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Old 11-26-2013, 04:22 PM  
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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Interesting Observation by TMQ

If anyone is unaware, Tuesday Morning Quarterback is an ESPN column written by a brilliant fellow who also loves football. His columns include both football analysis and political commentary.

Thought this discussion of Naval matters was interesting, though YMMV.


News from the blue water: Last week I asked if any reader knew the current vessels-to-admirals ratio of the once-mighty Royal Navy. Many readers, including Stephanie Cummings-White of Torqauy, England, suggested I should be asking instead for the admirals-to-vessels ratio, citing this 2008 story noting 41 admirals supervising 40 warships. Nathan Green of Hempstead, Long Island, suggested matters were worse, citing this 2013 story reporting the Royal Navy has "15 times more commanding officers than ships," with 260 captains and 40 admirals for 19 warships.

The "15 times more" story, from the Daily Mail, lists as warships only "major surface combatants" -- destroyers, frigates and the Queen's lone remaining flattop, a light aircraft carrier scheduled to be retired in 2014. The major-surface-combatants definition excludes support vessels plus the Royal Navy's strategic nuclear submarines, which bear far more destructive power than all the navies of the world combined during World War II. Paul Meka of Buffalo, N.Y., notes that in total, the Royal Navy has 79 commissioned ships, two vessels for each admiral. Yoni Appelbaum of Cambridge, Mass., compared this to the United States Navy, which has 331 admirals for 285 ships in commission, a worse H.M.S. Pinafore ratio than under the Union Jack.

In other nautical news, TMQ complains that the U.S. Navy names its capital ships after Republican presidents but not Democratic ones. Current supercarriers bear the names of modern Republican presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Of modern Democratic presidents, only Truman is represented, though the keel has been laid for a John Kennedy.

While Gerald Ford, who was never elected to national office, has his name on a supercarrier, Franklin Roosevelt, elected four times and who led the country during the world's worst war, has his name on only a destroyer. Jimmy Carter, who beat Ford at the polls, has his name on only an attack submarine. (Carter is the sole president to have served aboard a submarine, but elected presidents should outrank appointed presidents.) Lyndon Johnson, who brought about passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, and who was winner of a landslide national election, will have his name on a new type of destroyer that's under construction at Bath Iron Works -- an important ship, but nowhere as important as the supercarrier that bears the name of the unelected partial-term Ford.

There is no ship named the Bill Clinton -- or perhaps, in naval naming convention, the William Jefferson Clinton -- though Clinton was a popular two-term president whose policies helped cause an economic boom and the retreat of the remnants of the Soviet Union. (Capital ships sometimes are named for the living, including the Reagan and the Bush.)

The Secretary of the Navy, a political appointee, is the key figure in ship names. Democratically appointed SecNavs have tended to reach across the aisle to honor the other side, a Clinton appointee choosing the name for the Reagan. Republican secretaries of the Navy chose Ford and Bush over Clinton, who won more presidential elections than Ford and Bush combined.

It's not like Democrats aren't represented. Supercarriers bear the names of Carl Vinson and John Stennis -- old-South Congressional Democrats who were ardent segregationists. Neither Vinson nor Stennis ever won a national election, nor served in the military; both fought to keep blacks and whites apart. Yet their names are on supercarriers, while FDR's name is on a destroyer.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
The only one that surprises me there is FDR.

Me too, especially as he was a former Secretary of the Navy and was a staunch supporter of the navy his entire Presidency.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
Admiral is just a rank like General, but a highly expensive rank after it is all said and done. The Pentagon can't seem to afford tuition assistance or the Stars and Stripes newspaper but can somehow afford a grotesque number of these flag officers.

A gift which keeps giving in retirement, I might add.


Quote:
A change in federal law to keep experienced officers in uniform allows top generals and admirals to make more in retirement than they did on active duty, Pentagon and congressional records show.

The new pension rules were part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Act to address concerns that the military would lose too many experienced generals and admirals during wartime.

Previously , the maximum annual pension was based on an officer's pay at 26 years of service. Now, a four-star officer retiring in 2011 with 38 years' experience would get a yearly pension of about $219,600, a jump of $84,000, or 63% beyond what was once allowed. A three-star officer with 35 years' experience would get about $169,200 a year, up about $39,000, or 30%.

he highest pension, $272,892, is paid to a retired four-star officer with 43 years of service, according to the Pentagon. Before the law was changed, the typical pension for a retired four-star officer was $134,400. The top pay for an active-duty officer is capped at $179,900; housing and other allowances boost their compensation an additional third.

"These changes cumulatively provide consistent recognition across an individual's entire career, not just the first 26 years of service," Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said. "This recognition also translates into increased readiness through the increased retention of our most experienced leaders."

The Project on Government Oversight, which looks at waste in government, said the pensions were too much.

"At a time when the Pentagon is struggling to pay for the men and women who actually fight wars, and is shrinking the size of its fighting force and civilian employees, it doesn't make sense to nearly double the size of a retired four-star's pension," said Nick Schwellenbach, director of investigations for the group.

Pentagon officials sought to change top officers' pensions in 2003, records show, over concerns that the military would lose too many experienced generals and admirals during wartime. Last week, the Pentagon announced that it planned to slash nearly 100,000 active-duty soldiers and marines by 2016 to save money and to coincide with the end of the war in Iraq and the planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

The change to top officers' pensions issue is an appropriate matter for Senate oversight, said Will Jenkins, a spokesman for Sen. James Webb, D-Va. Webb is chairman of the armed services personnel subcommittee.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that retirement benefits will have to be re-examined in light of lean budgets in coming years.

Also, in 2010, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the military was top-heavy with brass whose ranks had swelled by 100 since 2001. He called for a reduction of 50 admirals and generals.

There are 146 three-star officers and 44 four-star officers receiving the higher pensions.

Increasing pension payments to the most-senior officers is unlikely to encourage them to stay in the military, said Beth Asch, an expert at the RAND Corp. But, she said, it may entice younger officers to remain in the military if the future payoff for doing so is substantial.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...ons/52939598/1
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:19 AM   #18
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CV-42 Midway Class Aircraft Carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Fra...lt_%28CV-42%29



Decommissioned and scrapped in 1977.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:20 AM   #19
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Focusing on this one sentence:

Quote:
Pentagon officials sought to change top officers' pensions in 2003, records show, over concerns that the military would lose too many experienced generals and admirals during wartime.
Is anyone else thinking "if we have generals/admirals retiring during wartime because they've maxed out their pensions, then we have the wrong guys in those positions!!" or is it just me?

I mean, that is seriously ridiculous.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:21 AM   #20
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Obama definitely deserves his name on a destroyer with the way he has destroyed this country.

And I don't give a shit if Q
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #21
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Military personnel deserves this money much more than most politicians or welfare recipients.

They probably need to change where the money goes. Admirals shouldn't be raping pensions when the standard troop is struggling to pay his tuition.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Discuss Thrower View Post
The more admirals than surface ships makes sense when you consider the amount of training facilities the Navy undoubtedly has.
Considering Admirals don't command ships, but instead battle groups (consisting of a carrier, subs, and support ships) then this does not make sense. So again having more admirals than ships is ridiculous. The active Army has more generals now than they did in WWII when the Army was probably 10x the size it is now. At that time we were fighting a war on three continents.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
Considering Admirals don't command ships, but instead battle groups (consisting of a carrier, subs, and support ships) then this does not make sense. So again having more admirals than ships is ridiculous. The active Army has more generals now than they did in WWII when the Army was probably 10x the size it is now. At that time we were fighting a war on three continents.

Wouldn't there be at least two admirals per carrier group -one as the group commander and the other in charge of the carrier air units?
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #24
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Wouldn't there be at least two admirals per carrier group -one as the group commander and the other in charge of the carrier air units?
Nope. A 1 star runs the battle group. The commander in charge of the carrier air units is a Captain (O-6). At least that was the way it was in the late 90s. Not sure now, but if it has changed I struggle to see how they can suddenly justify needing a flag officer in that position unless it was to protect their own and justify their existence.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Focusing on this one sentence:



Is anyone else thinking "if we have generals/admirals retiring during wartime because they've maxed out their pensions, then we have the wrong guys in those positions!!" or is it just me?

I mean, that is seriously ridiculous.
System rewards out at 20 or 26. You get pension and go to new career with great background and high earning potential. They likely have their retirement plans in place and its mot triggered by wartime. In many cases they could go to work for contractors to .mil and benefit even more in wartime.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:55 AM   #26
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System rewards out at 20 or 26. You get pension and go to new career with great background and high earning potential. They likely have their retirement plans in place and its mot triggered by wartime. In many cases they could go to work for contractors to .mil and benefit even more in wartime.
This is where so much of our waste goes and why the top brass are so resistent to cuts. Instead they attack the benefits of the enlisted and junior officers to get Congress to blink and thusly maintain the status quo. The Pentagon needs to clean house, especially at the top.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:57 PM   #27
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My opinions: There are way too many Flag and GOs, but you guys are also missing the gazillion civilians of SES and EL pay grades- Flag/ GO equivalents. The number of Flag and General officers is set in law (Title 10 U.S. Code) and certainly can be changed but the growth has come in joint billets: The number of general officers on active duty in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and the number of flag officers on active duty in the Navy, may not exceed the number specified for the armed force concerned as follows1)For the Army, 231. (2)For the Navy, 162. (3)For the Air Force, 198. (4)For the Marine Corps, 61. The Secretary of Defense may designate up to 310 general officer and flag officer positions that are joint duty assignments. The minimum number of officers serving in positions designated under paragraph (1) for each armed force shall be as followsA)For the Army, 85.(B)For the Navy, 61.(C)For the Air Force, 73.(D)For the Marine Corps, 21. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/526
SES and ELs come in both political appointee and political appointee selected/career civil servant forms. These have much greater flexibility in hiring and much less Congressional involvement.
Trying to right size/ capability the force for our national security policy and threats is entertaining right now. An interesting perspective on the discussion of “Brass”-that’s some old school talk there- and personnel costs relative to equipment and operations:
http://www.militarytimes.com/article...-say-otherwise
All that said you end up with fundamental goofiness like more Admirals than ships, more fighters than infantry squads, more Generals than Brigades, more Generals than USAF Wings, etc. We haven’t gotten to Reserve and National Guard/ state militia Generals yet…..
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
This is where so much of our waste goes and why the top brass are so resistent to cuts. Instead they attack the benefits of the enlisted and junior officers to get Congress to blink and thusly maintain the status quo. The Pentagon needs to clean house, especially at the top.
People at the top deserve some respect. Im sick of this bullshit of hating on the top. They are the top cause they are the best. Button it up and move on.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:57 PM   #29
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People at the top deserve some respect. Im sick of this bullshit of hating on the top. They are the top cause they are the best. Button it up and move on.
Ummm this is not the corporate world.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:27 PM   #30
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Ummm this is not the corporate world.
true. Its worse in .gov world. Now go help somebody get ready for Thanksgiving.
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