes did not want to be there. The end result became known as toxic leadership. Leaders often neglected their responsibility or concern for subordinates and worried more about the advancement of their careers and pay.
Be All You Can Be? The motto of the U. S. Army in the early 90s was echoed as “Be all you can be”. The service members of today are leaving service in dramatic numbers because this saying is no longer true. The military now is seen as holding one ack as opposed to offering soldiers a stepping stone or advancement after military service. It is shameful to think that our military has done such a great job at enticing the youth of America into military service and training them to become such great leaders only to have nothing to convince them to continue military service.
Military personnel are trained to remain calm and think critically on their feet while under the most intense of stressors. These two strengths become lucrative to employers in the civilian sector who today are providing better compensation and pay. In addition, provide service embers with the ability to be home with their families every night without the thought of deploying to a War zone. “Why is the military so bad at retaining these people? It’s convenient to believe that top officers simply have more lucrative opportunities in the private sector, and that their departures are inevitable. (Kane, 2011) The main reason service members choose not to remain in military service is because the sense of being held back is overwhelmingly prevalent. Promotions are not merit based. Assignments needed for advancement wrapped up in a centralized bureaucracy that leaves ervice members not knowing where they will end up next. Civilian Sector Option It is extremely difficult for military leaders to maintain personnel strengths at high levels due to the civilian sector job markets providing better pay and benefits. Soldiers of today earn around 30,000 dollars conservatively.
How can military leaders compete with this when our civilian sector companies are offering service members upwards of 75,000 dollars with medical benefits as well as tuition assistance? They are offering all things that our federal government at one point promised its veterans. All roads are leading out of ilitary service and if this continues will result in a military force at critically low levels with the federal government unable to replace them. In the event of a major conflict, we as a nation will be left without the ability to respond decisively.
Military Readiness In a time of budget constraints and troop reductions, the thought of having a ready force prepared to respond to a contingency that inevitably will happen seems out right ridiculous. Todays senior military Non- Commissioned Officers seem to think that the idea of pay freezes, benefit reductions and the threat of one’s military retirement system is the last thing n troops minds. They assure senior level political figures in Washington of this with the utmost of confidence.
The message to senior senators during a budget conference was sound and resolute. The advice was given that political figures take the difficult path and remove sequestration cuts especially those to be imposed by 201 6 which will regrettably be the stiffest in order to ensure that there is a balance between protecting troop training and readiness . There seems to be a major disconnect amongst not only our senior military leaders but also our senior political leaders who only during imes Of political campaigning do they even think to consider the military men and women.
It is difficult for military leadership with a serious face say that we will be 0k with budgeting constraints and be able to ensure a ready and trained force. Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Michael P. Barrett told the subcommittee, “Marines are ready to take the hits. But, for gosh sakes, get on with it so there’s no doubt they stay trained and ready for the next fight. ” (Philpott, 2014) This very comment by the highest enlisted Marine shows a lack of understanding on what military personnel really want.
Service embers in todays military understand that money is tight and that we must do our part to help with the deficit. What service members disagree with is the thought that one may potentially be sent into harm’s way knowing that they lack training and lack the very thing that our nation’s leaders promised; the best equipment available in order to assure defeat of our nation’s enemies. How with such drastic budget constraints and troop reductions do our senior military leaders and politicians expect troops to do that? Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Michael P.
Barrett contin ued during his testimony o political figures that Marines were not focusing on compensation, benefits, or retirement, instead had a “bias for action” and measured their quality of life by the number of deployments and training events. How on earth can a senior enlisted Marine Say such comments with such confidence fully knowing that todays troops are battle weary and in no form would ever agree to such a thing. The difficulty for leaders in the military today is that they most often are left to deal with the effects on morale that such senior leaders create.
Leaders promise troops the world but tell them they can only have so much of it at a time. The problem is that our enemies do not sleep; they continue to observe ones every move and plot on when to strike next. America’s enemies know we are vulnerable, they know that all they have to do is wait it out. The military of today cant continue to be the world police if they are not properly compensated and equipment as well as prepared to ensure a swift and deadly victory against anyone who dares to call.
Leadership Must Change Todays military stands as the most battle seasoned military since the Vietnam War. Our military has responded for the last decade and ensure terrorist networks were dismantled and the threat of another attack on American soil was minimized. However, because of the fact that we have been at war for over a decade, standards of promotions were reduced thus allowing many that would otherwise never have promoted during a peace time military to rise to senior level leadership positions.
The biggest reason troops are leaving military service in waves is due mostly to poor leadership. This is why across the board service branches have made leader development a top priority. The result came amidst a survey from the Army Research Institute that concluded that showed 26 percent of sergeants and staff ergeants and 23 percent of lieutenants and captains surveyed planned to leave the Army after completing their current service obligations. Of those, 35 percent of enlisted and 26 percent of officers cited the quality of leadership at their duty stations as a reason for leaving. Tan, 2011) Amongst troops, concerns over leadership were an even greater reason to leave military service over multiple deployments. Throughout our military there are great leaders, but the number is greatly out done by those that are simply there to collect a pay check. Too many troops are simply getting promoted based on seniority and not based off of merit. The mentality is that the longer one stays in the better the chances are for advancement. Conclusion In conclusion, todays military personnel stand ready to defend the constitution of the LJnited States against all enemies.
But for how long seems debatable. Our nation’s leaders must ensure that these brave men and women are provided with the funding that gives them the best training and equipment available that will ensure ones success. Additionally, if we as a country are to ask these men and women to take up arms and defend Americas interest abroad, our nation’s leaders must be prepared to provide hem with the best medical coverage to deal with their physical, mental, and emotional problems that they will return with.
The compensation may be attractive but it is a symbol of appreciation for a service provided by only approximately 1% of our American population. Todays soldiers are at odds with current administration and its ability to properly care for them and look out for their best interests. Soldier of today see themselves as if they were used during the War on Terror and now that the war is winding down turn a blind eye. The soldiers were promised many benefits to get them to join and ow that they are in are being asked to sacrifice something that they were promised in the first place.