Friday, April 15, 2011

Lesson #4: Reading Between the Submarine Lines



April 15, 2011 - theday.com - Sub building program survives budget cuts

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Despite the government's fiscal woes and immense pressure for cuts, the Virginia-class submraine program escaped unscathed, a testament to the bipartisan support it enjoys,according to Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District. It marks the first time two attack submarines will be purchased in a year since 1989.

Between the lines (what you may never see in a newspaper): Submarines are always silent and strange. - Juan Caruso

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Short Interpretation

The U.S. Navy's submarines are still so far ahead of any competition, the submarine force will provide the U.S. with a very formidable and highly survivable element in any contest for world domination by actors deploring liberty.

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The public (and indeed most of the military, including submariners) are certainly unaware of some spectacularly sensitive activities individual submarines have engaged in, nor their stellar achievements (and brazen attempts). Such activities are hidden for decades, if not longer. Such contributions, however, often with significant sacrifices by crew, of these submarines is valuable because enemies (current, or future) are equally unaware of their efforts and accomplishment(s).

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Cruise missiles, which are sometimes visible, are not the only weapons launched by subs, and launching weapons has not necessarily been a submarine's most critical mission in terms of supporting national defense.

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To recruit today's volunteers, who are increasingly binary-oriented thinkers, it has been necessary for the service to de-emphasize the inherent hazards of service. Eventually, related pay considerations may become historical curiosities. PREDICTION: This will happen after women have served at their normalized rate (i.e. approximating the same ratio to their gender as male submariners are to all male sailors). Incentive pay (by another name, perhaps) will replace submarine duty pay until the normalized female equilibrium is reached. A target year for this pay change scheme has not been made public, of course --- and no doubt flight pay, as well. There could even be some foreign nationals standing in line for both military jobs. Hey, it is only a prediction (April 15, 2011).

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4 Comments:

At 17 April, 2011 09:42, Blogger Tom Goering said...

Sub pay hasn't seen a change since 2004 - sea pay hasn't seen a change for 10 years. that is a good reason for a review of all incentive pays. I think incentive pays are here to stay because raising the base pay as a method of compensation costs much more due to the current retirement system.

http://www.navycs.com/military-pay.html

 
At 17 April, 2011 13:09, Blogger Vigilis said...

Tom, although I was aware of the facts you mention, thank you for making them clear to all readers.

The magnitudes of today's variable retention bonuses tend to vastly overshadow sea and sub pay. Perhaps Australia's RAN (whose submarines have really been struggling with retention and recruitment problems) can serve as a guide to what the U.S. must avoid.

M.E. certainly supports retention of sub and sea pay for our fleet sailors. Some of those in Washington, particulary lawyers, may not be of like mind.

 
At 17 April, 2011 20:15, Blogger Tom Goering said...

I agree. It remains a fight every year to ensure the incentives are at the right levels - in a time of ever shrinking budgets the challenges will only become greater. My prediction is that you will see a number of long standing benefits go away, the first one - the lowest hanging fruit with the Post 9/11 GI Bill in place - Tuition Assistance will be gone in two years time; it wouldn't surprise me if it goes sooner, as a matter of fact. But I digress.

 
At 17 April, 2011 22:33, Blogger Vigilis said...

Tom, your view with respect to the possible near-term fate of tuition assistance is certainly respected in these quarters.

What a poor message ending it would send, not only to our sailors and troops, but to all those less military-service oriented civilians.

 

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