Minimum wage makes more per year than our military?! UPDATE: Short answer, yes.

*sigh* I don’t like talking about politics, I really don’t, especially not on here. But earlier my twitter feed showed me an image that stated outright that the minimum wage paid more than our military. Others stated that while this was not the case, it would be for a $15 minimum wage. And the idea that either would be true ticked me off to a fair degree.

So if you’re here to read the fantasy stories, I promise, this won’t become a habit. After finals this week, I promise to go back to producing regular content for my followers. You can go ahead and leave now, if you prefer.

Let’s break it down, shall we? Assuming 2000 hours (40 hours per week, plus two weeks with no pay or work) a wage of 7.25 an hour adds up to 14,500 gross income. According to, a private (as stated on the page, a new soldier generally enters as a private) with less than 2 years of experience earns $18,194 (though the website stipulates that the first few months of service pay will be lower, so make of that what you will).

A minimum wage of 9.097 would get you that same pay. So while no, the military does not earn less than the minimum wage right now, they’re less than 2 dollars an hour from it. (albeit before benefits)

While what exactly the minimum wage should be depends on who you ask, a big news item lately has been fast food strikes aiming to gain a wage of $15 an hour. That would add up to 30,000 a year. Earning 30,000 a year in our military requires you to be a Sergeant with four years of experience AT LEAST.

So… yeah. The minimum wage fast food workers want to flip burgers is more than many of our soldiers are being paid to fight and die for over four years… Albeit before benefits, and most fast food workers will work less than 2000 hours, but you get the idea.

I dunno about you, but I don’t find it fair to demand you get more money than our military for flipping burgers -_-

EDIT1: “Oh and your own argument about soldiers’ wages is wrong, soldiers don’t work a typical 40 hour week, they work much longer hours, so they get significantly less than minimum wage per hour.”-pynomrah

*shrug* Okay. But the point that minimum wage workers want more for a much less dangerous and vital job still stands.

EDIT2: So apparently this blog is popular enough I got a veteran to look at my stuff. Scroll down to the comment section see how incredibly wrong and stupid I am *facepalm*

EDIT3: More specifically, I made a few assumptions that frankly were dumb as hell. Primarily regarding work hours. Factor in how long a soldier generally has to work and it’s closer to 1 dollar. (The number was… 72 cents, I believe?) So yeah. The current minimum wage pays more than our military, too.


116 comments on “Minimum wage makes more per year than our military?! UPDATE: Short answer, yes.

  1. […] Minimum wage makes more per year than our military?! ( […]

    • Lynn Durbin says:

      Ok, yes you are an indentured servants. In the end as many enlist for the benefits:medical, education, burial, a better chance at aquiring a job with additional points. We train the military to kill, a majority have PTSD, abuses in their families……no amount of blood money is worth it. The sadness imposed on veterans, their families, and the world.

    • Elkhorn says:

      Look up those benefits. they basically double the figures you have.
      People are striking for more money coz it’s getting hard to feed your kids.
      If you think people should be thrown to the dogs because they don’t do something ‘dangerous’ you’re a fool.
      furthermore you have obviously never worked in fast food so you know nothing about the realities of anything you’re talking about.
      good job fomenting class division, douchebag.

      • halftangible says:

        I worked at Kroger’s for over 2 years, I know exactly what it’s like to work minimum wage (you ever have to pick up a used condom with your bare hands?!)

        America’s economy is in the shitter right now because our labor force participation rate is at the lowest it’s been in decades, not because wages are too low. If anything the minimum wage HURTS the economy.

        And for the record, slime bucket? “Soldiers don’t get paid enough” isn’t the same thing as “Everyone who isn’t a soldier deserves to starve”.

      • jeantall says:

        I have worked at fast food And without a doubt its more then “flipping burgers”. Without a doubt the biggest issue with the job is how difficult people make it on the workers simple because they are fast food. However I have lived with my twin brother who works military and 9 times out 10 I have way more money and freedom then he does. I have more time off as well,I don’t have work 7 days straight because some asshole got drunk that weekend for no bonus pay etc. I have worked construction,farm work and several other misc jobs as well. I can without a doubt say “flipping burgers” is far more then what people think and value it as. BUT I would never compare it to military life and yes we do have much more to show for our few hours work then any military will ever show for 7 days of 12 hours of work will.

      • Roman says:

        Ok I am Gonna be straight with all of you. Military Does not get paid more then a fast food worker per hour. You say benefits outweigh this? alright so half the year I work on the ship working 12 hour min the command will say. True story? I work 14- 16 hours a day every day out to sea. no weekends sick days(unless it could really hurt you or your really hurt.) You live in a small rack that is smaller then other peoples bed in a compartment with plus 100 people. now tell me what is your Price for medical coverage? if you worked the same hour as me in your minimum wage job could you afford it? bet you would have more then enough money. now do some military not work these hours? yes some don’t. your paid the same regardless of hours. as for elkhorns comment. dude i paid for food for my wife me and my daughter working two minimum wage jobs and went to school. had medical coverage and a nice apt. how? no stupid moves with credit cards no fancy cars, cooked my own food. so before you insult people get your act straight. life is not easy but with effort you can do it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do u think it’s easy for military families to feed their kids? These men and women are gone for a year at a time and miss everything in their families lives so u can have your stupid opinion. I’ve worked in fast food for years and make damn good money because I’ve proved I am a great and hard worker. U don’t prove u can work u don’t deserve that

    • Tim says:

      I think this should be about paying our servicemen more, not about keeping others from making a living wage. But sure, I guess you could take it in a totally negative direction.

      • halftangible says:

        1) I wrote this to analyze the question, not to argue a particular point in regards to the minimum wage.

        2) The Left push for this illustrious living wage while simultaneously arguing that military spending needs to be cut tremendously, so yeah, it’s pretty much an either/or scenario. Because politics are dumb.

        3) The minimum wage is a stupid idea to begin with (even ignoring that the actual MW is $0.00 – ie unemployed) even moreso when you try to claim it’s supposed to be enough to live off of.

    • Anita McCoy says:

      I agree the military should make way more so should civilians.the gov pay their officials good money and benefits n guess what its out of tax payer dollars and let’s not talk about the salaries of congress. It’s sad everyone can’t see the bigger picture. Lots of power just abused

  2. Retired Vet says:

    Your assumptions are wrong…. I did 22 years in the military.

    Your average combat soldier works 14 to 18 hours a day 7 days a week when deployed. If you use the average of 16 hours a day then that is 480 hours a month. $15 dollars an hour would be about $7000 a month times 12 would be 84,000 dollars a year…

    Your private is missing 68 thousand dollars………….

    Let’s look at peace time (never mind you have no doubt forgot they have been at war for over 13 years while you sat on your couch)

    He works 12 hours a day (0500 to 1700) 5 to 6 days week not counting when his name comes up on the duty roster for something when in garrison or in the United States.

    Plug your numbers in now….. I will even leave off one of the days per week just to be generous…

    12 x 30 is 360 hours. $15 dollars an hour for a year is 68,000 dollars… The Private appears to be missing $ 70 thousand dollars….

    See what a lack of knowledge does for you?

    Since the President just said on TV we should pay contractors $10 and 10 cents since they should make as much as soldiers let me show you what a fool the President is….

    War time – and it’s been nothing but for the last 13 years – a Private being paid 18,000 dollars a year makes $3 and 12 cents an hour.. THAT’S RIGHT THREE DOLLARS AND EIGHTEEN CENTS in a war that President promised he would end as soon as he was elected…the first time…

    Peace time – That Private makes $4 and 16 cents an hour…yeah FOUR DOLLARS AND SIXTEEN CENTS.

    That guy that is dying or getting blown up for us and WHAT DOES THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT DO? They blow his retirement savings in half with that budget they just passed….

    • halftangible says:

      “See what a lack of knowledge does for you?”

      *shrug* I acknowledge I don’t know much. Thank you for your service, and for your correction.

      My point that people want more money to flip burgers than our soldiers get to fight and potentially die still stands.

      • em says:

        If anything, Retired Vet only strengthens your argument. I also thank him for his service. I do not believe he understands that we are on his side, which is to say that if ANYONE deserves a pay increase, it’s our Military, not a fast food worker flipping burgers. Minimum wage jobs are meant to provide unskilled workers with a foot in the door and give them work experience. They are not intended to be a career choice or as a means to support a family. If you’re supporting a family and you’re working a minimum wage job, it’s time to hit the library and educate yourself and find better opportunities. I did it – millions of other people have done it. Your time will be better spent finding ways to create your own opportunities instead of expecting others to hand them to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don’t count Housing Allowance, you’re not calculating income correctly. People who work minimum wage pay rent, utilities, food cost, transportation and numerous other things that are taken care of by the military.

      • halftangible says:

        Some do, but most are only in minimum wage for a little while while they find another job.

      • fmr13F says:

        well adding the cash value for those and legal support that (hopefully) is rarely used. and subtracting for the amount of equipment that has to be purchased by the individual(replacement uniforms, boots, etc). your average E-4 is making $8000 more than retired vet above calculated. assuming that he doesn’t have to replace more than two sets of uniforms per year(even though the 4 issued have 6 month wear dates) and after the initial issue come out of a soldiers pay. a fair estimate including benefits and subtracting expenses these estimates are all too high.

      • Anonymous says:

        Military also receives tax breaks and free utilities depending on the housing. Gas is always cheaper on base as well. Also, there is the GI Bill, insurance benefits, more pay during deployments and retirement. Those are all part of the compensation package. Funny, how people ignore that.

      • jlegere says:

        Most E-4s and below don’t get a housing allowance unless they get permission to get married. They are forced to live in barracks by their chain of command. Until a soldier reaches E-5 they have little choice on where they live or who they have to share their bathroom with. As a soldier, it took me 4 years to get out of the barracks and I had two children. I was not allowed to bring them home on my weekends or summers as children are not allowed in the barracks. I had to pay housing out of pocket until my chain of command approved it.

        So don’t count on housing allowance in a soldier income.

      • Anonymous says:

        You only get a housing allowance in the marine corps if you have dependents. Single enlisted get a barracks. Regardless of branch, you still have to use the allowance to pay rent, be it on garrison or off. Military families also have to pay rent with said housing allowance, utilities and transportation. There is not an on base home available for all military members, many with hefty waiting lists of up to a year! If you get assigned to a new duty station that’s less than 100 miles from your current one, you either have to pay for your commute or pay out of pocket to move closer to your new duty station. In the marine corps, you also have to pay for a weekly haircut, many expensive uniform pieces, maintenance, etc. Let’s use an E5 stationed in San Diego with 4 dependents (a wife and 3 kids hypothetically) in the marine corps as an example. Housing allowance is $2,300/month. Try renting a 3 bedroom home in a decent area close to base with that. It may cover your rent but you still have to cover utilities. After housing, take home pay is roughly $1800/month. Try paying utilities, groceries for a family of 5, let’s say one $300 car payment, car insurance, cell phones, gas/vehicle maintenance, basic cable and Internet on $1800! And this is an E5, someone that has 4+ years in! That doesn’t include any clothing, extra curricular activities etc! I don’t think anyone can argue that service members deserve a raise.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong, if the enlisted men and/or women are not eligible to live off base, they are paying all the same items; room & board, 3 square meals (if they eat them or not), internet/cable, any other necessities required in their rooms/living (toilet paper etc.). They pay for everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        You only get housing if you have a family. Otherwise you live in the barracks. And most of them are in horrible condition.

    • wkmtca says:

      you cannot discount the benefits or the fact they can retire after 20-30 years and live a pretty good life. and, raise there salary.. that is fine.. minimum wage should not be balanced on the military or maybe we should get into what a ceo makes compared to the military..or a football player..

      • halftangible says:

        “they can retire after 20-30 years”
        You say that like it’s a very short time frame >.> Maybe this is my lack of job experience talking, but “20-30 years” doesn’t seem like a short time to be in a highly regimented position where you’re likely to kill and/or die.

        “minimum wage should not be balanced on the military”
        The comparison has been made, therefore we’re going to compare them.

        Frankly I think the minimum wage is more of a detriment to the economy than an aid.

        @Benefits: See usmcvet’s comment.

      • Anonymous says:

        A pretty good life? Do you know that I’ve buried 5 – YES FIVE SOLDIERS IN THE LINE OF DUTY – not car accidents, not suicides, not some hoodlum in desperate need of a good buttwhooping or some crackhead trying to score a fix – but standing up for your right to voice your opinion – IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS. All of them were under the age of 25. Life a good life my Granny Smith.

      • Anonymous says:

        “A pretty good life? Do you know that I’ve buried 5 – YES FIVE SOLDIERS IN THE LINE OF DUTY – not car accidents, not suicides, not some hoodlum in desperate need of a good buttwhooping or some crackhead trying to score a fix – but standing up for your right to voice your opinion – IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS.”

        Against who in America?

        Or are talking about fucking desert rats that are always going to exist – specifically with all the gear we leave behind for them to steal (the Humvees).

        I’m sorry dude, but there will always be some assholes making idle threats about the major powers of the world so…… I’m supposed to feel bad because some guys got killed because they felt they had to put themselves, fuck that shit. Every man is responsible for their own destiny, they died because they put themselves. Fucking fighting religious wars that will never be won, and saying its for me, fuck you.

        To much collateral damage has been had, and to many of our own men have died for these bullshit causes. When was the last time there was a legitimate battle on American soil?

        Get the fuck out of here with that “protecting your rights”, every person i have ever known serving in the military has always told me the same reason for joining; financial stability, which is fair.

        You wanna serve your country, go volunteer for a state militia, VOLUNTEER. Then you might actually be doing shit in your country that might help your people outside of fighting people that already fucking hate us.

      • halftangible says:

        “When was the last time there was a legitimate battle on American soil?”
        Pearl Harbor. Because that was the last time America pretended that it could ignore the affairs of the outside world.

        Also a whole bunch of smaller battles with terrorist groups, but I assume that’s not what you meant.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your service Sir. But does the word “volunteer” mean anything to you? I was in the military for 4 years. Loved it. Should have stayed in. Would do it again. Sure, the pay is low but if I was hungry, I ate for free. If I was sick, I was nursed back to health, for free. And thank goodness for the free roof over my head. Just sayin’. Good day Sir.

      • Sherri says:

        Shame on your and I’m glad you are no longer defending my country

      • djs says:

        Volunteering is not even a comparison for a life on the line. That free care isn’t free!! It’s one of the job benefits that many jobs have! Oh, why didn’t you stay bin Jim? Thanks for your 4 years. I served for 27!

      • ECC says:

        That free care isn’t free??? Last time I looked at my LES I sure didn’t see any deductions for it. My wife went to the doctor and I never received a bill. I did 12 years in the military and the only people bitching about their money was the ones that were trying to live beyond their means. Just remember, you volunteered to go into this, you knew exactly what you were going to be paid and what you were going to be paid to do, and if you didn’t, that is your own damn fault for not researching the job you were going to do. The military is paid just fine, more than any other job that only requires a high school diploma. To me it sounds like a bunch of greedy people that are pissed because they don’t have a mansion in Beverly Hills!!! Get over it, be thankful for the money you do have because it is more than enough!!!

      • halftangible says:

        Alternatively, people expect to be paid well for a job that necessitates putting your life in serious jeopardy.

        It’s crazy, I know, just putting it out there that maybe, just MAYBE, human life has actual value.

    • Serving now says:

      “He works 12 hours a day (0500 to 1700) 5 to 6 days week not counting when his name comes up on the duty roster for something when in garrison or in the United States.”

      Uhhhh, negative Red Rider. PT is 0630-0730, work call at 0900. Lunch at 1130, work again at 1300, final formation at 1700. Seven and a half hours in garrison. Oh, and unless there’s duty or a mission, Saturdays and Sundays off, at least one 3 day weekend a month, and a four day for every Federal holiday that falls on Friday or Monday, that day off otherwise.
      Also, how many minimum wage jobs give you free health/dental, an allowance for food, and allowance for housing, extra money each year to pay for your uniforms, and Cost of Living Allowance ($400 here in Hawaii)?

      Also, how about that hazard pay while deployed? Oh, tax free right? Thank you for serving as long as you did, and I would not doubt your service was meritorious and valorous (most retirees are), but can you not lie to the civilian please?

      • Former AF says:

        I’m not sure what service you’re in, I assume the Army. I guarantee you we didn’t have a 3-day weekend every month when I served, nor did we automatically get a 4 day weekend when a holiday fell on a Friday or Monday. I had an office job for part of my service, but when we had an Operational Readiness Inspection, by God we went out on the flight line and worked 12 hour (+more!) shifts for the duration of the exercise. And that was in peacetime!

        My son is currently in AF tech school. They have morning PT call 3 days a week at 4 am, then they are in school until final formation at 3:45 pm. That sounds like a 12 hour shift to me. The other days they have to be in formation at 5 am.

        And yes, the military gives them food, shelter and medical care, but they also own them 24-7-365. Leave is subject to cancellation at any time, and just ask most combat soldiers or Marines how many times they’ve deployed – you probably won’t believe them. The uniform allowance is a joke. Personality conflicts or just crappy supervision can result in getting “shit details” for months on end…and yet, I’m glad my husband, my brother, our fathers, my uncles, my son and I have served. Just don’t try to tell me that civilian fast food workers should get a raise before the military does!

      • Lawrence says:

        Active duty Navy, 5 years. For the last 4 I have been out to sea for months at a time for “work ups”, pre-deployment drills basically. 2 deployments, 3 months away from homeport for “INSURV” as mandated by Congress.
        In 5 section duty we work 85 hours a week. In 3 section? Didn’t bother counting.

        Someone above mentioned “volunteer” This means “no draft” not “work for free.” You also “volunteer” to work any job, regardless of the wage. No one is holding a gun to your head.

        Yes, housing…only paid to those with dependents or those over a certain pay grade (E5 for Navy). Food? Yeah, the ship feeds you. It isn’t like there are any drive-throughs out there. Uniform allowance is a joke, but it exists, tack $300 bucks onto your figures up there, and the medical and dental? Don’t make me laugh! I’ve been trying to get a tooth fixed since the day I left boot camp five years ago. Between “operational commitment” and duty days, good luck getting in to medical, they barely have the facilities to service the local retired, let alone active duty.

        In a few months I will rotate for shore duty, and some of these things will change, certainly. There is a lot to be said for the freedom to quit however, and if you don’t like McBurger Castle, you can start looking for a new/better job immediately- there is no easy way out of the military.

        Do some research on the effects of money injection vs. leakage and you will see that the local economies of large populations of service members and veterans depend heavily on them.

      • FormerService says:

        Not to mention that less than 5% actually see combat or are otherwise in danger. For the one in combat there’s 50-100 in support services.

        A private out of basic training gets free health-care, free food, free housing (and/or BAH).

        Do the math, and a 0-year private is getting about 30k/year (base + BAH) + the equivalent of 10-15k/yr in benefits.

        I don’t care if you guys can’t read your paychecks right. All you have to do is go look at all the new expensive cars and motorcycles on base to see that there’s money being made, they’re not giving soldiers loans on 14k/year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to disrespect soldiers . But as long as you don’t get shot you don’t need any money to survive (I personally think u should be paid more) where as your civilian has to pay for housing gas to get to work insurance on his or her automobile . Health insurance . Which I would gather is provided to soldiers or maybe isn’t even needed due to military doctors .lets ad in groceries which unless your living on noodles cost the minimum wage worker the rest of their days pay oh wait figure it out dipshits 8 dollars an hour times eight 64 dollars subtract taxes let’s say they r lucky live relatively close to where they work 5 dollars a day in gas let’s be not for real and say they r eating dirt 5 dollars a meal that’s twenty a day and now what do they have 150 dollars left per week to pay their electric bill , rent, auto insurance, health insurance they are going to need a really good policy spending 15 dollars a day on food . Let me see that leaves them about 700 in debt each month. Probably better to be in a war and take a fucking bullet

      • Anonymous says:

        Most E1s through E4 don’t own a car. If they do, they are required to not only insure it out of their own pocket, but pay for the gas they use to transport themselves around. They are not required to have a vehicle, so the military does not feel the need to pay for said vehicle or it’s necessities. That pretty much scratches that argument.

        Health insurance is provided solely on the fact that if the military can’t fix the problem, then they are forced to send you off post in order to receive medical care. After all, you are government property from the time you sign on the dotted line to the expiry date listed on the contract. As such, they are responsible for maintaining their equipment. In any case, I wouldn’t call prescribing Motrin 800 for pretty much everything “fixing you up”.

        The average state usually offers rent controlled and even government style housing for families who can’t afford to survive without government assistance. They offer subsidies in paying for utilities and food stamps. If you’re a parent, you’re eligible to receive WIC. I would wager a guess that you don’t really understand exactly what “benefits” the military has and how much the average wage earner really makes/uses vs what they should use.

      • USMC.Combat.Vet says:

        clearly you have no idea what soldiers go through and you are ignorant for saying its better to take a bullet. Shame on you. Soldiers who see combat should make more than most jobs as they see things civilians couldnt handle. Sure troops who dont see combat dont need extra pay but what about the combat vets? Ever heard of PTSD? You think hazard pay means anything when I watched my best friends head explode 2 years ago? I still dont ask for more pay because i volunteered. The little bitch soldiers who have never set foot in combat are the ones complaining not us.

        All of you have no idea what we go through and would be better off keeping your mouths shut.

      • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Both of my brothers and my two cousin who were in the military got free food, free housing, free medical care and a small wage. And they also get VA assistance hereafter on mortgages, college education, and medical bills once they retire. None of that is factored in to their wages.

    • DK3 McLean says:

      Actually your estimates are high because you’re not taking into account that in the civilain world the service,ember would be earning overtime for every hour over 40 per week. Based on your use of the $16,000 per year base pay your numbers should add up like this:

      During time of war pay per year:

      2,880 regular, 2880 overtime
      2880 hours x $2.23 per hour = $6,422.40
      2880 hours x $3.35 OT per hour = $9,648.00

      Total = $16,070.40 on $2.23 per hour

      During peacetime pay per year:

      2,880 regular, 1,440 overtime
      2880 hours x $3.18 per hour = $9,158.40
      1440 hours x $4.77 OT per hour = $6,868.80

      Total = $16,027.20

      Now if we go off of the $18,194 per year basis in the article base on the 40 hour week + overtime which military memebers aren’t paid we come up with the following per hour:

      Wartime = $2.52 per hour
      Peacetime = $3.65 per hour

      FYI* I was a disbursing clerk (payroll clerk) petty officer in the U.S. Navy for 5 years and now work in private sector finance.

    • R says:

      You didn’t have to join the army. But you decided you’d take part in invading other countries. No honor in that. You made a choice, though. And people who work for a $7.25 minimum wage that hasn’t changed in years while the cost of living has gone up means that they do need the cost of living increase. Australia can do it. Germany can do it. Denmark can do it. And they can also not attack innocent countries for a fringe terrorist sect. Even $10.10 isn’t enough. And why is “flipping burgers” the only example you can think of? Sounds like you should be angry at Bush for starting these illegal wars, but you didn’t have to get involved in them. I guess now that Obama ended them, you’re made because you don’t get to kill people for money. Bye, fascist.

      • halftangible says:

        “Obama ended them”
        No he didn’t, you moron, we’re still at war all over the world. In fact we’re at war in MORE places now.

        Why would it matter how many wars we were in anyway? The military doesn’t get paid per kill, they get paid on a salary >.>

        “the only example you can think of”
        Uh, why does he have to name every single job that pays minimum wage?

        And minimum wage isn’t MEANT to be a living wage.

        You’re lucky I approve all comments that aren’t spam.

      • Anonymous says:


        I am a veteran. I am glad you live in a country where you are allowed to voice your opinion.

        Mine is simple. I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Also to protect this country, and its people, from anyone who would do them harm.

        I would assume with your attitude, that someone from another neighborhood, could come to your home, harm your family, and would be fine with it. You wouldn’t call the police and have them deal with your problem. Because that would be like invading another country.

      • Torey says:

        “minimum wage isn’t MEANT to be a living wage.” Um, yes it is, otherwise there wouldn’t be a minimum. It was mandated as part of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which also prohibited child labor and limited the workweek to 44 hours.

        Should soldiers get paid more? Of course. Should ‘burger flippers’ get paid more? Of course. There isn’t a competition between the two, BOTH are underpaid, and denying ‘burger flippers’ a living wage won’t make the lot of the soldier any better.

        Other underpaid people are NOT the enemy here.

      • halftangible says:

        “Um, yes it is, otherwise there wouldn’t be a minimum.”
        1) That’s stupid.
        2) The minimum wage is $0.00, mate.
        3) The minimum wage is meant to be a low-paying job you take to hold you over, not a career.
        4) There are many scenarios where the federal minimum wage is actually a lot LESS than what fast food workers in an area are paid. This is because companies will raise wages when they have higher-paying jobs to compete with.

        “denying ‘burger flippers’ a living wage won’t make the lot of the soldier any better.”
        “Other underpaid people are NOT the enemy here.”

        No, but this is an argument that gets brought up a lot, so it’s worth looking at.

    • Sgt Brown says:

      if you are going to use half measures, as a 14.5 year service member with 70% service connected disability, i will also remind you, privates/Lower Ncos dont have to pay for Food, clothing or housing. As a civilian, that accounts for about 85% of my budget at this current time, while both me and my wife work part time jobs, on top of my disability payments.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the same I the UK mate I get payed £1.02 an hour while our civilian minim wage is £6.50 an hour so while I’m on £1.500 average a month they are on about £2000

      • Torey says:

        Evidently you don’t need to be able to count to join the British services (this is not a surprise). £6.50 per hour x 40 hours (most jobs are now 37.5 or even 35 hours a week, assuming you’re not on a zero hours contract, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say 40) = £260 per week. Which is £13250 per year (52 weeks). Which is £1126.66 per month top line.

        Not £2000.

        If you’re on £1500 a month top line, you’re earning considerably more (eg a monthly rent payment) more than a person on minimum wage. That doesn’t mean you’re well paid, but you’re certainly not worse off than those on minimum wage.

        Not to mention that in order to earn that on “£1.02 an hour” you must be working 1470 hours per month. Which is 49 hours per day. There are only 24 hours in a day.

        Something doesn’t sound right here….

    • Anonymous says:

      I am also a vet and you left off tax free housing and food allowance, hazardous duty, sea pay, combat pay, separation pay, free or practically free medical/dental care and last but not least the ability to retire potentially at 38 years old and receive a pension plus other benefits for life. The lifetime benefits can easily outweigh what you earn during your service.

    • Anonymous says:

      “While you sat on your couch”
      I love our military, but people like you piss me off. The people who act as if they are better than everyone else because they served. Who cares if he was on his couch. Maybe he had a family to think about? Maybe he doesn’t WANT to be a soldier, or in any other branch? So why are you so special because you did 22 years?
      I can obviously tell you didn’t serve because you love your country, but rather you served because you thought it would make you a badass when you come back. Guess what, being in the military doesnt make you better than a civilian.

      • halftangible says:

        Please note in the future that I approve all comments unless they are spam or deliberate trolling.

        Make a point with your posts or don’t make them at all. Frankly I feel it’s a mistake to let THIS one go through.

    • Ashley says:

      I’m not saying you are wrong, but your data isn’t correct. First, you are assuming a deployed army private makes the same as Joe shmoe in Fort Bragg. Deployed military are paid more during deployment and are likely exempt from paying taxes. Furthermore, people keep claiming the base pay with out considering all the fringe benefits that most people actually join for. Once you consider housing, various insurances received, education benefits, training and an array of other things provided to those that serve, they make a lot more than than want this article claims.

      That being said, I don’t really think it justifies paying a portion of our population below what is feasible to live on. It’s not like we aren’t paying for this stuff in other ways. These people are likely receiving food stamps, get various tax benefits for being below poverty, Medicaid and an array of other subsidies the government makes the tax payers pay because businesses will not pay people a wage that can sustain them.

      • halftangible says:

        Others in the comment section have covered the details of housing benefits etc and whether or not it’s enough to make up for the difference, but I want to address your latter point regarding food stamps.

        America’s economic problems don’t stem from a minimum wage that’s too low, it stems from a lack of jobs.

        Our labor force participation rate is the lowest it’s been since women’s rights gained traction. (yes, I know the unemployment rate is low. The unemployment rate only reflects a small portion of the people looking for work) We have less people working now than a time where half the population was not SUPPOSED to work. That is fucking horrifying.

        The minimum wage actively hurts the economy by making it impossible for people to get hired or businesses to compete for low-skill workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so full of it. You are saying all of our veterans are being sleep deprived? First off its called salary, if you ever had a real job you would understand how that works. Not all military are in the desert. It comes with the territory.

    • Parker Ashcraft says:

      I thank you for your service and I totally agree with your comment

  3. Anonymous says:

    Retired Vet….thank you for speaking for us..

  4. George says:

    I think if you are considered government property 24- 7 then you are working 8450 hrs per year, even when actual work is not being preformed it does not mean it may not be required of you thus you are on call during off hours and all should be considered and not discounted. At this per hr rate they are getting around 2.50 dollars per hour. However if 24-7 is not required try turning down a call to service and see what the cost will be.

    • halftangible says:

      “try turning down a call to service and see what the cost will be.”
      There’s no draft in place as you imply – America’s military is entirely voluntary. And yeah, my numbers are pretty far off (see Retired Vet’s comment)

      • I salute our military says:

        half tangible: I don’t see where George speaks of the draft, I guess that is just your perception. Yes, our military is all volunteer, but as pointed out by actual current and former members of the armed forces, when you sign up the government owns you until your enlistment is up. That’s 24/7/365. Name one, just one, minimum wage job where this is also true. Do any of those jobs also have the power to require a person to literally place their life on the line? It is only be cause of our soldiers through the years that these cry babies are able to bitch and say “poor me, boo hoo”. Anyone who thinks our soldiers have financially got it made needs to join the armed forces – case solved.

  5. You Lie, propagandist. says:

    Love our military, and think they should be treated better, but the wage also includes housing and health care, to name a few.
    [Mod: If you’re going to put a URL in your comment, please put an actual url instead of an insult that has nothing to do with the post 😛 Thanks]

    • Anonymous says:

      We pay for healthcare, life insurance and dental like everyone else. That’s not any additional pay like housing allowance. You can go to northwest mutual and spend the same $27 a month and get $500,000 while we get $400,000 for life insurance. I pay about $50 a month for medical and close to that in dental.

      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t pay for medical. You pay for dental, and unless you have a huge family, your only paying around 32.00 for a family of four.

        Your SGLI is different then want a civilian can get. Your health and a lot of other factors are waived with your military version.

      • Anonymous says:

        The active duty member does not pay for medical or dental care.

      • deleted says:

        Try paying fifty a month for medical out here lol how about 150 a week

      • USMC.Combat.Vet says:

        You dont sacrifice what we do. I watched my friend die. I will never be able to forget that.
        You can compain that we dont pay for medical or dental but you dont get shot at on a daily basis or have your teeth knocked out by the shockwave of an explosion. There are reasons why out treatment is free you all are too ignorant to see that. All you think about is money money money your lives revolve around it. This society is sick. you should be ashamed of yourself i would like to see you live a day in the life of a soldier

    • DK3 McLean says:

      Most miltary members live only part-time in barracks. The rest of the time they’re sleeping in tents. Some like me never saw a barracks room for several years in the service. In the Navy, up until 2007 when I left, they had a policy of making shipboard sailors sleep on the ship which was effectively like sleeping in ahomeless shelters. You have the same amount of chance of getting your stuff stolen in a berthing as you did a homeless shelter and most of us used to couch surf in shipmates apartments who made enough to afford a place versus going back to the ship every night.

      And medical/dental are a joke. Navy medical is the equivalent of free clinics. Dental is a little better because they will fix your teeth. They’ll even drill and fill cavities you don’t have so they can practice.

      Before the navy (I joined at 21) I had no cavities. Then during my service all of a sudden cavities started to “form”. I let them drill and fill a couple of times before I got wise to it. The next time they x-rayed my teeth and told me I had a cavity I failed to show to my follow up to get it filled. A year later they x-rayed my teeth again (this time we had a different dental officer) and miraculously I had no cavities.

      The room and board, the food, and the healthcare are about as good as what the homeless get when you first enlist. It takes years before you get adequate benefits.

  6. Austin says:

    But, soldiers don’t have to pay for shelter or food, utilities, and get (much deserved) discounts. They’re very underpaid, but I think it adds up to minimum wage or more considering benefits. I have friends who all joined the Marines and they don’t even have to spend much money so almost all of their pay goes into savings.

    • halftangible says:

      Discounts don’t count towards minimum wage as far as the law is concerned (since they vary so wildly) and I’m not sure benefits do either. =/ And that’s to say nothing of the fact that those benefits are being cut.

    • Usmc Vet says:

      Your a special kind of stupid. We pay for our housing/barracks what have you. We pay for our food, we pay for our medical, dental, AND life insurance. HELL we even pay for our officers to retire. We as well as everyone else even pay for our transportation *gasp* I know hard to believe that right all while being wayyy underpaid. We still have to pay for our insurance our phones our uniforms, everything. You say benefits like it’s something special. We barely make any money as is and those benefits you speak so highly about we yet again like my fellow vet stated before me PAY for. And before anyone says that we shouldn’t complain about our pay there’s no draft yea ok your right, but I don’t see you out there risking it all but I’m sure your soaking up on money you barely work for or better yet don’t even deserve. We go out on the front lines and risk our lives for something we love, our friends, family, nation. So yea you won’t hear us complain but when you mast civilians want to bump your gums about something you really have no idea about just what your “friends who are marines” have told you please just step back save the world a few brain cells so we don’t have to read or hear your ignorance. Thanks 🙂

      • J says:

        Active duty military members get a housing allowance, food allowance, and uniform allowance outside of base pay (the amount that many people use to calculate hourly wage for mil members.) They also do not pay for medical or dental, and their family members pay a very small amount for extremely comprehensive healthcare. Life insurance is likewise low cost – <$5 a month if I remember correctly. THOSE are the benefits. Not to mention tax breaks for military families, enlistment/reenlistment bonuses, and any special pay. And if you're low ranking and make as little money as you say you do, I sure as heck bet you're not paying for those benefits because you probably get everything you paid in taxes back in your tax return. I see the paycheck, I do the taxes, and I've done the math. Living on minimum wage was a lot more difficult than living on a military paycheck.

      • Lawrence says:

        At J: Then do it. Join the military. That is the difference right there. It isn’t an easy job. If you or anyone else is sick of earning minimum wage, then do something else. The oil fields pay a lot of money, but it’s dangerous. Electrical workers get decent wages and benefits, but it’s dangerous. Rail workers? dangerous, lots of travel… Maritime shipping? Over-the-road trucking? Same, same, same…The jobs are out the, people just don’t want to do them. This is why every argument about what the military pays vs. minimum wage is irrelevant.

        Now, compare pay to a mechanic (a job I consider underpaid already) at the national average of $36k. A military mechanic might fix jet engines, or trucks in a war zone, or turbines on a 20 million dollar ship. That person might be an E5 or E6, but chances are he/she is E2 or E3, making less than 1900/month (oh, and the benefits, too!) in the conditions described by myself and others above. You’ll see that not only does that service member not make more than the “minimum” but they frequently have trouble keeping pace with civilian equivalents as well, at least until after their first enlistment goes by and/or they make a little rank.

        I made minimum wage for 6 years, I saw it get increased, and each time I was poorer than before after the cost of goods went up, too. I have been active duty for 5 years since, and while it adds up to more on the balance sheet, I have to deal with a whole lot more to earn it.

    • DK3 McLean says:

      Most miltary members live only part-time in barracks. The rest of the time they’re sleeping in tents. Some like me never saw a barracks room for several years in the service. In the Navy, up until 2007 when I left, they had a policy of making shipboard sailors sleep on the ship which was effectively like sleeping in ahomeless shelters. You have the same amount of chance of getting your stuff stolen in a berthing as you did a homeless shelter and most of us used to couch surf in shipmates apartments who made enough to afford a place versus going back to the ship every night.

      And medical/dental are a joke. Navy medical is the equivalent of free clinics. Dental is a little better because they will fix your teeth. They’ll even drill and fill cavities you don’t have so they can practice.

      Before the navy (I joined at 21) I had no cavities. Then during my service all of a sudden cavities started to “form”. I let them drill and fill a couple of times before I got wise to it. The next time they x-rayed my teeth and told me I had a cavity I failed to show to my follow up to get it filled. A year later they x-rayed my teeth again (this time we had a different dental officer) and miraculously I had no cavities.

      The room and board, the food, and the healthcare are about as good as what the homeless get when you first enlist. It takes years before you get adequate benefits.

  7. Cameron says:

    From the website: “The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that the average active duty service member receives an Army benefits and pay compensation package worth $99,000.”

    Now, I do think that soldiers should be paid more than they are in base pay; but, the base pay rate that you see listed on GoArmy is just the base pay and doesn’t include other benefits and bonuses. Many of those benefits, such as housing, are expenses that non-military minimum wage earners must pay out of pocket. Often, those workers have to pay for their healthcare, as well. That is another huge expense that is paid for by the Army as an active duty soldier.

    I would imagine that if you were to add housing costs and healthcare costs to a soldier’s base pay, expenses they would have as a civilian, the base pay would be significantly higher than $15/hr. I don’t think this has to be a debate between soldiers and “burger flippers.” I think that people getting paid a living wage is a reasonable and just fight… just as better benefits and wages for soldiers is a reasonable and just fight. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

    • DK3 McLean says:

      That $99,000 sum is a misrepresentation to attract recruits. Your compensation package will never get that close until you’ve done at least 10 years. The over 10 year high earners skew the average. If you’re under 10 years, and especially inder 5 years you’re making slave wages.

      • DK3 McLean says:

        Specifically under 5 years. 5-10 years is when the pay starts to look attractive. First year servicemembers tend to donate alot of plasma, blood, or anything else they can get paid for.

  8. Anonymous says:

    well if they increase burger flipper min wage I want our soldiers to get a 100% bonus from the bottom up.

    every tier up you can shave 10% off if they want.
    the enlistment base pay rates are ridiculous.

    well at least they put you into some shelter and give you some food to work for 16 hours a day.

    and I hear right now people are fighting to get into the forces… wow unreal…

  9. usmcvet says:

    I love all of these comments about medical benefits and housing and food allotment equaling to a ton more money. Let me break down to you hard factual wages. I was an E-3 and married with a child,base housing was full and a back order waiting list of over a year and a half,so I got $436/month BAH(basic assisted housing) and $161/month for Com Rat’s(Communal Rations). So factor in that on top of my $478 pay check I got every 2 weeks and it equals $1553 a month,My rent was $600 a month for a 2 bedroom craphole apartment,so that leaves me $953 a month to pay a car note,insurance,light bill,water bill,sewage and gas. Not to mention buying groceries for 2 adults and a child,and deduct $36 for Tri-Care for my wife and child. Even being stateside my average workload per week was 6 days a week 14 hour days not including mandatory PT 3 days a week 2 hours prior to our standard shift starting at 0500 and ending at 1900,yes thats right MANDATORY PT AT 0300 monday wednsday and friday. Not including the 24 hour unit duty and the 24 hour barracks duty that was required each and every month,thats a standard work week of 84 hours or 336 hours a month,so lets take the initial $1553 a month and divide it by the 336 hours worked not including the 24 hours for PT or the 48 hours for duty,and that breaks down to $4.62/hour…. So please tell me how wonderful the benefits are again? Oh and if you are single and living in the barracks,yeah that’s great living conditions,3 men to an 8 foot by 14 foot room with a single toilet and single shower shared between 2 rooms occupying 6 men and our “free food” at the chow hall where you can not get seconds if you are still hungry cost on average $0.82 a meal to make.

    • J says:

      Would love to know when you served and where you were stationed… I understand that everyone’s circumstance is different, but I have a different experience. Looking at this year’s pay chart an e3 makes at least 1800/mo in base pay and receives 350/mo for food. Stationed in my area, he would receive 1500 for BAH at the with dependent rate. We pay 900 for a nice 2br apartment in a good area and 100 for utilities, so living off base saves us 450/month after paying for transportation. Health insurance comparable to tricare would be very expensive – at least 10x what we pay. If this e3 takes advantage of free higher education while active duty, that is more savings. If he takes advantage of the GI bill after, even more. His spouse also has access to educational benefits outside the GI bill. Our home state doesn’t require AD spouses to pay state taxes either, another benefit. Not saying these “benefits” aren’t deserved. Just trying to point out that there is a lot to take into account when you compare two entirely different worlds.

      • DK3 McLean says:

        He’s comparing take home pay and you’re talking about gross pay. As well, home state rules differ from individual to individual as well as BAH payments. This guy was probably stationed mid-west or down south whereas your BAH amount puts you somewhere around New York or probably Southern California.

      • Anonymous says:

        I hate to put it to you but I am an E-2 Army NG and I only make $173 -16.73 fed 13.27 fica and -29.00 sgli so what I get per month is $114 and then I can be deployed at anytime 24\7\365 until my 6 years is up and I have to try to get a job and then I might make enugh to get an apartment and be able to eat and pay for a vehicle

      • Anonymous 2 says:

        I hate to put it to you but I am an E-2 Army NG and I only make $173 -16.73 fed 13.27 fica and -29.00 sgli so what I get per month is $114 and then I can be deployed at anytime 24\7\365 until my 6 years is up and I have to try to get a job and then I might make enugh to get an apartment and be able to eat and pay for a vehicle

  10. Anonymous Vet says:

    I love how those who have never served like to point out “how good” service members have life, & how much money we make. Because obviously that’s why there are soooo many Americans beating down the recruiting doors trying to join, right? I mean, the economy is in the toilet, unemployment & underemployment is sky-high, so err body’s jumpin’ on that gravy train, right? Uh, nope. Not at all. Why not? Because the most important point keeps getting glossed over. Yes, service members live rough lives, work long, hard, challenging, & unpredictable hours. Check. There’s a saying in the army, “one year in the army is like 3 years in the civilian world” that refers to the physical, mental, & emotional toll the life takes on us. But holy crap, look at the reality TV shows, where people are on national television, competing for a chance at thousands of dollars plus who knows how much they get paid for all the talk shows they go on afterwards, who break down after a week or two from being away from their family! Try being away from your 4 year old for 15 months. Then add to that watching your friends being blown up. Add to that not knowing if the next round or IED might take you out. And THAT is the main difference; military know there’s a chance, a pretty good one right now, that they can DIE DOING THEIR JOB. Not in a freak accident, but by the nature of their JOB. Ever wondered why there are so many riders on civilian life insurance policies for military members? Ever cares to check it out? Yeah, I volunteered, but I sure didn’t do it for the money. I did it for my country. I don’t feel “entitled” until I hear people telling me & my brothers & sisters in arms from the comfort & safety of their couches that we don’t “deserve” all the “benefits” we get. You think it’s such a cushy life, stop being a coward & step up to the plate. Stop quoting advertisements & statistics you don’t really understand at us. Oh and one more thing to finish off my rant, most service members are better trained and better educated after 3 years of military service than a fast food manager with 10-15+ years experience.

  11. fedupUSMC says:

    I love how people say that military people have it so good. there are those of us who struggled when it came to bills. even after i got out. i have to work 3 jobs. thats right. 3 jobs. just so i can make sure my bills get paid. you don’t see me standing out on a corner or crying about getting paid 9 dollars and hour. i get an average of 4 hours of sleep a day, because no one wants to hire a military vet where im at due to the bad media attention. any way im getting off track. the benefits that we get are paid for by us. just because we are in the military doesn’t mean we are getting stuff handed to us. we earn our money. and the reason why civilians think we have it so good when we get out or retire is because during the time we spent in service, we were forced to learn how far we can stretch a dollar. its that simple. we don’t see the latest iPhone and go “i need to spend 700 dollars on a new phone when the one i have works just fine”, or ” i need to buy everything that makes me look cool). everything that military personal get is EARNED through BLOOD. SWEAT, AND TEARS. so in stead of saying i want 15/hour. say what do i need to do to get into a position where i can earn 15/hour.

  12. Steve says:

    I am just a hard working regular legal tax paying citizen of the USA.

    As far as I am concerned, I would much rather pay our military way more than the average low-life welfare burger flippers of our society who, for the most part, are a drain on all of us legal tax payers with their sponging day in day out.

    I see that nobody ever mentioned how most minimum wage “earners” get free housing and much more, yet many posts above talk about the military getting free housing, etc.

  13. Sonny says:

    As a single E-5 living on base I lived like a king. No rent, three free warm meals a day, free transportation to and from work. I had $1,000 disposable income, every month.

  14. dperk says:

    Total compensation is where it’s at… minimum wage workers rarely get full time and benefits, but even if they did, they don’t get housing assistance, food assistance, and the same healthcare coverage that soldiers get. Let alone the VA Loan program and completely covered education costs… Granted, I wouldn’t want to trade places with one of our service members… ever. They’ve got my respect, and way bigger cajones than I do. I’ll do what I can from back here, thanks. I still think that things are blown out of proportion, though, when it comes to arguing about wages, etc. Do I think $15/hour is too much? Maybe… and maybe everything else just costs too damn much. I DO think that soldiers are paid too little for the job that they do. I just don’t think that this argument is valid once you take benefits into consideration…

    The army says so itself, right here:

    “The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that the average active duty service member receives an Army benefits and pay compensation package worth $99,000. Noncash compensation represents almost 60 percent of this package. Noncash compensation includes health care, retirement pay, child care and free or subsidized food, housing and education. Coupled with regular cash compensation, this adds up to attractive military compensation for Soldiers.”

  15. Anonymous says:

    Okay, let me tell you why this is bullshit. Ignore the ranks they throw in there, because that – and the subsequent salaries they make – is irrelevant to the discussion. Why is that you ask? Because military members have a whole bunch of benefits that you do not get in the civilian world, or if you do get them, you’re already working a really high paying job. So that means that those numbers you see there, what it says military make in a year, is what they make EXTRA. It’s all basically free money that they can use to buy whatever they want. How you say? Because all the essentials are taken care of for them.

    Lets’ start with perhaps the biggest first: Healthcare. They get it free. Well, mostly free. It’s such a miniscule amount out of each paycheck that we never notice it. The best part? It covers their families as well. They can get sick or injured and know that they’ll get taken care of. Get so injured that you can’t work anymore? Medical discharges get you 30% of your final paycheck for life if you received the injury on the job.

    How about food and housing? Two really expensive things the average American has to pay for. Free for military. Single E-4s and below live in dorms in the majority of cases. They have full amenities, along with a dining facility (cafeteria) usually really close by. All of it free. Let’s say you have a family and live off base, or work shifts and can’t make the cafeteria hours. For the later, you get a stipend of money extra to pay for food. And it’s a good deal – around $300 a month at my paygrade of E3. For a single person. The former gets to pick a house and have the government pay the rent – up to a cap that varies on location – and live there for free. Oh, and they get a food stipend as well, with the amount depending on how big your family is.

    And let’s talk living overseas. It’s awesome. A friend of mine is currently being paid to live in Germany. The better part? He’s being paid EXTRA to live in Germany. It’s called the “Cost of Overseas Living Allowance” or COLA. That’s an extra $300 a month on top of his paycheck just for living overseas. And it could be more depending on where you live. You can’t forget about free Child Care, tax-free shopping on base, the fact that you likely live on or close to the base and so your commute is minimal.

    And to the part about how they are “putting their collective asses on the line every day protecting your unskilled butt!” The majority of military never see combat. Sure, the Army deploys a lot more often than the Air Force, and sure the Marines are just the same. But they signed up for that. And they’re making bank downrange for it too. Entire paychecks tax-free, not to mention extra stipends for being away from family and being in a hostile area. Is it worth the danger? Most people want to deploy to make more money. So take that how you will.

    So now that I’ve addressed the facts of the military part; let me give you my opinion on the rest.

    Who said service workers signed up for that job for life? Maybe they’re paying off college debt. Have 3 kids that need food/medicine/etc and it was the only job available at the time. Whatever the circumstance to them getting that job, they’re probably too busy putting in more hours than you and me do, trying to make ends meet. How can I guess this? Because I lived with and around those people. I know all the reasons. They don’t have time to go to college or go job hunting. They’re too busy working these dead end jobs that no one else will, because it’s all they have. And they work them for so long, and get treated so terrible at them, that by the time they get home they are unable to do anything else but prepare for the next day. You say you made $3.25 an hour at a movie theatre. Cool. Let’s say you did that in 1970. You made the equivalent of $20.09 an hour, when adjusted for inflation. In fact, up until 1975, that $3.75 was worth MORE than $15 is now a days. Sure, you may not be that old. But up until 1983 you were making what minimum wage is now (or more) at $3.75 an hour. The point? $3.75 used to be a lot more money.

    So stop talking down on the people who work at McDonalds and allow you to get fat off of their food. Stop talking down to the people who are struggling by at the bottom of society, barely surviving. You don’t know the circumstances, and if you believed the attached pic, you don’t know the facts. So, in the end, I guess that means you don’t know anything about what you’re talking about

    • DK3 McLean says:

      Many of those benefits are not given to low ranking servicememebers who do most of the grunt work. i got out as an -E-4 and never got housing allowance. I slept on a cot in a ship for 4 years and only got a barracks room I shared with another sailor my last year in. i spent more time deployed overseas than in the states. I left out of the service in the middle of the Persian Gulf.

      Also, Being a shipboard sailor we are not entitled to a food allowance. That is taken by the command to pay for their galley’s budgets where they served us day old hot dogs, powdered eggs, and box milk. The only extra pay I got other than base was the $150 per month for sea duty, combat pay one month when I should’ve gotten it for two months, and travel pay to get me back stateside after my command saw fit to drag me on deployment for 3 months knowing I would be separating during that time period.

      And as far as your free medical anytime I went to the ship’s medical with the flu, hernia, etc. it was common practice for the doc, nurses, and corpsman to accuse us of malingering and threaten us if we returned for treatment. I probably went to the doc twice per year. After I hemorraged and abdominal muscle running supplies for my division it took me pleading to get hernia surgery even though it was visible my intestine was pushing out through my abdominal wall as a significant and painful bulge at my waist emerged.

      So as far as your bank goes, no we did not make bank, and after going back to college I realized just how many students in school received thousands of dollars yearly in Pell Grants never having served a day in their life barely able to pass remedial college courses. I also, experienced the kind of contempt most university administrators in California seem to have for veteran students. Especially when it comes to processing their VA paperwork.

      So until you serve I will proudly stand on my high horse and look down at the people who choose menial wage positions requiring little to no skills. I’ve worked those jobs too and I can tell you they have nothing over the trials and struggles of servicemembers and they are not some downtrodden innocent angel. The majority I worked with from the time I was 14 working on a farm until 21 when I joined the service were underachievers just looking for a paycheck unwilling to take on anything that migh require them to be challenged or put in more hours.

      And for another thing it doesn’t matter if you were forward deployed like me or back stateside. The military is ran by a-holes who equally make everyone’s life a living hell implementing management/labor tactics that would get them in front of a labor board, handed a civil lawsuit, or even in some issues a criminal court if it were McDonald’s.

      So speaking as one of the millions of former military service people who have had both experience as minimum wage burger flippers and soldier/sailor/marines/airmen we most profoundly inform you to stick your comments where the sun don’t shine because you don’t know jack.

      • Dave says:

        You are on a high horse. lol
        Because that’s the American mentality.
        And that makes your argument flawed.

        It’s true you don’t get BAH as an E-4.
        You also don’t pay rent, light bill, amenities, etc.

        Which you conveniently forgot to mention.

        Also, regardless of the poor medical treatment, you were seen by medical.

        Civilians don’t just get seen without paying and arm or a leg or insurance.

        But it’s true that service members get paid close to nothing for their sacrifice, voluntary or otherwise.

        But the problem is comparing min. wage with military pay.
        Apples and oranges.

        You can’t use the same metric to measure an adequate wage for civilians as for military personnel.

        One is run mainly on capitalism, the other merely on government measures.

        That’s the problem with looking at the problem from the issue stand point instead of the first principle.

        First principle:
        Should a person that works a full 40hrs/wk be able to afford a living?
        Yes or no.

        Military life is different.
        It’s a contractual commitment of which you’re virtually committed to until its expiration.
        If you were in the Navy, then you know very well that if sailors could get out in their first year because of the pay, they would have.

        You can’t get fired, and at best only half of your paycheck can be retained.

        McDonalds, you’re expendable.
        Not everyone that works in minimum wage positions are lazy teenagers.

        You’ve got retirees, people that have been laid off, people with disabilities.

        The spectrum is much broader than you seem to think.

      • halftangible says:

        The sneering tone was hardly necessary. -.-

  16. Mike says:

    First of all, many of you describing these very early and late work hours while stateside are describing trainees not in combat zones or even assigned to a MOS yet. They don’t get more than 1200-1300 a month and no allowances because the Govt is paying for all their needs while being trained. And yes, it does matter that the military is Volunteer. You knew when you signed up what it was for. Ive served, and I can tell you not everyone- in fact most- service members I ever talked to, even during wartime, when asked would say they signed up to” defend freedom and democracy and “our rights”..thats something that comes out as a guilt tool when asking for more or getting defensive when people question a military groupies motives. Don’t get me wrong-military service is nobel and fine-esp when DRAFTED in situations like Nam, WW2, ect, when men had no choice and truly were called to serve…But the writers assertion that all military members are putting their lives on the line daily for 20 years is absurd .After leaving the military I became a firefighter-I heard the same stupid arguments from some of my colleagues- the “but I put my life on the line everyday”. Horse crap. I know what you do. Sure you may be called to go into danger on occasion. But your not saving babies everyday, so cut the self aggrandizing BS out. Now, I know in MOST cases the military in war zones is put in danger daily for periods of time. Serious danger. but once again, you signed up for that. Just as I signed on for running into burning houses. The vast majority of people in the military NEVER see a shot fired in anger. As for the pay, whats totally ignored is the HUGE benefits package. People today are paying over 500 a month for health Ins. On the outside. Military gets it free. Housing benefits, while not entirely free is assisted, food benefits. tax free shopping . Moving expenses paid when transferred…all worth thousands of dollars. And I actually saw one vet on here trying to say his years of service made him a more important vet than another who didn’t serve as long. Get this straight bud ret or not-Nam vets who served one year ..ONE..and saw the action some of them did gave more to this country than you did in 27, 30, whatever, if you sat behind a supply desk, or some other admin MOS. Or never saw a day of action. So number of years means nothing. Notta. Nil. Im tired of hearing all the crying by my fellow vets about their pay, Im tired of hearing all the attention seeking BS by my fellow cops and FF’s about how their” lives are on the line daily”…check the occupational stats on workplace deaths. More Fisherman and construction workers die yearly than cops and firemen, and more than most military MOS’s. Man up. You chose the job, do it.Your not mistreated -GI Bill, free Medical, free moving expenses, food, tax free, combat pay, hazardous pay, deployment pay, all on top of base pay, only to end in 20years with a Cush Fed GS job that a civilian doesn’t have a chance of…many with your retirement and probably 30-100% disability rating on top of it. So yes its a noble profession. Those who serve in combat deserve respect and deserve to be taken care of as promised if injured or killed. But its really not true nor is it becoming to be singing our own praises and crying about how unappreciated we/you are. Check how hard life is on the outside for people today. your not mistreated and your well paid for the job YOU CHOSE. As for 15$ per hour for fast food, that’s BS as well. You are paid by skill level…you want more money get more specialized skills. Go to school, college, better yourself. Fast food is a stepping stone not a career unless your in Upper management. But honestly you cant fairly compare the military with fast food given the benefit disparity and retirement ect ect. This entire argument is self serving for both parties.

    • MichiganHopeful says:

      I don’t know what to make of all the comments on here from current and former military personnel, one makes it sound like the life of Riley and another speaks of hardship. I know I would NEVER believe the rosy pay the government speaks of, I have no doubt that is a recruitment tool. Come on, this is the US Government, “mlsrepresenting” the truth is what they do, every day in every way. With all the campaign rhetoric about income inequity Americans are actually starting to think about the pay our wonderful soldiers receive. It’s an over due discussion.
      In my opinion, the big unions in this country have screwed over all of us by being so greedy through the years (I live in Michigan) and here we all know of union workers in the auto industry, Kellogg’s, etc, etc who, years ago were making $15 per hour pushing a broom. Anybody wonder why everything costs so stinking much and why a low skill/elderly/illegal worker now thinks they need $15/hr to live on? Thank you unions, as usual you take care of yourselves and to hell with everyone else.

    • dot dot dot says:

      Medical isn’t free, i paid 50 bucks a month for myself when I was on active duty as a private years ago.

  17. M B says:

    I joined the Army over 20 years ago, did my 4 years, and I’m STILL benefiting from my service. I haven’t paid a dime on healthcare in over 15 years and I’ve had some really good doctors help me with various issues that I’ve completely overcome.

    As others have pointed out, please take EVERYTHING into consideration when you are trying to compare apples to oranges….

    Also, when I was in the Army and extended my paycheck beyond its value on any given pay period, I never had to worry about being homeless, not eating, etc.

    • halftangible says:

      Thank you for your service. One person’s experience is not necessarily representative of all others, however.

      And – correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t find information on this – but minimum wage is supposed to be paid to workers INDEPENDENT of any other benefits, correct?

      “I never had to worry about being homeless, not eating, etc.”
      The most recent data I can find regarding homeless people with jobs is 20% from 16 years ago, which is basically worthless in social statistics. I might as well have a report from the 1300s.

      As for after service, according to The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (something I didn’t have when I wrote this in 2013 for obvious reasons) 49,933 veterans were homeless on a given night in January of 2013. That’s about 1 in 10 of homeless people.

      Whether or not that’s something to worry about is up to you.

  18. Samantha says:

    I have been on both sides if the fence, and here is the sad truth. The housing we receive while being trained AND during deployment are not luxurious by any means what many think. Being in a large barrack that was probably from the 1970s in a cot-like bed with windows, if you were lucky to have windows, may have had screens to open. other wise it was lying there in ungodly humidity. Sounds like Club Med now doesn’t it? Training all hours until you wete finished sonetimes 10-15 hour days. And the meals sonetimes were MREs from the 1980s. How would I know? Because there was a oavk of M&Ms from the 1984 Olympics, and that was when I was mobilized in 2003! And niw to the present. For all of you who say GI Bill this and that, for some if us it was converted to Post 9-11. That doesnt cover half of my tuition. I had to take out loans. If you want to jump down anyones throats, go to thise who work the bare minimum at minimum wage and abuse the system for SNAP, LINK, Medicaid. I currently work in a very busy ER and see the burger flippers coming in for lame complaints or out of sheer laziness to buy $2 tylenol for 1 of their 4 kids or a $10 thermometer. Heaven forbid that they but that and that they should give up that iPhone 6. Before people rant they should see it from both ends if the spectrum. Thank you to all of the Veterans out there!!! HOOAH!!!

  19. Connor says:

    Minimum wage jobs are no skilled jobs for college kids and high schoolers to get some extra cash. You shouldn’t be relying on one to provide for your family.

  20. halftangible says:

    I don’t approve comments that do nothing but insult another poster. Please stop trying.

  21. Dan says:

    This was a very interesting article about military pay verses the civilian world. It’s also interesting that most facts about military pay are not true. I’m in the army, married with one child and the army does not pay for my familis food. I do. Yes we get something called basic allowance for sustenance or bas, but that pay is to cover for the food the military provides when you do any type of training. So that hot field chow or mre you get you pay for. Housing isn’t all true either, you don’t even see that money in your paycheck anyways unless you live off base. Thing is for the amount of hours, and yes pt hours count, compared to civilians, they have the upper hand on money.

  22. stewart says:

    I am a disabled war vet. I kept track of how many hours a week I worked starting after boot camp. So the first year my ‘Duty” hours (Time that I could not leave for any reason) were 2184. That was the lowest my entire time that I was in military. That does not include non-Duty M-F work days that I started work at 6am and ended after 3:30 (which getting done that early was rare). There is not overtime pay, and when I was not local, my average work day was 16 hours a day 7 days a week and I could count on 6 months each year being like this if there was no wartime (the 6 months a year was always more than 2900 hours of actual work time). Anyone can figure up minimum wage off of 40 hours a week, anyone else can realize this does not add up to what its worth to listen to someone whine about not getting enough for the little they do and what they supposedly deserve. It will never make up for a life that someone has to live in pain, given second rate medical care in and after the military, limited benefits that the federal government never fully fund, and watch fat, lazy, rude, and plain out stupid people who get paid over $50k a year to tell me I can not have the medicine that helps me stay alive because it costs the VA $12 a month instead of the $3 a month medicine is what they have, and I have to pay $55 a month from a regular pharmacy for it. I was married for part of my time in the military and saw the increase of being married, and still could not afford anything more than a studio apartment within 30 minutes. All I received with my health covered if I went to military medical, and I pay almost full for everything outside of a couple of tylenol. If any of my family members needed to be seen, you had two choices: First was military medical where you had no choice in the procedure, medicine, and followup and you still paid parts of it, Second was you pay for it and hope that any part of it will be covered and be prepared to pay for it for years to come. War-pay or Hazard pay as they called it was only a few dollars more a day if I was in the area. If you look are your LES from boot camp, you will find out your first issue is not free. You pay for first, second, and anything else they issue. You pay for your food. You ever see the crap that is offered half the time? Nutritious? More like school lunch type food that is always overcooked with a gravy that is always a different color. After a few years in the military ‘Serving’ my country so we can speak these things and hope there is not retaliation, I was permanently disabled. For the rest of my life I have to live like this with a few hundred dollars a month. My medications cost more than that per month. I am still trying to get medicine I need after 20 years, and with no success. GI Bill is no joke, they will give you money to go to school. Not any until after you start, so where do you come up with the tuition required by any school? The GI Bill only pays an amount, Even State college tuition is more than what the GI Bill gives you. VA Medical care would offend most people. Its not free either. I am a disabled vet and I still pay each time I visit and pick up the medicine I need to stay alive because some person (can never find) has a code for every diagnosis and if you do not have every diagnosis in your service connected (which some doctors still dont know how to do) chart, you will pay. You will pay $8 for 4 tylenol if that is what they prescribe. And if that surprises you, how about the people who you have to talk to after you see the doctor. Between the doctor and what you will actually receive is always reviewed, changed, addressed, or whatever they say (if you can even understand what they say). PTSD was not a diagnosis when I was in, so its not part of my chart. Even though war now is just as stressful and painful as anything now days. VA loans are just paperwork that changes how mortgage companies charge you fees. Take a non-VA approved loan and a VA approved loan and you will see they get all the money from you, just differently. People dont compare their loans, so people dont really know. When people look at the rest of the story, you will realize that raising the minimum wage keeps the people working there at minimum wage. The person who has worked ten years to get to $15 an hour will not get a raise to $30 an hour, but will now be on the bottom with +10 MILLION more people who have been working to get higher wages. Then a few years later when poverty catches up with minimum wage (which it always does), not all of those people who were brought down to minimum wage will have been able to reach higher wage jobs. But a simple kids meal of a couple of pieces of chicken and a handful of fires (or a part of an apple sliced) will cost you $15 and the guy cooking the fries will still be complaining!!!!! My disability will only go up about 2% a year, and it will take over 15 years for it to catch up, and it doesnt cover things now!!! We dont see high paying jobs and companies any more. We see dollar type stores, wally-stores, and quick loans. None pay more than $10 an hour, while the average non union job 50 years ago was equivalent to almost $50 in todays money. I know this is too long for most to read, but to those who have read they probably already understand. To those who whine they probably went — DR;TL. And they probably dont know how to sign their name in more than print on a document that asks for a “signature”!! This is a great country and I hope one day it will be great again!!!!

  23. Wingrider315 says:

    OMG, I can’t believe everyone is actually comparing burger flippers or should I say “fast food workers” to military servers members. When you compare the service member you are comparing “every job title” to the fast food worker. Some of the entry level service jobs are high tech jobs such as fixing medical equipment to working at the gym passing out basket balls ans towels, to being infantry stopping bullets. There is no comparison. In the military you get paid by your rank, unless you get some kind of special sign on bonus. As far as being a volunteer service, last time I checked minimum wage jobs were also volunteer as well. When I served in the military I started as a aircraft weapons specialist, repairing weapon systems on f-16’s I just can’t see how this is even close to the liability to working any minimum wage job, even after you factor in all the “benifits” the military gets.. what’s my point? Minimum wage jobs are are a sepping stone for HS kids starting out in life, and military jobs are careers, it is your personal decision to stay in a starter job and never move on to a real career like the rest of Americans seem to do.

  24. Anonymous says:

    All you people complain about dumb things…. Its stupid to think that the Minimum wage gets paid more than the active duty people. Last I checked minimum wage people didn’t also have a roof over their head or a place to eat 3 meals a day for free. Lets not forget that they have to provide their own clothes and pay for all kinds of things.

    If you count just pay alone with out anything else.. then yes they get paid more. But for the average person to live 24 hrs. an active duty person gets paid way more and has more. than just a pay check!

    • tim says:

      Active duty risks way more, too.

      Besides, some minimum wage workers also get free stuf. That us hard working taxpayers are forced to fund. Get it straight.

  25. Anthony says:

    As an E-3 in the Navy for 2 years now, I can say it’s completely unjust to receive the pay we do. I cannot pick up rank because they are only accepting 0 – 1 people every year with my rate (job). 2 people could 100% the test, but only1 person will be accepted. I’m paid about $820 every 2 weeks after taxes. No one receives a housing allowance unless you are E-4 with 4 years in or an E-5+. I work anywhere from 70 to 110 hours a week. Just another reason why half of us want to hurry up and get out.

    • FormerService says:

      You realize that’s equivalent to about 30k/year gross income right? If you were bringin just the base salary of an e3 without BAH, your paychecks after taxes would be $550. Plus you don’t have to pay for your healthcare.

      I hope you’re not in military accounting.

  26. MichiganHopeful says:

    To all who have served our country in any branch, I send you my heart felt thanks. It is because of the American soldier that commenters here have the right to fully express their thoughts and opinions. There is a lot of talk here about benefits a soldier receives, I am curious, though, about all the off base expenses they have if I hey have families. I have heard it can be a financial struggle for them. I believe minimum wage should be essentially a stepping stone for vast majority of workers, but I 100% never think civilians should ever be paid more or even close to what our military men and women should be paid. Name one job where a civilian is made to put their life on the line, just one. I am assuming that once a soldier has been inducted they do not have the option of just quitting because they don’t like it and move on to another job. If anyone (of course there are exceptions) not making “a living wage” is complaining because the government is not guaranteeing them enough money, let them become entrepreneurs,or, they can always enlist in the military.

  27. Steve says:

    To all the whiners complaining about minimum wage. If you took the minimum wage from the fifties, and adjusted it for inflation through today, it should be just over ten dollars an hour. Simple math is why you don’t deserve fifteen dollars an hour.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Y’know, given the line of reasoning in this article and some of the following comments, it would seem that the general consensus is that since literally everyone makes more than the military enlisted, NO ONE deserves to be paid well outside of the military.

    • halftangible says:

      I was going for ‘this is the argument as presented, let’s run some numbers and see if it holds up’, with a hint of ‘the military should be making more than minimum wage, given the fact that the job can easily kill you’ >.>

  29. Information from the Government says:

    Today’s Military – Compensation Calculator


    “The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that the average active duty service member receives an Army benefits and pay compensation package worth $99,000. Noncash compensation represents almost 60 percent of this package. Noncash compensation includes health care, retirement pay, child care and free or subsidized food, housing and education. Coupled with regular cash compensation, this adds up to attractive military compensation for Soldiers.”

  30. Steve says:

    As the cost of living increases so should the minimum wage. This wage raise is $1 a year until 2022. It’s now over night. Obama just raised the military wage across the board 1.3%. Not a lot for the bottom end, but people act like asses when you try to only give things to the people that need it. On to the stupid topic at hand (flipping burgers paying more than military employees). Military workers get extremely better benefits, housing/food/insurance/uniforms/transportation, w/ tax breaks, military discounts, and government grants for school, buying a home or vehicle. The burger flipper gets NO benefits. Also a large majority of fast food workers are only permitted to work part time by their employer. Because of this it’s estimated that 52% of fast food employees need government assistance which cost tax payers $153 billion each year. The face is $15 an hour for a part time civilian employee who has to pay for everything themselves is less than the lowest paid military worker earns for their sacrifices. I do, as well as hopefully every American, believe the lower end of the military is under paid. If the government could stop spending money like a teenage girl with daddy’s credit card, then we could see some better changes for the military and country as a whole.

  31. Me says:

    You knew the pay the military offered before you took the job. If flipping burgers pays better why did you not choose that career path?

    • halftangible says:

      Because pay is not the only thing you do a job for?

      Because people are not completely rational actors?

      Because there are instances where people (try to) cum into the food you eat at fast food joints?

      Because war is an actual mental and physical challenge?

      Because soldiers feel comraderie with their fellows while burger flippers feel disgust?

      Because the military is a necessary institution and is made to look better and more glamorous than it is?

      Those are my guesses, anyway – I didn’t go into the military.

      • Anonymous says:

        nice third one

        (MOD: Can’t reply for some reason. Yeah, that is apparently a thing that happened at a taco bell near here. Someone decided to jizz into the sour cream.

        Don’t worry, they were fired and none of it was served to their customers, but still)

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