Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch finally got my Sunday column, Uncle Sam Doesn’t Want You, online.
To recruit and retain volunteers, the Pentagon is improving military pay, benefits and working conditions.
My impression is the military is underpaid, especially in the lower ranks. The trend in more peaceful times is to view the military as a ‘see the world’ and ‘earn college benefits’ youth program. During times of danger and war this loose’s it’s appeal. Many of the police in my area have degree’s. Dispite the danger I think reviewing the pay and benefits should be our first consideration.
We don’t need a volunteer army but, a professional, paid army. Of course that brings up mercenaries and the use of businesses that provide military staff to perform supposedly non-violent training. In reality these businessmen become civilians who are not protected by military status.
I love the idea that kids would be involved in volunteer work. The problem is rewarding or requiring someone to volunteer means it’s not. You can be sure if the military doesn’t want unskilled labor, neither does Habitat for Humanity.
I’m going to have to start paying more attention to my hometown paper, even if that will be something of a mixed blessing. Will you be appearing there regularly now?
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