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Old 06-13-2009, 05:51   #16
Richard
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I don't think I would ever have the temerity to question a QPs loyalty to the brotherhood because they seek a better quality of life for their family in light of their sacrifices. My opinion is that such an assumption is completely inappropriate in light of what WE KNOW they sacrifice EVERY DAY.
Nobody's trying to question anybody's loyalty - just trying to understand a much different environment from the one faced during a different time in Group - when we fought to stay OCONUS where the job was for years at a time - among guys who had fought in WW2, Korea, the DomRep, LA, Africa, and throughout SEA (I knew guys with 5 - 9 straight years in SEA alone), etc - w/o the bonuses, > TDY, > incentive pay, etc. It took its toll, too, and one of the worst things about being back stateside was the funeral details for friends you had served with and had remained in-country when you DEROS'd.

Like ZD said - if the money's there, that's fine, but if not - will it change things?

Things change - personally, I hope some things don't.

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Old 06-13-2009, 08:47   #17
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Richard, I agree. If you are in it for the money you are in the wrong profession and I don't want you on my team. Though I don't believe anyone on this board is in it for the money. What I do feel is that most guys in group feel vastly under-appreciated. They have the feeling that no one in the chain of command cares about their sacrifices. I do enjoy the reality checks that you and the older generation provide for us. Last time I checked no group was doing year long tours, and back to back tours don't mean 2-3 years straight. I had the "opportunity" to chase down several knuckle heads through jungle-like terrain. It was the most puckering 5 hours of my life. I was literally on top of these fellas before I could engage them. I couldn't imagine doing it for a year straight.

The big difference between conflicts of past and the present are the availability of options. Private sector jobs are abundant on the outside for whoever wants them. The higher skill level you bring to the hiring table the higher your potential wages. I once bumped into a blackwater contractor making six figures. The guy was a former marine admin clerk whose only job was to ride on a helicopter as QRF. On top of the OCONUS contracts you have everyone and their brother building training sites, hiring former QP's for CONUS work.

I was offered the "big money" carrot many moons ago just prior to re-enlistment. I had my own personal reasons for not taking the bait and getting out. The next guy might have just as many reasons why he hates the military/the army/group/etc. and ETS.

I have more than a dozen friends who have gotten out for jobs on the outside. One had over 15 years in. They were all great guys and I never faulted them for doing so. But, almost to the man they regretted the decision (the only guy who doesn't, left with a huge chip on his shoulder). In the private sector (minus a few higher end jobs) no one has your back and it's every man for himself. That's the basic summary from 14 out of 15 former SF.

Incentive pay is cool and all if it ever does come down, but what will it change? You will still be going on the same deployments, you will still have the same chain of command you hate, and the same guys who want to get out will still get out. It's kind of like a civil lawsuit, "Your honor, I know I will never get my (fill in blank here) back, but 2 million dollars will make me feel better about it."

Now I will hide behind a rock in anticipation of stuff being thrown at me.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:01   #18
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What I do feel is that most guys in group feel vastly under-appreciated.
Thanks for the input. I think you stated your case very well and the above sentence would appear to me to be the crux of the problem. Let 'em all know how much we out here appreciate their efforts and sacrifices.

Appreciatively,

Richard
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:28   #19
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Guys, this is not a Johnson measuring contest. And clearly, no one joins SF just for the money.

I came into the Force after Vietnam, but was trained by the men who served there. They were pros, and most were very good at what they did. When they came in, we had an Army largely composed of draftees, and compensation was low. SF was caught in this. I suspect that many SF guys did one tour in Vietnam and got out. Others served multiple tours over a war that lasted from 1961-1975. SF was there for more than a decade. But by the time Vietnam was winding down, the Army was in the midst of a very bad period in our history, and I did serve during that period.

Flash forward over several wars of shorter duration and consider that we are on the 13th rotation to Afghanistan since October 2001, and almost that many to Iraq.

In Afghanistan, that is 13 seven month tours, split primarily between 3rd and 7th, with NG augmentation.

Those troops are home for at most, five months out of the year, pretty much every year that they are in Group.

Some now have been gone to the combat zones for more than 48 months since this started, and no end is in sight.

Some spouses can handle that kind of deployment schedule. Many cannot. One thing that can help is a little extra money to help make sure that the family is living well during the deployments.

There are a lot of opportunities on the outside, paying significantly more than the Army offers. Spouses know this as well.

Guys also sometimes feel that the leadership does not value them or is not looking out for their best interest. As Bas noted, burying friends is bad. Burying friends who died needlessly is worse by far. I think that we lose a lot of people right here, and money may, or may not make a difference.

Last, I think we attract a number of people, largely under the 18X program, who want to see if they can become SF and serve in combat with us. Once that is accomplished, they only have a few years of an initial entry contract to serve, and after a couple of tours in the Box, the rest are going to pretty much look the same. Nothing left to prove, why stay? Some of these guys may be tempted by the money, or the cameraderie, or the opportunity to try out for other Spec Ops units, to try and measure up to their standards. Others have different plans, and will leave regardless. That seems to me to be much like the mindset of the guy who does not want to die saying, "Well, I could have done that if I wanted to."

Whatever the motivations, people are leaving, and incentives have to be found to retain the good SF soldiers, or the future of the Force will be dim. Smart people are trying to figure out how to recruit the candidates that we are looking for, get them trained to standards, man the Force adequately, and retain sufficient numbers to keep the units operationally sound. The latter is the reason for the bonuses and extra pays.

TR
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:16   #20
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As expected, TR sums it all up quite correctly. I agree.

The thing that gets me is that we are not living under the conditions endured by General Washington's troops circa 1776 when Soldiers went two or three months without pay and many still stayed on while others went back home. The money just was not there to be handed out (no "stimulus package", I guess).

I have worked with personnel from other SOF within our services. I find that there IS money out there to provide for their SOF warriors in many different ways - be that availability of required individual equipment, operational platforms, or incentive pay - yet, it seems like the process to get that to our own guys is the slowest in the services.

Maybe, as a QP myself, I am very biased towards our own, but I happen to think we deserve it as much as the next SOF service member. Maybe some of us here are of a different opinion, but I doubt that.

In any case, I think we still do pretty good presently. But, it can be better.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:43   #21
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Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
Some spouses can handle that kind of deployment schedule. Many cannot. One thing that can help is a little extra money to help make sure that the family is living well during the deployments.

There are a lot of opportunities on the outside, paying significantly more than the Army offers. Spouses know this as well.
IMO a smart spouse will want her man to stay in SF rather than going with contractors. Yeah they dangle a lot of money and claim shorter periods away from home (which is usually BS), but they also lack the support for both soldier and family. The ones that offer $1,000.00 a day are demanding proportionate risks to earn that money. I have never encouraged him to take a contracting job. I just don't think it is worth the risk, and I don't think he would be happy doing it.

I don't like having him gone 75% of the time. I really DO like having him around, but after he has been home for a while he gets antsy and usually starts tearing holes in the walls of the house (remodeling ... not anger management). About that time, I will ask if he doesn't have some school to go to or something. Most other wives I know are similar. Then again most other wives I know have been doing this for 5+ years and are on the four or fifth or sixth deployment. I know there are women out there who have threatened to and/or left guys for staying in group, but by and large those marriages had other issues happening. SF doesn't tear marriages apart, but it will shine a glaring spotlight on problems in the relationship.

TR is right, the money does help when he is gone. Mostly it helps pay for things he would take care of if he were home like the yard, home repairs, cleaning out the gutters, blah blah blah. It is also nice that we can put some money into a gun fund for him every deployment so he has a toy when he gets home. However, even with the incentive pay, no one is gonna get rich doing this job, but it will help offset his "'cool guy" gear that the Army won't pop for and that I don't have the heart to deny him.
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Old 06-13-2009, 14:05   #22
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My $.02. First a little background. I spent 10 yrs in the USN & 3 yrs in the USNR. While in the USNR I contracted for BW. Now I am NG. So, I know a little about how other Services pay & about exploring options.

My EOD buds in the USN get monthly $375 SDAP (Master EOD Tech), $150 or $275 Jump (most @ the $275 rate), $150 Demo, & $215 Dive. Some also get FLPP, and their SRBs are in the $60K max range. SEALs are on par with this. The Navy definitely does a better job of compensating their personnel monetarily.

I loved contracting. I only worked 5 months during a year and made more money than I ever did in the USN. I saw going SF in the NG as a way to advance my career in contracting. The initial plan was to do both similtaneously, live well & prosper. Thing is, once I was back on AD I realized how much I missed the military. I have been Guard bumming ever since & am exploring my options for returning to AD or going AGR because my 20 is within reach.

I love SF & I believe wholeheartedly in our life of service, but once the retirement option is on the table, I am going to need some heavy persuation to continue sacraficing my time away from home. I am still on my first wife, & after all the BS she has tolerated over the years I want her to keep sticking around. I would also like to be around to keep my boy in line once he gets to that point in life where he needs firm supervision. We give & give to our nation. Our nation should give back to us.

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Old 06-13-2009, 18:30   #23
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Originally Posted by Basenshukai View Post
Maybe, as a QP myself, I am very biased towards our own, but I happen to think we deserve it as much as the next SOF service member. Maybe some of us here are of a different opinion, but I doubt that.

In any case, I think we still do pretty good presently. But, it can be better.
I agree with this statement that we deserve it just as much as any other SOF service member. I obviously don't do it for the money because I could have made a lot more on the outside. I love my job and I am coming up on my 7th trip to Iraq and hey, a little extra money in the bank for my wife and kid wouldn't hurt a thing.
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Old 06-13-2009, 19:09   #24
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I'm going to try and articulate this as diplomatically as possible because I have already had an experience with a thin-skinned senior NCO on this forum and I don't want to slight anyone that I share space with in this community. .
I tell ya what, if someone on here or in our community has thin skin, then they should go to another forum, or go to another community.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:50   #25
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Guys also sometimes feel that the leadership does not value them or is not looking out for their best interest.
This is a long-running thread in the history of the American military.

Two anecdotes from our country’s founding capture the independent thinking of the American soldier and the greatness of the Army officer who led them. During the Revolution, a man in civilian clothes rode past a redoubt being repaired. The commander was shouting orders but not helping.

When the rider asked why, the supervisor of the work detail retorted, “Sir, I am a corporal!”

The stranger apologized, dismounted, and helped repair the redoubt. When he was done, he turned toward the supervisor and said, “Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your Commander-in-Chief and I will come and help you again.”

Too late, the corporal recognized George Washington.

The power of example in leadership.

On another occasion, Washington was making his rounds and came across a Private John Brantley drinking some stolen wine. Brantley invited Washington to have a drink with him.

The general declined, saying, “My boy, you have no time for drinking wine.”

Brantley responded, “Damn your proud soul – you’re above drinking with soldiers.”

Washington turned back, dismounted and said, “Come, I will drink with you.”

The jug was passed around, and as the general re-mounted, Brantley said, “Now, I’ll be damned if I don’t spend the last drop of my heart’s blood for you.”

A lesson in the independence of the American soldier and his loyalty, when treated with respect.


http://elitestv.com/pub/2009/05/defe...cement-address

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Old 06-15-2009, 18:11   #26
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And clearly, no one joins SF just for the money.
I did. Somebody sold me a bill o' goods!!

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Old 06-15-2009, 19:59   #27
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I joined because I thought I was going to get rich. Clearly hasn't happened yet!
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:59   #28
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Rich! Somebody's gettin' rich? The recruiters told me being in SF was a great way to meet movie stars and get laid - all I had to do was learn to swagger around town in Class B's wearing my beret, a Rolex, a demo knife, and a star saphire ring. The only one who got rich was the guy who sold me the Rolex and ring. Sounds as if them effin' recruiters are still lyin'. Some things never change.

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“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.” - Robert Heinlein
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Old 06-30-2009, 17:51   #29
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A huge reason I decided to contract 18X was that I saw what my degree was going to be down the road; 10 hour days sitting in front of a monitor, designing things I would never see. The more I learn about SF the more determined I am. The way I view SF is that it is the lifestyle closest to what I consider to be ideal; true brotherhood, meaningful and interesting work, and a hard life. If you don't have a way to push yourself beyond what you are, you won't grow and learn, and then what's the point?

The money is nice, but I don't think money is going to get me through selection. The reason I'm going in is to see just how far I can push myself, pure and simple. It also happens to coincide with other equally strong feelings (I'm an Eagle Scout; I love my country). I also believe it will be an excellent job, with variety and opportunities to continue to become stronger, and ways to test myself.

Just thought maybe a little personal input and "why" would be appreciated from an 18X. If not, I'll start looking for cover...
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Old 06-30-2009, 21:39   #30
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For some SFG's this is not the SF of 10 years ago where teams deployed for 3-weeks to somewhere in the Carribean teaching the indig army every other day and came home with a fist full of cash; high OPTEMPO pay, $150/day per diem, etc... if you have BTDT, you probably know what I am talking about.

Today, on some teams, you had better be a barrel-chested, steely-eyed, lead-slinging and knuckle-draggin' freedom fighter. You are going to go to one of the biggest shitholes on the planet. There will be no hotels to sleep in, no beaches to lay out on and T&A means something completely different (toes n ankles). The guys you are replacing said "it's dangerious out there sarge," and quit conducting ops 2 months prior to your arrival. The enemy is going to be so far up your ass that the only white space you have is inside your OPCEN. You are going to kit up every day and go out there and beat them off your wire. You are going to pressure, pursue and punish them. In some cases you will kill so many enemy that the senior leadership is going to ask you to stop. The only response is, "when they stop shooting at me, I will stop shooting at them." Today, teams are doing this over and over and over without a letting up. They come home for a few months and go straight into training only to deploy again. My average is 60-days home a year and I know of guys who are on there 9th combat deployment. As one team sergeant said, "you guys are some of the hardest men I have ever known. I only have to do this once, but you will have to keep coming here over and over."

Incentives come and go for various reasons. Right now it is about how do we keep these guys. Yes, we could fight this war with "nothing but M16A1's and LBE's" attitude, but what are the reprecutions of that?

18X's pretty much come around or they don't stay around. Most of the guys who reenlist are just as good as any other guy. Should see a better batch coming through the pipeline now that there is a change in leadership/direction. One of the first SFAS's under his wing had something like 26 soldiers selected.
Well put brother.
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