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Hagel to the Troops: It’s Not About the Money

Cutting pay 'an effort to keep them safe.'

12:31 PM, Feb 26, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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As Andrew Tilghman at Military Times reports, Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, is telling the troops that, while they may not be getting much in the way of pay raises, they will be better off for it and that:

... the historic reductions in military compensation he proposing is, in part, an effort to keep them safe. 

More money for readiness and equipment that will pay off on the battlefield even if it means less for the home front where:

compensation changes — if they become law — would reduce many troops annual compensation by more than $1,000. The pay raise that is less than the annual consumer price index increase will shave several hundred dollars from most paychecks. Reducing BAH [Basic Allowance for Housing] payments by 5 percent will likely shave several hundred more from household cash flows. The rising commissary prices could result in increases of several hundred dollars in annual costs for some military families.

These things, Hagel says, are important but the troops need:

… to keep in mind why they made an initial decision to join the military.

“Why’d you do that?” Hagel asked a group of soldiers. “I doubt it was for the pay and compensation or even the glory,” Hagel told soldiers at Fort Eustis

“You are doing something for your county. You are doing something for other people. It is as noble of a profession as there is in the world.” 

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