(October 26, 2011 – Arlington, VA) After reading the October 26 article in The Washington Post by Steve Vogel, “Military pensions not ‘out of control’”, AUSA president, General Gordon R. Sullivan, AUSA, Ret., said, “This article reflects what AUSA has been saying for a long time, and that is one of the richest nations on earth can afford to continue the current military retirement system for those few who defend it with a lifetime of service.”
General Sullivan went on to say, “Deputy Undersecretary Rooney rightly points out the vast difference between jobs in the civilian sector and the military profession.”
General Sullivan noted that “military retirement benefits are not gifts; they have been earned through blood, sweat, repeated deployments, missed birthdays and anniversaries, and the risk of injury or loss of life. These benefits are designed to provide a powerful incentive for top-quality people to serve full careers despite the hardships of such service on those troops and on their families.”
Further, “long-term military service requires extraordinary sacrifice by those serving and their families over two to three decades – in essence, service members write a blank check to the United States for an amount up to and including their life. Our government imposes no limits on the sacrifices of those who serve a career in uniform - less than one-percent of our population - and in turn must provide a substantial and predictable compensation package.”
General Sullivan and AUSA are vocal and adamant that military benefits must not be sacrificed on the altar of deficit reduction if we as a nation are truly committed to those who are willing to carry our colors into battle.