View Poll Results: Do you think Single Career Soldiers should be authorized BAH when deployed?

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Thread: Army Discriminates Against Single Career Soldiers Deploying in Support of GWOT

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Army Discriminates Against Single Career Soldiers Deploying in Support of GWOT

    The Army G1 Staff, BG Gina S. Farrisee, published an interim policy effective APR08 that results in dozens, possibly hundreds, of career single Soldiers losing their BAH while deployed on Military Transition and Training teams (MiTT).

    This policy was intended to manage personnel PCSes during the transition period of moving the MiTT training support mission from Ft. Riley to Ft. Polk. BG Pharisee and her staff determined that the best interum alternative would be to PCS all MiTT personnel to Kuwait (dependent-restricted location) until JUL09.

    This policy solely benefits the married Soldier or Soldiers with dependants because they get to keep their BAH while deployed. In fact, they also get to move their families and household goods anywhere they want prior to deployment and then move them again when they return from deployment (essentially two PCS moves per family in less than a 15 month period). On the other hand, the single career Soldiers and dual-military Soldiers (without dependants) lose all of their BAH while deployed. How can this possibly be fair?

    What really makes this interim policy confusing, is that all Single Career MiTT Soldier prior to APR08 and after JUL09 continue to collect BAH while deployed. Single Career MiTT Soldiers prior to APR08 were PCSed to Ft. Polk and authorized BAH at the Ft. Riley Rate. After JUL09, all Single Career MiTT Soldiers will begin PCSing to Ft. Polk and collect BAH at that location rate. But all the Single Career Soldiers assigned to MiTT Teams between APR08 and AUG09 get absolutely no BAH because the policy forces them to PCS to Kuwait!

    How can we honestly justify discriminating against the dozens, possibly hundreds, of single career Soldiers who are or will lose their BAH benefits??? So much for an all-volunteer Army if we keep treating people like this...
    Last edited by Marvin.Iavecchia; 01-27-2009 at 03:34 PM. Reason: typo corrections

  2. #2
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Default Not sure what you're getting at...

    MAJ I,

    Are you looking at getting a grassroots campaign against this policy or merely using this forum to air out a grievance you perceive as a slight to single Soldiers? Given your current posting, I would think you'd have other avenues to persue this.

    BAH is structured to offset the costs of housing, whether through mortgage or rental, while living in a domicile not provided by the military. Are you say, since deployed single Soldiers are provided places to stay while deployed that our single Soldiers living in the barracks are entitled to BAH as well?

    Essentially it's the same argument.

    I also highly recommend you introduce yourself here.
    Example is better than precept.

  3. #3
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    Default Re-read My Post Carefully

    You have it wrong... just re-read my post and try to understand.

    What I am saying is that the Army normally allows the Single Career Soldier on Military Training and Tranistion Teams (MITT) to collect BAH while deployed - BUT, has temporarily suspended that (from APR08 to JUL09). The policy was not staffed thoroughly to identify all the second and third order effects (like the one I am posting).

    I have three goals here: 1) correct this interim policy so that the Single Career Soldiers on MITT Teams continue to draw BAH; 2) address the larger "grass-roots" issue here that Single Career Soldiers should be allowed to collect BAH just like married or with-dependant Soldiers regardless of assignment - a Single Soldier doesn't want or need to establish a home?; 3) address the fairness of allowing married or with-dependant Soldiers to "PCS" their families twice in less than a two-year period when deploying to a combat zone.

    If a Soldier, regardless of status "chooses" to live in the barracks then he should not be able to draw BAH. BUT, if the Army forces that Soldier to go to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan or even Korea then he should be able to keep BAH just like the married Soldiers.

    I have addressed this to the right folks, but am not getting their full attention yet. I am hoping that by getting the message out, we can all work together to get it fixed. I am assaulting the issues in a variety of ways (this is only one of them).

    ** Career Soldier - generally an E6 or above (i.e. E6 thru W5 thru O10). E5 and below are not generally considered "career" Soldiers yet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin.Iavecchia View Post

    I have three goals here: 1) correct this interim policy so that the Single Career Soldiers on MITT Teams continue to draw BAH; 2) address the larger "grass-roots" issue here that Single Career Soldiers should be allowed to collect BAH just like married or with-dependant Soldiers regardless of assignment - a Single Soldier doesn't want or need to establish a home?; 3) address the fairness of allowing married or with-dependant Soldiers to "PCS" their families twice in less than a two-year period when deploying to a combat zone.
    Is a fourth goal the fact that you stand to "lose" about $1800 in BAH shortly? I only bring this up since this policy has run about 50% of its shelf life. What has happened since April 08 to get this higher on the priority list?
    Example is better than precept.

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    Thumbs down No fourth goal

    No, my fourth goal is NOT "the fact that you stand to lose about $1800 in BAH shortly?" I actually TCSed and will not lose my BAH. I am writing for all the other Single Career NCOs and Officers impacted by this unfair policy.

    My experience with bringing up real problems in the Army is that most are inclined to not do it... "don't want to be seen as rocking the boat or trouble maker." More often than not, the person rather than the problem gets all the attention - if you know what I mean. So it's not surprising that Soldiers are not clamoring about it. I am aware of several Soldiers in my MiTT class who are writing the Congressmen, but I will believe that when I see it.

    What's happened since April 08 is that "I" personally became aware of the problem and chose to get it fixed.

    The policy is MILPER Messages 08-065 and 07-034
    Using AKO login, view message at:

    http://PERSCOMND04.ARMY.MIL/MILPERms...All+Documents/

  6. #6
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Default My only remaining question is this....

    Is this a Small Wars issue or something better suited for the AKO message boards?
    Example is better than precept.

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    Thumbs up Its an appropriate issue everywhere

    this is an issue that impacts the morale, well-being, and good order and discipline of fighting men and women... therefore an appropriate topic here. anywhere we can get this issue seen and heard will help. I have posted to AKO Knowledge Centers (for transition teams). I will take up you advice and look for a general forum to post as well. thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin.Iavecchia View Post
    this is an issue that impacts the morale, well-being, and good order and discipline of fighting men and women... therefore an appropriate topic here. anywhere we can get this issue seen and heard will help. I have posted to AKO Knowledge Centers (for transition teams). I will take up you advice and look for a general forum to post as well. thanks!
    My Dear Major, you will, I think, find that Our Army has ever and shall ever discriminate against whomever it very well pleases, in the interest of accomplishing its mission of National Defense. This Mission First attitude is actually one of the most admirable traits of Our Army for me personally. Even if I sympathise with the single, the obese, the female, the convicted, the gay or other groups who are collectively & individually discriminated against by Our Army and its many seperate policies & regulations, I sleep much sounder at night knowing that we are focused primarily on defense "This We'll Defend" being Our Motto.

    Seperately I wish to draw your attention to the fact that our Nation is in the midst of a great financial and monetary crisis and certain belt tightening measures are in order, even within Our beloved Military-Industrial Complex. Priorities will shift from one administration to another; if Our C-in-c and Our Congress see fit to withdraw dubious payments from our Servicemembers then so be it.

    Military service is a sacrifice and is not for everyone. I'm certain you can understand that while I respect the opposite opinion to mine, as a devoted lover of capitalism, I also hate waste.

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    Thumbs down Wow

    Way to go Bullmoose... problem-solving at its best.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullmoose Bailey View Post
    My Dear Major, you will, I think, find that Our Army has ever and shall ever discriminate against whomever it very well pleases, in the interest of accomplishing its mission of National Defense. This Mission First attitude is actually one of the most admirable traits of Our Army for me personally. Even if I sympathise with the single, the obese, the female, the convicted, the gay or other groups who are collectively & individually discriminated against by Our Army and its many seperate policies & regulations, I sleep much sounder at night knowing that we are focused primarily on defense "This We'll Defend" being Our Motto.
    Wow.

    Seperately I wish to draw your attention to the fact that our Nation is in the midst of a great financial and monetary crisis and certain belt tightening measures are in order, even within Our beloved Military-Industrial Complex. Priorities will shift from one administration to another; if Our C-in-c and Our Congress see fit to withdraw dubious payments from our Servicemembers then so be it.
    You can't be serious. I think that our tax dollars are spent on much more rediculous things than BAH for deployed Soldiers.
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

  11. #11
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    I'm with FSO regarding the idea of this as a cost-saving measure - that just wouldn't compute, given the millions that we flush down the toilet on a daily basis for ridiculous reasons.

    But, regarding the discrimination and unfairness aspect, I have to side with Bullmoose. Speaking as a former single Soldier, E-6 and above w/out dependents aren't hurting financially in this day and age. If anything the GWOT is a windfall. It was three deployments over 5 years that enabled me to save enough cash so that, when I ETS'd, I could live in DC, attend business school, and do so without working, and still have enough cash leftover to attend law school.

    I'm not saying that there won't be a 1 in 1000, unforeseen circumstance that will make life difficult for one person (though I'd be pretty curious to hear one). But that is generally where the dozens of special programs (like AER) come in to play. Beyond that, just what did this guy get himself into if BAH is the only thing keeping his head above water when he deploys, starts getting combat bonuses, stops paying income taxes, and his living expenses plummet?

    I had another deployment prior to 9/11, as well. My BAH then was $0/month just like those who are discriminated against now. It didn't dawn on me that I was being discriminated against because I was single. I was just happy for the opportunity to serve.

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    Default mitt

    Branch did not show up this week, so we're still waiting, but from the stats, I am a good candidate for a MiTT, and speaking with guys in classes ahead of me, this no BAH for single officers is an issue of contention. If I get selected, I would at least like an explanation, other than, because we said so.

    You can justify anything by arguing that the Army can do what it wants, you're doing fine, and it could always be worse, but that is not a reason for a MiTT exclusion from BAH. Majority of guys on these teams are not volunteers, and if you're sending them, why should the guy next to you wearing a ring make $10K+ more, just because he has a ring. I understand he has a family, but does any other "employer" outright pay married more? What if his family is living with his/her parents, and banking the money? Unfair or discrimination, whichever, it is what it is.

    I doubt it will change though. I know a few CPTs who got out because of their MiTT experience, and I would think unnecessary additional kicks to the junk would not make that situation improved.
    "What do you think this is, some kind of encounter group?"
    - Harry Callahan, The Enforcer.

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    Talking Re: mitt

    The BAH exclusion isn't because of MITT...it's the temporary policy for MITTs that I mentioned above. If you come down on MITT orders on or after AUG09, and you are single, you will get to keep your BAH because you will PCS to Polk instead of Kuwait. You will collect Polk BAH while deployed. There may be exceptions to this if you put your HHG into storage (check with local transportation and finance folks).

    HRC (Aviation) doesn't want to hear it either - I think they are drinking the same water as the guys posting above.

    We will be successful in reversing this policy before AUG09, but it will take support from people like you. Urge anyone you know to speak out about this... as publicly as possible.
    Last edited by Marvin.Iavecchia; 01-28-2009 at 01:05 AM. Reason: correct a typo

  14. #14
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    Default Ah BAH Rants and fairness

    So the Army instituted an approximately year long policy that you fell into. There are many who fall into these, who knows what the bean counters were attempting to acheive when implementing this. We could go round and round about it, but what it really comes down to is that you are in the Army and get caught up in these things. One could argue that no single soldiers should receive BAH and should all have to live in Gov't quarters. Would love to see officers 3-4 men to a room, but guess that'll never happen. Seems I remember a day when there were such things as BOQs, anyone else remember these? If all single soldiers had to live in on base quarters then there would be no BAH issues with regards to single soldiers. I could also make the arguement that why do you deserve BAH at a higher rate than say an E-6 or E-7? Why are you authorized the standard of living of a house yet above enlisted members are only authorized an apartment or townhouse? Point is there are some things that the Army does that are not fair. So it's fair that BAH for my location actually decreased this year? Yet electric went up 20% and everything else increased (inflation)? Figure that one out. Yes in recent years we have been spoiled as a force, money being thrown around for everything, yet once the screws tighten everyone wants to scream no fair. Think it's bad now wait a couple years. Understand you feeling slighted, but I don't particularly feel for you. As a single E-5 and E-6 I remember having to live in the barracks, BAH for me was unheard of, so there I am living 2 to a room and sometimes 3 or 4 to a room, like to see a bunch of Majors and CPTs doing that.

    Sorry to rant but BAH and fairness of such is a sore subject, but not one that any of us will be able to change, too many highers reap the benefits of the way it is now. Ask yourself this who needs it more, you or that E-3 with three kids? Yes no one told him to have three kids.
    ODB

    Exchange with an Iraqi soldier during FID:

    Why did you not clear your corner?

    Because we are on a base and it is secure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin.Iavecchia View Post
    Urge anyone you know to speak out about this... as publicly as possible.
    Is it appropriate for service members to speak out publicly? Or appropriate for service members to urge others to do so?

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    It's a PITA, but this is SOP in my experience. None of my deployments when I was single included any kind of BAH, or any reimbursement for putting my crap in storage or paying for storage or any other expense. This was back when I was in the Navy and at that time single E-1 to E-6 and junior officers had to live on the ship or barracks. But's it's been a while for me. Has the policy changed, or was BAH to MiTT deployers implemented as an incentive or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkm_101_fso View Post
    Wow.



    You can't be serious. I think that our tax dollars are spent on much more rediculous things than BAH for deployed Soldiers.
    Yes sir.

    I'm always serious about my work. To quote MAJ Boothroyd, "I never joke about my work".

    I can think of nothing more ridiculous than waste and for me to be sincere on my detestation of the welfare state means personally opposing all unearned benefits and duplicitous payments, which I ever have.

    As a capitalist I respectfully disagree with all governmental wasteage. You might agree if you looked objectively at the issue. Critical thought requires being able to dispassionately judge situations and seperate your own interests from the equation.

    I'm also convinced that that's how good leadership works.

    It would be a very hypocritical man who thought it okay for him to steal from the taxpayers or derive any largesse, whilst pointing the finger at others who do the same. Communist attitudes infect many otherwise good people within our society and even the nobler subcultures.

    Seperately, as a sign of my sincerity & charity, any affected soldier by this particular policy who cannot afford their personal housing whilst deployed can send me an email and I will personally write them a check for as much as their requirement may seem to be or my ability to give will permit.

  18. #18
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    I was hesitant to weigh in on this, simply because doing so bumps the thread to the top of the "recent posts" list and thus increases its exposure. But it is already at the top, at the moment, and I'm posting before the normal flurry of early activity on the site that will hopefully push it down and eventually off the list.

    This thread seems to be fairly unproductive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin.Iavecchia View Post
    Way to go Bullmoose... problem-solving at its best.
    As it seems to have little to do with Small Wars...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullmoose Bailey View Post
    ... my detestation of the welfare state... As a capitalist... Communist attitudes...
    And regarding this question...

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Is this a Small Wars issue or something better suited for the AKO message boards?
    I think we now know the answer.

  19. #19
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    Default Sorry Schmedlap, I have to respond to 1LT Bailey

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullmoose Bailey View Post
    I'm always serious about my work. To quote MAJ Boothroyd, "I never joke about my work".
    To quote myself, "I always joke about my work, so I don't go insane."

    I can think of nothing more ridiculous than waste and for me to be sincere on my detestation of the welfare state means personally opposing all unearned benefits and duplicitous payments, which I ever have.
    You are deployed. Are you collecting BAH?

    As a capitalist I respectfully disagree with all governmental wasteage.
    You must be a pretty frustrated guy, then.

    You might agree if you looked objectively at the issue. Critical thought requires being able to dispassionately judge situations and seperate your own interests from the equation.
    Thanks for the lesson on critical thinking. I'm not deployed. I'm not single. I have no interests here.

    I'm also convinced that that's how good leadership works.
    I'm sure you are an outstanding one.

    It would be a very hypocritical man who thought it okay for him to steal from the taxpayers or derive any largesse, whilst pointing the finger at others who do the same. Communist attitudes infect many otherwise good people within our society and even the nobler subcultures.
    All right, guy. Now I'm a communist?

    Seperately, as a sign of my sincerity & charity, any affected soldier by this particular policy who cannot afford their personal housing whilst deployed can send me an email and I will personally write them a check for as much as their requirement may seem to be or my ability to give will permit.
    I can't really tell if you are joking or not.

    Based off of your extremely bizarre use of English, I don't think you are.

    If that's the case...again, you've left me speechless.
    Last edited by jkm_101_fso; 01-28-2009 at 02:19 PM. Reason: I can't help it
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

  20. #20
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkm_101_fso View Post
    Thanks for the lesson on critical thinking. I'm not deployed. I'm not single. I have no interests here.
    Just sniping here, but you do too have an interest. You pay taxes, just like the rest of us.

    Personally, I think the military needs to redo it's pay system. We should, as a country neither be paying one guy/gal more because he's married, nor should be providing special programs and bennies to another guy/gal because they're single. Under the 120mm pay redo system, some will earn more, and some will earn less.

    And please, spare me the "holy sainted soldier" b.s.. Frankly, soldier pay is more than ample, now. Especially since a significant amount of it is direct benefit, which makes their net pay seem smaller.

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