In recent times, the debate over how to handle the struggling military service members in all branches due to their low salaries has come up again. In main stream media, they depict two sides of this, individuals who believe that soldiers should be paid more, and those who do not. In reality, I think that the argument is more oriented toward those who believe soldiers should be paid more, and those who realize that it simply is not possible. I would consider myself to be on both of these stand points to some degree. While I believe soldiers should and deserve higher pay, there are numerous factors as to why this simply is not possible to the extent that others want it to be.
The frequently raised comparison why can’t soldiers be paid as much as professional athletes is a very emotionally based and frankly uninformed statement. While I applaud the emotional base of this statement, as it is also my own belief, one has to understand why soldiers can not be paid this much, or even much more than they are currently being paid for that matter. The list of determining factors of a career’s salary is quite extensive and can become complicated depending on the field. However, the main factors to this are the education needed for the job, danger and stress encountered on the work site, and the availability of employees for this job. Already you can see that while military personal are quite exposed to danger and stress, the fact that there are countless individuals who can replace one another drags down the wages limit drastically. In addition to this, one has to look at the education needed. While some military specialties require a high education, those tasks rarely put them in danger. The ones in danger are only required to have the most basic of educational background, this not only stands on its own as a factor that decreases wages, but clearly also impacts the amount of individuals who easily qualify to become soldiers.
In addition to this, economic constraints make the more extreme of this obviously impossible. Housing becomes a real issue due to low wages. Soldiers and their families are forced to live in on base housing, which are not well kept due to the military’s constant excuse that they will be torn down someday anyway. This leads to drafted houses, unsafe infrastructure, and unhealthy living conditions. Low wages also force soldiers and their families to become malnourished. What money is spent is usually spent on transportation and such. This leaves little money to allocate to healthy or even filling means at home for the service member and his or her family.
The comparison from soldiers to professional athletes pay grade would be impossible. There are countless individuals who raise the question as to why soldiers are paid so little, and how they should be paid just as much as footballers seen at SupportersnotCustomers.com. This most recent post on this WordPress highlights as I mention the vast amount of individuals who cry out on social media about this issue, without any real investigation or background thought. Taking our economy into account, TheHuffingtonPost states that the average salary of a professional athlete “with NBA’s average player salary clocking in at $5.15 million”. Military.com states the military members that join in just one year is “more than 180,000 people enlist in the armed forces”. Now multiplying these numbers, we would have to allocate over nine hundred twenty-seven billion dollars, into paying only brand new service members. Not including anyone who had been there over a year. Clearly impossible.
Taking these factors into account, my own opinion stands as before, that while I strongly believe that soldiers should be paid more, the facts simply do not work in the favor of this opinion. The amount of individuals who are crying out for higher wages for soldiers is admirable, however unheard due to its impossible reality.