7 years ago
So I spent most of the weekend with several Marines (not an uncommon occurrence), one of whom isn’t re-enlisting and has been trained extensively as Scout Sniper and Force Recon. What are his intentions, you ask? Military contractor. It doesn’t matter which one, DynCorp, Aegis, or what was once Blackwater. They’re all the same, in my estimation. They pay more for services, they issue better body armor, they issue better weapons, and they do little to no real training of their hires. They rely on the training done by the U.S. military.
Regardless of what one might think, the use of military contractors is still ongoing in Iraq, and increasing in Afghanistan to the point that they are being used to conduct force protection at some Forward Operating Bases. This all raises several important observations.
The Captain’s Journal isn’t opposed to the use of military contractors for the normal reasons. We have no moral objection to their existence, and similar to their pay scale and outfitting, we believe that the U.S. military should be given the best weapons and gear.
But the cost of recruiting and training Marines (who have deployed multiple times) is astronomical, and the military contractors get the benefit of that investment. So the U.S. pays to recruit them, pays to train them, pays to deploy them and gain combat experience, and then pays a much higher rate to hire them as military contractors when they leave the service because we refuse to fund the U.S. military so that they can retain its own warriors because of budgetary constraints within the Congress.
It is stupid in the superlative degree, and much more costly in the long run. It is also very destructive of morale in the U.S. military. Is my life not worth it, they ask? Larger pay raises are being called for in 2010, but even these pay raises are a pittance compared to what is required to retain the best, and what – in the long run – would make the U.S. military more cost effective.
The very existence of military contractors is evidence against the decision-making in Washington and in favor of larger pay increases for the military. The bean-counters be damned, there is a better way to do things.