DoD's 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation: Changes are coming
Military.com reports here that since 2009 military pay and allowances for enlisted have outpaced 90 percent of private sector workers with similar age and level of education. According to the QRMC report, officers and enlisted receive better pay than the majority of civilians working for private employers.
Military offers numerous benefits including non-taxable Basic Allowance for Housing, Basic Allowance for Subsistence, tax advantages, non-taxable income while deployed, and numerous free services, such as free legal services (will, power of attorney, health care power of attorney). It also offers competitive prices for groceries at the commissary, PX, and normally lower gas prices. This does not include medical care that many would not normally be able to afford at the same level in the civilian world. After 20 years of enjoying those benefits, one gets to retire and receive from the Government a significant portion of his or her Active Duty salary for the rest of their life, plus still enjoy numerous benefits, such as Space Available flights, commissary benefits, and others. Retirement benefits can go into hundreds of thousands of dollars by themselves.
As such, it is very important to protect these benefits, pay, allowances, and entitlements. One way of protecting them is to ensure when legal issues arise, from a letter of reprimand, Article 15 punishment, adverse personnel action, to a court-martial, proper legal services are rendered to eliminate or limit any impact on the benefits. Many Servicemembers are advised to take a punishment under Article 15 to avoid a court-martial. But they are not told that the Article 15 has the potential of stopping their career, preventing them from being promoted, and eventually leading to them being separated from Active Duty for adverse information in their OMPF. Such adverse information may also limit their retirement benefits. In some cases, non-judicial punishment is the best choice. In others, it must be challenged to bring out facts showing that a servicemember did not do what the Article 15 alleges he or she did.
The Federal Practice Group possesses experienced former Judge Advocates from different services ready to assist you in your military justice and military personnel law matters. Ultimately it comes down to preserving your military benefits for you and your family and figuring out the best way to do so. Contact the Federal Practice Group for a consultation.
This information is not legal advice and it is directed at general public only. For specific legal questions, contact your civilian defense counsel.