The War Inside The Military Essay

942 words - 4 pages

The War inside the MilitaryIn the midst of the war on terrorism the United States is increasingly depending on its military men and women. President Bush, Congress, and the American Press have heaped richly deserved praise on the military, and they should. It has been thirty years since the United States drafted men into the service. The United States Military is now a professional, all- volunteer force. However, in spite of their importance to the security of the United States, the United States soldier is underpaid for his work compared to workers in the private sector of the country.According to the 2003 Military Pay Chart, a private (E1) in the Army earns $1064.70 a month before taxes are taken out That figure is low compared to what someone in the private sector can earn. The private sector is protected by the United States Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which currently sets the minimum wage at $5.15 an hour ("United States" 3). The United States soldier is an exception to this act and is not covered by the rules and regulations of the FLSA ("United States"1). In addition, the FLSA requires employers to pay "covered" workers not less than one-half times their regular rates for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in a work week ("United States"3). If a person in the private sector works fifty hours a week at minimum wage, they would earn $1,272.50 a month. The Private (E1) in the Army still earns $1064.70 a month regardless of how many hours the soldier has worked.Due to low pay, there is a true deficit in the soldier's quality of life when he is deployed. Jill Labbe, a writer for the Star Telegram, reported in her article, "Another Military instance of 'hurry up and wait'," that George Bush repeatedly told the servicemen and women that they were "under-paid and over-deployed". Currently, a soldier in the United States Army can expect to be deployed overseas for a minimum of six months every two to three years. To prepare for his deployment, the soldier must purchase all the necessary clothing and personal items for his stay. In addition, he must arrange for someone to oversee his affairs in the United States. That person is usually the soldier's spouse, but often it is an extended family member. While overseas, the soldier is often required to work full days and nights with little opportunity for sleep. Communication with home is sporadic and often the financial responsibility of the soldier. Meanwhile, the soldier's family suffers. Even though they are compensated for the deployment, the family must take on added responsibility due to his extended absence. Financial decisions, household maintenance, and child care become the sole job of the soldier's family.In spite of the low pay, and...

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