Monday, July 30, 2012

Call me re-energized - I got news from Afghanistan - from my Daughter who is serving there. As you can see in the picture, she decided that even though she is a Reservist with 5 years service and two deployments (one to Iraq and this one)that she would re-enlist. Of Course I am very proud of her decision. I pray for her safe return in several week. She faces a period of change for the Army Reserve. Will the benefits be better for her? (at least one is, she can retire at 58 due to her deployments) Will the retirement system be a real benefit to her. Will this country honor the committments made to her as she has done in return? I wish her a great career...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reserve Drill pay changes

After a considerable period of time I have been nudged to think about posting again to retired Reservist. My issue was that after a couple years departed from the Reserve life, I feel less inclined to weigh in on policies and events. However recently I saw the consideration that is circulating to change the way Reserve soldiers are paid for drill weekends. The DOD panel has proposed:
The QRMC recommended modernizing the reserve compensation system by transitioning the reserve components to a total force pay structure under which a member receives full pay and allowances for each day of duty regardless of the type or purpose of duty. Further, the QRMC recommended transitioning the reserve components to a retirement system that is more closely aligned with the active duty system with guard and reserve members receiving retired pay upon reaching their 30th anniversary of military service, having completed 20 qualifying years
While this will save money for the Army, it ignores several realities for guard and reserve members. The Drills that I participated in were anywhere from 4 hrs to 24 hours in a day (during field training) Training on a drill weekend required considerable prior training, juggling work for MUTA 5s and sacrifice to enable the training to be a valuable event. Many hours were added for unpaid administrative requirements and finally PT was required which was done on my time. Reservists do not get BAS/ housing pay which can add up as a tax free addition to base pay. We did not have health insurance. This effort will radically reduce the pay for a truly demanding job for many reserve soldiers. There is only so much G&C sacrifice that should be asked and salray reduction and retirement point restrictions are counter to attracting the best to the component.