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Thread: The controversial plan to slash military housing allowance faces opposition

  1. #11
    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    ...people don't get more or less BAS based on rank or dependent status so why should BAH be any different?
    Not sure about that comparison. I was always under the impression BAS was about food for the service member only was never intended to feed the family of the service member. I know that's not how it works in a practical sense, but that was the intent. One is either on BAS or has a meal card. Someone let me know if this is incorrect.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    Not sure about that comparison. I was always under the impression BAS was about food for the service member only was never intended to feed the family of the service member. I know that's not how it works in a practical sense, but that was the intent. One is either on BAS or has a meal card. Someone let me know if this is incorrect.
    You're right...BAS IS about the food for the service member...and BAH should be about housing for the service member...anything extra should come out of pocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Completely agree on the flat rate, no matter the rank or the number of dependents. In a normal job you don't get more money in order to upgrade living quarters. You get more pay/salary as you move up and, if you choose, that higher paycheck can be used to get the bigger house. It works for BAS...people don't get more or less BAS based on rank or dependent status so why should BAH be any different?
    Ironically, BAS for Officers is actually lower than for enlisted. Currently Enlisted get $357.44 per month and Officers get $246.24.

    Maybe Officers eat less?

    In any event, I agree with your take agreeing with mine. There isn't a legitimate reason that a lower ranking person needs worse living quarters. Set the rates based on the fair amount for the area and give it to everyone. If they don't think it is enough they can go live in the privatized (or on base) housing that IS the same for everyone. Boom! problem solved.

    P.S. The most likely reason Enlisted BAS is higher is because DFAC contracts are somewhat based on those rates. Enlisted meal deductions are set to an amount slightly lower than what the member receives for the full month. I don't know the current rate but it probably amounts to about $325 of the $357.44 that Enlisted receive. That money goes to the DFAC to provide the meals. If Enlisted BAS were as low as Officer BAS they probably couldn't find a contractor or they'd have to charge more for the meal card than what the member actually gets.
    Last edited by SomeRandomGuy; 06-06-2016 at 07:44 PM.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeRandomGuy View Post
    There isn't a legitimate reason that a lower ranking person needs worse living quarters.
    It isn't because someone needs worse housing etc. The allowance is for housing, but BAH is proportionate as part of the overall compensation plan ... basically part of the overall package. Yes, officers make more money on the pay scale, BAH is a factor in the overall dollar amount that is judged to be appropriate for the job.
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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly, the reason behind the different BAS rates for officer and enlisted is because officers are always paid BAS (i.e., they're never given "rations in kind") and they're charged less than enlisted to eat at the chow hall. Or it was something like that.

    Anyway, I don't agree with the same BAH for all paygrades. I don't even agree with the housing situation. What I do know is that BAH is the same for E1-E4, and then it goes up for each paygrade once you make E5. I believe that, for E5 and above, they need to do one of three things:

    1. Only charge the amount of E1-E4 BAH to live there, and allow the member to pocket the difference (note: Some bases do this. Not all, but some do.).
    2. Actually have different housing based on paygrade.
    3. Restrict base housing to E1-E4 only.

    The way I see it, better housing or higher BAH is justified by RHIP. An SNCO shouldn't be expected to live in the ghetto.

    Furthermore... whether in base housing or out in town, what E3 wants to live around bunch of motard NCOs and SNCOs and feel like he's constantly being watched for military bearing or uniform infractions?
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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    The way I see it, better housing or higher BAH is justified by RHIP. An SNCO shouldn't be expected to live in the ghetto.
    That's why they get paid more base pay. Nobody should be expected to live in the ghetto. The BAH should cover enough for a two bedroom house in a "safe" neighborhood. You want more rooms, or a better neighborhood? Come out of pocket...SNCOs make plenty of money in order to have a better home in a better neighborhood. That's one of the benefits of getting promoted, as it is in any job.

    What isn't a necessity for the military to provide a MSgt with a 4 bedroom house in The Hamptons.

    Again, my question is very simple. If more BAH is paid because RHIP then why isn't more BAS paid? Is a SNCO expected to eat Top Ramen like lower ranks are? The answer is also very simple. The military provides the basic necessity...anything extra comes out of pocket. That's how it should be.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    If I recall correctly, the reason behind the different BAS rates for officer and enlisted is because officers are always paid BAS (i.e., they're never given "rations in kind") and they're charged less than enlisted to eat at the chow hall. Or it was something like that.
    Sort of. Yes, we always get BAS, when deployed, in the field etc. We are required to pay for our meals when deployed etc. On ships, in port we only pay for meals we consume ... underway we pay for 3 meals a day whether we eat 3 or not ... while deployed at sea we pay more per month than we make in BAS.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    The way I see it, better housing or higher BAH is justified by RHIP. An SNCO shouldn't be expected to live in the ghetto.

    Well, no one deserves to live in the ghetto, unless that is where they want to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    Furthermore... whether in base housing or out in town, what E3 wants to live around bunch of motard NCOs and SNCOs and feel like he's constantly being watched for military bearing or uniform infractions?
    This is the biggest issue I have with privatized all-ranks housing on base that has junior enlisted and field grade officers living across the street. It is not that I have an issue potentially living across the street from an E3, but is the quality of life of the E3 impacted by having the XO live across the street?
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    That's why they get paid more base pay.
    Overall compensation is not computed using just the pay scale.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    It isn't because someone needs worse housing etc. The allowance is for housing, but BAH is proportionate as part of the overall compensation plan ... basically part of the overall package. Yes, officers make more money on the pay scale, BAH is a factor in the overall dollar amount that is judged to be appropriate for the job.
    We should buy officers a car, too...definitely. I believe for O-1 to O-3 it's a convertible BMW or anything that resembles a Mazda Miata. O-4/O-5s should definitely get something between an SS Camaro and a Vet...O-6 and above don't get anything because they use their staff cars for everything, including their wife going to the commissary where they bring their own bags and don't tip.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    Overall compensation is not computed using just the pay scale.
    I think you make a great point. Officers definitely live via over compensation.

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