I have just completed reading the Posts of Richard Posner and Gary Becker on military Pay. Both are instrumental Reads as introductory education into the military Pay formula, and the American Public reaction to the losses among military personnel. The grounding for the American Public’s discontent, though, does not reside in their stipulated Reasoning. A greater depth of analysis is necessary to understand the Situation.
Posner and Becker assume there is no Draft observable in American society, but there is a Market-based Draft present. Personnel suffer from insufficient intellectual skills to acquire Scholarships or Grants, and additionally lack the necessary funds to acquire Skills from a Technical facility. They face a restricted Job market as they leave High School, or the Minimum Skill Jobs they attained after leaving High School. Personnel advancement is blocked for these young Individuals, especially as they face more-experienced Labor elements seeking employment. Their only venues for personal advancement is development of entrepreneurial skills for running their own business, or to join the Military. The Military tests this new Personnel, and without high intellectual or physical skills governing classification, are persuaded to enter into basic Infantry or Armored service. This is not as bad as initially perceived, as Personnel is granted Right to Service Schools of technical expertise in Times of low levels of Deployment. The Situation alters drastically with rapid Turnover of Deployments.
The current Administration quickly established a Policy of disallowing normal Terms of Service, which would grant normal exit from Service. This Administration then speeded the rates of Re-Deployment, functionally negating individual limitation in numbers of Deployments. The Bounce Effect of the current Policy is even worse than the permanent Deployments of WWII and Korea, with both Troops and Public cognizant of the Absence. The American Public are consciously and constantly aware of the unfairness of current Policy, where a small group of young Personnel are left to bear the total brunt of the War.
Fitting Military Combat Pay would assume all Household Debt of Wounded or Killed Personnel, so that their families suffer no duress which they lack the financial resources to eliminate. Military Pay, itself, should be structured to provide permanent Pay Hikes due to actual Combat deployments endured (a genuine fair Combat Pay would be a 3% Pay increase for each completed Combat deployment, completion established if Wounded). The actual Cost of these Provisions would not constitute more than 1% of current Military Budgets, and would actually reward these young Personnel for their long and rigorous struggle. lgl