“PLATOON… DISMISSED! ” said the platoon sergeant. Without skipping a heart beat a platoon of 45 marines responded “DISMISSED, I SIR! ” They all took one step back, they smartly raised their right arms with elbows at a 45 degree bend, their fingers joined and aligned to the tip of their cover rendering a salute. The platoon sergeant saluted the platoon back and returned his arm back to his side.
In unison the platoon about faced and let out a thunderous “00H RAH! ” It is payday Friday, two days of liberty waits with no signs of the typical angry Staff Sergeant or at least until Monday.There is no greater feeling of proudly serving this country, but getting paid in the process is definitely a plus. Being a single marine stationed in Beaufort, SC living in the barracks at the rank of E-4 with more than 3 years of active duty service makes a gross monthly income of 2,094 dollars (DFAS).
A single marine’s married counterpart with the same rank of E-4, with the same amount of active duty service makes the same amount of monthly income, but he or she also receives an extra 1,179 dollars a month known as BAH or basic allowance for housing (VA). How is that fair to all the single military members of the United States?Other than supposedly finding love, what makes being married special in the military? The U. S military is the only organization that pays more if one has a family. Congress should implement a new bill that would allow single members of the service the option of living off base or choosing the housing allowance to match the rates of married military personnel. As a civilian working for Boeing or the Saint Mary’s county police department one wouldn’t get paid more because they have a spouse with 2 children. Income is determined by hourly rate times hours worked regardless of marital status.By giving single military personnel the option to live off base, this would give them the opportunity to get away from the confines of the typical barracks room, where they have to follow the regulations of the barracks; keeping the rooms neatly organized as well as the weekly room inspections to make sure that the rules are being followed.
Implementing this solution will not be a problem and should be accomplished fairly quickly. Once the single military member elects to live off base he or she would have to sign papers pertaining to their selection of moving off base.It will be routed up and signed by everyone in the chain of command. Now that everything has been signed and the decision is final. The BAH would then get deposited at the first of every month for the amount of the total rent. Those single military personnel are free to live where ever, with who ever, and how they want to. The next question would be what should we do with all the newly freed up space in the barracks? The barracks could possibly be converted into some sort of education center, complete with its own library and media centers for those military seeking higher education.
Maybe having a communication room that allows spouses of those deployed to Iraq and other parts of the world to communicate with each other through video chat or something similar. These military installations can host fund raisers to help with the cost of building a new floor plan for the old barracks. Of course there will be some single military personnel that might not want to leave their comfort of their barracks room. They have the choice of living out in town and they refused that option. Next option would be to give them the BAH rate as if they were married.One might wonder and ask themselves why? How would this do any justice to solve the issue? First of all just by offering the married pay rate to the single members, it eliminates any complaints that arise from the initial difference in pay. Second, there are married military members who choose not to bring their families to live with them.
In these circumstances they can move off base into a small apartment or they can reside in the barracks. But residing in the barracks requires them to pay a fee to live in those rooms.If all the singles start receiving BAH they too should be liable to pay for their own rooms. This will add revenue that in return can be used to beautify the surrounding areas of the barracks or can be used to help build the new floor plan for the future learning media center. The pay difference isn’t the only problem that exists in the branches of the armed forces. In recent investigations contract marriages are increasing in the service. Contract marriages are fraud and chargeable under federal law.
As per the current order on BAH, in order to receive the BAH one has to be me married.If one is married, in love, and truly with their significant other then there is nothing to worry about, but if someone gets married for the sole purpose of getting extra cash now this becomes a problem. A contract marriage is a scheme to gain monetary gains from the United States government. On May 5, 2010, 17 people were indicted on charges which were a broad conspiracy scheme to recruit U. S. Navy personnel to engage in fraudulent marriages to Russian foreign nationals (Wavy-News). This show that the pay differences among the ranks and between single and married military members have some making terrible decisions.
None the less the pay gap needs to be resolved in order to make everyone of equal rank and equal pay. It is obvious that in this time of declining enrollments the military must bring its compensation system more in line with that of private industry. Protecting and serving this great country is not an easy task. Congress has to realize that in order to have the troops ready to bear arms at a moment’s notice they must be compensated for justly; paying service members based on the work they do, not on their family size or marital status.