$150,000 incentive to stay in US elite forces

The Pentagon is offering six-figure bonuses to members of the special forces in an attempt to stop the haemorrhaging of America's élite military units to far better paid jobs as civilian "mercenaries".

About 1,500 NCOs will be eligible for a range of incentives depending on how long they re-enlist for. The highest payments of $150,000 (£80,000) will go to the most experienced NCOs who pledge to serve six more years.

Private security in Iraq
Private security firms can offer over £100,000 to experienced soldiers for work in Iraq

A further 7,000 members of the Green Berets, Navy Seals and Air Force para-rescue crews will be offered salary increases from between £200 and £400 month based on their experience.

The new employment packages are aimed at staunching the flood of experienced soldiers who have left the military in the past three years and signed up for lucrative contracts with private security firms in Kabul and Baghdad.

"Our investment in these professionals is great, and the experience gained through years of service makes them invaluable assets to our nation's defence," Lt Col Alex Findlay, a personnel officer with the Special Operations Command, told the New York Times.

"Younger replacements can be trained, but experience is irreplaceable in the current worldwide war on terrorism."

America's special forces played a key role in the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan and a critical part in the swift overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

While senior members of the Green Berets or Seals earn about £27,000 and have a £12,000 pension, private security firms offer up to £106,000 a year.

"They're the best in the world at what they do, so there is going to be that competition," said Major Ken Hoffman, a spokesman for the US Special Operations Command.
Nice :D
Agent_Smith said:
While senior members of the Green Berets or Seals earn about £27,000 and have a £12,000 pension, private security firms offer up to £106,000 a year.
That can't be right. £27k for an SF master Sgt or whatever?
Probably - believe it or not, the British Army is relatively well paid compared to others.

Remember that the dollar is pretty weak at the minute so $50 000 may not be wide of the mark. Given the cost of living there that's not like £27 000 over here either, more like thirty-odd.
Not a new idea.. We've had ' incentives' in the CF for a while.. pay bonuses to pilots to keep them from jumping to commercial airlines.. Big annual bonuses to doctors to join as DEO's for 5 year stints.. etc.. other specialties are being ' solicited' with cahs incentives to either keep them in or draw them in..

Can't say that it works as a total success.. Government jobs [ except for very high bureaucrat/political spots ] never pay as well as the private sector...

Bet the US couldn't match the ' merc ' pay dollar for dollar and keep the guys happy to be dodging RPG's in Iraq..Hell, if you're going to be shot at you might as well get top cash for spilled blood.
I remember doing a course in Germany with a few septics on, mainly Rangers and Green Berets, and one of them was such an odd ball an so unmilitary everyone wondered why and how he applied and passed, so being a necky tom at the time I asked said SSgt in the Green Berets.

It turns out when he joined the GB's back in the mid/late 80's they were so undermaned that as an insentive for soldiers the USArmy offered them $1k to join on the course, a further $4k for passing and every time he reupped a further $10k!!!

The bloke said he had an extra $35k out of them just for going to work!!!
From my dealings with the yanks, their forces are paid very low, even for the reletavely low cost of living they enjoy. But they do get a lot more pay when they go on tour or live abroad.

Rocketeer wrote

Can't say that it works as a total success.. Government jobs [ except for very high bureaucrat/political spots ] never pay as well as the private sector...
While this is true, the army/government/paybods always factor in things like job security, pensions, x-factor and things like adventure training in to the wage equation aswell. Obviously civialian companies simply compensate your time with cold cash in the main, rather than the fringe benefits of service, that you might enjoy (ie the adventure training) when not on tour.

Also, I beleive, there is a lot of disillusionment within the US forces, both the special and not so special, especially when their tour lengths and frequency have been upped and of course that ever rising body count!!!

Their not so special forces go on ops for a whole year at a time!!! Rather than our 4-6 months. Not too sure about their SF. If that is upped during deployment, well it's not hard to imagine the feelings of the soldiers.

Also because of these long tours experience is not spread around, 2 to 4 Brits would have been on tour in the same amount of time, so when the disgruntled G.I.s p*ss off back to civvie street they take a lot of experience with them.

Mr Happy

This is a massive subject but heres a few notes:

An USArmy Capt chum was pulling in around 60K, he pays, being in Germany US Fed Taxes only (capped at 28% or so?) and when he deploys the first 70K is tax free. His cash balance at the end of 12 months sitting near a radio mast in Iraq was around 100K or so (the numbers are right but I agree the math doesn't work out).

Yanks get massive benefits for being forces but their officer corps gets much much better perks than the 'non-coms'.

The idea of paying a bonus to (not so special) forces guys is a little toss as any pilot or medic will tell you, there are shortages all over the shop. I guess this is slightly skewed article though.
Just spotted this advert, at the top, between the UJ and Mr Potatoe Head.

Navy Seals
Fantastic low prices here. Buy it. Sell it. Love it. eBay.
I thought they were trying to keep them in!!! :D
We dont have the available forces to do 6 month tours we would be doing twice the rotations. Also the brigades are being reorganized and we would be unable to accomplish this with a shorter rotation.

Pay is pretty good. Retirement is a huge benefit. At 20 years a soldier/officer can retire at 50% of base pay. At 30 its 75%. Free healthcare for the soldier. The family is covered under TRICARE. Troops that were held past their 12 month tour receive $1000 a monthextra pay on top of combat pay.
Pay in a warzone is tax free. Re-enlistment's done in theater mean the bonus is tax free.

The good news bad news about pay is that allowances [subsistance/housing/jump pay/aviation pay/ect] are non-taxable.

The bad news is that base pay is what retirement is based on. On retirement you lose your allowances.
Tomahawk6 wrote

We dont have the available forces to do 6 month tours we would be doing twice the rotations.
Obviously if you half the length of the tour you would do twice the rotations. That's maths!!!

But what's all this about not having the available forces? Your US Marine Corps' is, last figures I saw, slightly bigger than the whole of Her Majesty's Armed Forces!!! I appreciate there are generally more in theatre than our lads but either there's alot of dead wood or George W. is as crazy as Tony Bliar, when it comes to deploying blokes in as many sh*tholes as possible and then cutting their numbers!!! 8O

Mr Happy

choccy your math is right (+/- beat up time/post op leave/R&R) the who whiney opinion is worth nowt unless there is something that Britfor does that USForces don't do (thats the marriage/ceremonials/etc).

We just have to rotate quicker.

USAF does 3 month tours, USArmy does 12 months, USN, USMC as their deployment takes them as far as I'm aware.
The USMC is on a 7 month rotation. As far as the army is concerned our transformation really dictated the tour length. Last Fall the powers that be looked at 6 and 7 month rotations and determined that units transitioning to the new TO&E needed 12 months. From a practical standpoint would you rather spend a year at home or 6 months before you went back out to the sandbox ?

Mr Happy

Well we do six month tours and unless we're spectacularly unlucky don't go out after 6 months back. And the yank forces are far larger. What about those stories of the flight to the US that got turned back after leaving Kuwait because the unit on board had their tour extended from 12 months in theatre to 18 months?

I put a mail in here a few months from a US Army Nurse on a different subject but he spent 18 months in-country having been volunteered to extend from 9 to 15 to cover a USAF hospital unit short on nurses and he had to contact his Army cmdr stateside to get to go home when the USAF unit went home because they were going to volunteer him to stay for the third incoming unit.

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