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Thread: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

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    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    I have to wonder how many sailors careers have been sacrificed during PTS, and ships went undermanned because our defense budget got reallocated to uniform changes over the last four decades, anyone have any insights towards that?
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    I have to wonder how many sailors careers have been sacrificed during PTS, and ships went undermanned because our defense budget got reallocated to uniform changes over the last four decades, anyone have any insights towards that?
    I'm sure a lot of other folks may be wondering the same things.

    PTS - that was before my time so I am not sure how it worked. Sounds like you had to meet certain minimum standards to stay in, which I see nothing wrong with so long as they were applied uniformly. Also sounds like it was the next logical step after you had HYT getting rid of a lot of deadwood in the enlisted ranks. I have seen where standards were tightened when you had more personnel than billets, and then loosened when you needed warm bodies with a pulse and (hopefully) a functioning brain that they did not use for a seat.

    Manning - yes, money was a factor in some cases as you could do better on the outside, but there are other issues as well. For one thing, the biggest hurdle may be to simply find folks with no issues (legal, financial, etc.), that want to come in. Then you have to find a slot they are qualified for and want. Then you have to hope someone doesn't offer them a better carrot to not go in. I recall at one point hearing (an old WSJ article comes to mind from the mid-1990's) that guys in my age bracket were the biggest hurdle for a recuiter to overcome - we grew up during Vietnam and in many cases being convinced that military service was for the other guy, and our kids had to be persuaded at all costs not to sign up to be cannon fodder. At the same time in the Post-Vietnam period we were being persuaded to avoid service once the draft died away (unless you turned and ran when your number came up). After all, a lot of folks saw people going in as losers that could not survive on the outside.

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    I have to wonder how many sailors careers have been sacrificed during PTS, and ships went undermanned because our defense budget got reallocated to uniform changes over the last four decades, anyone have any insights towards that?
    I kind of do (last 5 years mostly), and the budget lines within O&M that cover those items are pretty divergent and reallocated (shifted) funds went away from fluff things like uniform matters and into operations vice the other way.

    I will dig around for it later, it is in the budget books on the DoD Budget site but am pressing on another issue at work.

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    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    I kind of do (last 5 years mostly), and the budget lines within O&M that cover those items are pretty divergent and reallocated (shifted) funds when away from uniform matters and into operations vice the other way.

    I will dig around for it later, it is in the budget books on the DoD Budget site but am pressing on another issue at work.
    Completely understand that, I would be interested to see when you do happen to find it. In all honesty it may not be all that much based on the simple fact that employing human beings is pretty expensive.
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    Completely understand that, I would be interested to see when you do happen to find it. In all honesty it may not be all that much based on the simple fact that employing human beings is pretty expensive.

    It shouldn't cost that much for personnel, but it does (unnecessarily a lot of times). Remember, there are a lot of people making money off the backs of hard working Sailors. This change is unnecessary given the present state of the budget and the cuts the Pentagon is facing. Actually, it is a crime but I can't really even begin to vent my frustration, since this is only a bulletin board!

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    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by BURAWSKI View Post
    It shouldn't cost that much for personnel, but it does (unnecessarily a lot of times). Remember, there are a lot of people making money off the backs of hard working Sailors. This change is unnecessary given the present state of the budget and the cuts the Pentagon is facing. Actually, it is a crime but I can't really even begin to vent my frustration, since this is only a bulletin board!
    Well, frankly it kind of does cost quite a bit regardless, Salary plus Benefits (free medical!), Tax free, etc. we're looking at around $50K for just one low-ranking sailor for one year. That being said, considering the amount of total investment into uniform changes over time it definitely brings budgeting priorities into question.
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
    James Madison

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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    Well, frankly it kind of does cost quite a bit regardless, Salary plus Benefits (free medical!), Tax free, etc. we're looking at around $50K for just one low-ranking sailor for one year. That being said, considering the amount of total investment into uniform changes over time it definitely brings budgeting priorities into question.
    The figure makes for a nice guesstimate. Every single thing involving a Sailor be they an E-1 or an O-10 has a cost to the government.

    You gotta figure:

    Training (initial as well as ongoing). For the one-time needed to get the Sailor up to speed, you recoup that over the life of their initial contract.

    Upkeep. You need the facilities and logistics to feed, clothe, and house the Sailor, as well as the personnel on standby (read medical) for routine maintainence any emergent requirements for treatment. Add to that the cost to maintain housing and support services for the family (as applicable), as well as recreation facilities. A lot of this involves labor costs for the personnel to make all this work, both military and civilian.

    Then you have the costs associated with (hopefully) getting the right Sailor to the right place at the right time. I'm not talking about simply getting the guy to morning quarters, but the travel costs associated with PCS orders, which include the labor for the clerk that cuts the orders. Even "no-cost" orders have a cost to the government simply for the labor charges to process the orders.

    Add to that the salary paid to the Sailor as well as the non-pay items he/she recieves, and the figures probably add up to more than I made last year before taxes (and I barely hit a six-figure salary with OT).

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    ... employing human beings is pretty expensive.
    Long term, the service member is the single most expensive weapon system we have: Pay, benefits, medical, dental, 30 days of paid vacation from induction, non-operational support/service member items (CDC's, rec centers etc), housing, pensions and the VA.

    I do have numbers on this, will take me a bit to find them but will PM them to you.

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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    Long term, the service member is the single most expensive weapon system we have: Pay, benefits, medical, dental, 30 days of paid vacation from induction, non-operational support/service member items (CDC's, rec centers etc), housing, pensions and the VA.

    I do have numbers on this, will take me a bit to find them but will PM them to you.
    Truth #1: Humans are more important than Hardware.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Re: Unisex uniforms will mean changes to covers and crackerjacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Bosun View Post
    The figure makes for a nice guesstimate. Every single thing involving a Sailor be they an E-1 or an O-10 has a cost to the government.

    You gotta figure:

    Training (initial as well as ongoing). For the one-time needed to get the Sailor up to speed, you recoup that over the life of their initial contract.

    Upkeep. You need the facilities and logistics to feed, clothe, and house the Sailor, as well as the personnel on standby (read medical) for routine maintainence any emergent requirements for treatment. Add to that the cost to maintain housing and support services for the family (as applicable), as well as recreation facilities. A lot of this involves labor costs for the personnel to make all this work, both military and civilian.

    Then you have the costs associated with (hopefully) getting the right Sailor to the right place at the right time. I'm not talking about simply getting the guy to morning quarters, but the travel costs associated with PCS orders, which include the labor for the clerk that cuts the orders. Even "no-cost" orders have a cost to the government simply for the labor charges to process the orders.

    Add to that the salary paid to the Sailor as well as the non-pay items he/she recieves, and the figures probably add up to more than I made last year before taxes (and I barely hit a six-figure salary with OT).
    The fully burdened labor rate used to estimate a staff augmentation contractor (mid-level All source Analyst E6/O3 equivalent) for a year in Afghanistan is $420K. Of course the only training ground for these people is the military. so, in most cases the taxpayer has already paid for the initial training.
    Rainmaker have a few questions: How many FY 13 O&M funded staff augmentation contractors reported to duty at CONUS govt agencies on 1 Oct 2013? The same day 800K Federal employees went home from the same agencies. What percentage of these staff augmentation contractors are considered mission essential? How many of them will still be on the books when 100K+ service members get kicked to the curb? and What do the beltway bandit Joint Chiefs of Staff and their handlers have to say about this discrepancy?

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