Shit You See on Facebook Part II

Yet another insipid piece of misinformation is (and probably has been) making the rounds on Facebook.  This one is entitled “Military Pay” and tells a great story from an Airman stationed at Hill Air Force Base in response to an op-ed piece written by a woman named Cindy Williams.

This piece is so chalk full of inaccuracies; I need to break it down bit by bit.  It reads (with my commentary in italics):

Military Pay
Please take the time to read!

CINDY WILLIAMS was appointed by Obama as an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office…..

Whoever wrote the introduction to this piece is a blatant liar, spinning an agenda.  Ms. Williams did indeed hold the position in question – but during the CLINTON administration back in the 1990’s!

Cindy Williams, not be confused with the Cindy Williams of Laverne and Shirley fame, is a Principal Research Scientist of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Unfortunately, readers of this post, over the many years it has been circulating, have sent considerable amounts of hate mail to the other Cindy Williams that used to play Shirley Feeney.

This is an Airman’s response to Cindy Williams’ editorial piece in the Washington Post about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America .

Cindy William wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members’ way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.

This is half right and half wrong – the author couldn’t bother to fact check within paragraphs!  The editorial article written by Ms. Williams did indeed run in the Washington Post and not the Washington Times.  Furthermore, never (repeat NEVER) had it been suggested in the last 30 years that a 13% pay raise for the military was ever up for consideration!  The 13% figure WAS a delta representing the, then, gap between civilian wages and military pay.  This figure was so outlandish it raised the first red flag!

A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

“Ms Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, “Our GI’s earn enough” and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I’m wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

The Airman’s pay may have been correct in 2000, the year Ms. Williams op-ed piece in the Washington Post ran.  Even then, the figure is actually less than the real pay of an Airman First Class (E-3) with under 2 years of service of $1,171.50 per month.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for “Network Technicians” in the Washington , D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum………… I’m sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

This is pretty impressive – let’s assume for a moment that back in 2000 when the Airman wrote his rebuttal to Ms. Williams that a network technician of his stature (with less than 2 years on the job) was indeed earning $70-80K per year – the recession has been very hard on network technicians!  The average rate of pay for network techs in the DC area today is $48K.

Additionally, since the Airman is referencing his actual paycheck, it’s clear that he is single, with no dependents, and he is living in barracks on Hill AFB outside of Ogden Utah.  His rent, his meals, his health care is all taken care of without a cent more out of his pay.  If he were married, he would receive additional funding – tax free – for rent and meals.  An E-3, with under two years of service today earns $1,788.29.  If Airman Bragg was currently stationed at Hill AFB, married, living off base, he would be making $3,241 a month, with over $1,500 of that tax free.

Since he is under two years in the service without dependents, it’s safe to assume that he is a recent high school graduate, probably close to 20 years old, with less than one year on the actual job following his basic training and advanced MOS training.  He may fancy the idea that his skills are on par with those network techs making $70K a year, but he’s still essentially an entry-level trainee.  Additionally, in return for his service, he’s able to take advantage of the GI Bill and College Fund to further his education while still in uniform as well as when he leaves the service.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military’s lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full “deployment experience.”

So again, we are dealing with a hybrid lie!  There is no way that Airman Hill, or any other soldier was deploying to Afghanistan in January 2000.  Um, just think about that for just a moment…

As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they’ll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they’ve been squandering the “vast” piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites.. And when you’re actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren’t enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE’s (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.

This is the truest thing in the entire article (as it currently exists) – Tabasco makes MRE’s edible!

Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won’t be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.

But, tomorrow from KABUL , I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Again, whatever letter Airman Bragg originally wrote in response to Ms. Williams  it has been doctored and updated, in order to push an agenda – I find this to be reprehensible, because it does nothing more than dupe honest people that would be certain to be outraged by the misleading information contained in this post.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish…On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can’t offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

And you, Ms.. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?”
A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC
If you get this more than once, feel honored that you know more than one person
who supports our military and appreciates what they do.
Share · January 16
3 people like this.

The worst part of this whole deplorable article is that it only takes 5 minutes to debunk the entire thing.  When I see crap like this floating around, it just pisses me off that more people do not take the time to do so on their own before sharing information that is blatantly wrong in order to further an agenda.  If ideology and outlook depend on lies to make it work, we are in trouble!

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One Response to Shit You See on Facebook Part II

  1. Pingback: Shit You See on Facebook Part II « Tax Rate Calculator

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