Thursday, October 11, 2007

So we don't have to revert to toy soldiers

The Cavalry
Originally uploaded by Dunechaser.
Turns out the Army isn't just giving bucks to people who join; they're giving big bucks to people who stay... well, not everyone, but special forces personnel are seeing big bonuses from the Department of Defense.

Richard Lardner of the Associated Press tells us, Military offers millions in bonuses to retain elite commandos.
The Pentagon has paid more than $100 million in bonuses to veteran Green Berets and Navy SEALs, reversing the flow of top commandos to the corporate world where security companies such as Blackwater USA are offering big salaries.

The retention effort, started nearly three years ago and overseen by U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., has helped preserve a small but elite group of enlisted troops with vast experience fighting the unconventional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Defense Department statistics.

Overall, more than 1,200 of the military's most specialized personnel near or already eligible for retirement have opted for payments of up to $150,000 in return for staying in uniform several more years.
Wow. And, it turns out if they accept the bonus while they are in a combat zone, the bonus -- all of it -- is tax free!

Personally, I think these bonuses are a better idea for the Army and the taxpayer. Frankly, $35k to ship to basic training before the end of the fiscal year was a steal. Keeping the seasoned warrior is more important.

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