Archives for category: Bait & Switch

Political parties and personalities are not as interesting as what stays the same no matter who is elected to office.

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

Every few years, no matter what political party or personality is in power, there are moves to modify what people thought they were earning in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service.

The plan is to save cash by reducing the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is the same country where both major parties invite veterans to be momentarily honored at State of the Union events when they control the White House.

Football games are also used to honor veterans:

0:12 the man is barely conscious when greeted by team owner Jerry Jones:

Everyone seems to love it. When the made for TV event is over, veteran’s benefits may be up for grabs again.

Medical

Feb 7, 2020 Military.com

More Than 3 Dozen Military Hospitals to Stop Treating Retirees, Families, Memo Shows

“That means that some of those facilities may stop offering pharmacy support for users not on active duty. On-base pharmacies are currently the only way for all Tricare beneficiaries, including elderly Tricare for Life enrollees, to receive no-cost, same-day medications.”

“Some military retirees and their families will also see increased out-of-pocket costs, the memo notes, since care received off-base by those users require copays.”

“With a challenging array of threats around the world, we need our military medical facilities to keep combat forces healthy and prepare our medical personnel to support them.”

A number of interesting comments have been posted following the above article.

From comments:

Over the last twenty years the DOD has been constricting Tricare Prime users to having to be closer and closer to military installations. Now that you have to be within 30 miles driving distance to a military medical treatment facility to keep on Tricare Prime, the DOD is going to cut retirees medical benefits on military installation. It is only a matter of time before the DOD forces enough Tricare Prime users out of the network for them to determine Prime not be a cost effective program to maintain.”

 

Traditional Commissary Benefit

Unfortunately, the commissary has gone downhill in recent years. They still hire good people, but the shelves are not consistently stocked. Some of the products that were routinely available have been completely phased out.

What has changed?

DoD wants to sharply cut commissary budget as overall defense budget increases

“For a number of years, some within the Defense Department have floated proposals to reduce the commissary budget.”

Commissary funding has been cut. The benefit has been reduced and people are less inclined to shop on base for this reason.

We can’t have poor sales numbers. We will not put the benefit back to the way it was when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will open up eligibility and get more people to show up to shop on base.

 

Lowering the bar

It really is genius.

Commissary sales are down. To increase sales, people who formerly did not qualify to shop there will now become eligible:

Commissary employees to get shopping benefits

No need to volunteer to go to far away places and maybe never come back again. If you work at the facility-you now qualify for this traditional benefit.

0 percent disability

Out there in the world, somewhere, there are people who believe military benefits are too generous. Wait until they find out that their neighbor now gets a lifetime shopping on base privilege after doing 4 years in uniform and coming away with a 0 percent disability. Wait until the average person learns what it takes to qualify for a 0 percent disability.

The idea that military benefits are too generous will catch on as time goes on.

If the general public begins to believe the benefits are too generous, it will be easier to make moves to downsize benefits earned in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service and save more DOD cash later on.

Once an incentive to stay for 20, now maybe an incentive to qualify for a 0 percent disability:

Department of Defense Expanding Access to Military Commissaries, Exchanges and Recreation Facilities

Who is eligible?

“…veterans with VA- documented service-connected disability ratings of 0-90 percent…”

What is a zero-percent disability rating?

Claims agents are standing by:

“So what about zero-percent ratings? A veteran may be rated at zero percent, which means that a service-connected condition exists, but that it does not affect his or her ability to function.”

San Diego area military bases to open gates to thousands more veterans in 2020

“Starting New Year’s Day, more than 3 million veterans nationwide, including tens of thousands of local veterans, will be able to shop at exchanges and commissaries on military bases and utilize their recreation facilities.”

Until now only active duty military, retirees, Medal of Honor recipients and veterans who were 100 percent disabled could shop on base…”

“The change is expected to boost sales at base grocery stores, shops and restaurants, which have suffered years of declines…”

More here:

New Incentive To Qualify For Zero-Percent Disability Rating

Recommendation:

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Some will say that this has already been done, and that you will see if you read the fine print. I say take it out of fine print and make it read like the warnings on a pack of cigarettes.

 

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

Big Spending

Need more cash for undeclared/unwon wars that never end:

Feb 7, 2020 Military.com

Esper Presses Congress to Bulk Up Next Military Budget

“…more funding for the military to confront China and Russia…”

 

Nov 14, 2019 Stars and Stripes

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost American Taxpayers $6.4 trillion, Study Finds

 

April 22, 2019 TIME

F-35 Fighters Will Cost $22 Billion More Than Expected, Pentagon Says

Oct 29, 2019 CNBC

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter program gets $34 billion Pentagon contract, its biggest yet

“The laundry list of setbacks includes faulty ejection seats, software delays and significant helmet-display issues. The program had an initial acquisition cost of $406.5 billion.”

Dec 6, 2019 Military.com

Under Pressure, Navy’s Top official Pledges to Solve New Carrier’s Problems

The advanced $13 billion carrier has been plagued by problems including glitches with its 11 new weapons elevators, which bring ammunition to the flight deck. The failure to solve many of the issues with the 23 new technologies introduced on the carrier have led to countless delays and still threaten its maiden deployment, which is planned for 2021.”

“There is a trail of tears as to why we are where we are, but we need to fix that ship and make sure that it works, Modly said.”

 

Did the advantage of US air and sea power allow the undeclared wars in Iraq or Afghanistan to be prevented, won or shut down?

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo-looking forward to another season

 

Political parties and personalities are not as interesting as what stays the same no matter who is elected to office.

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

 

Traditional Commissary Benefit

Unfortunately, the commissary has gone downhill in recent years. They still hire good people, but the shelves are not consistently stocked. Some of the products that were routinely available have been completely phased out.

The commissary has introduced their own store brand, which in some cases works out fine. In other cases, is the store brand an inferior replacement for an item that has been eliminated from the inventory? Not against store brands, but some items we have been able to get at the commissary over & again are no longer stocked. Not sure if this is because of store brands and limited shelf space, or really what the reason is. The folks who run the commissary system seem to be more about taking a promotional approach and less about delivering bad news or admitting that things are different and not better as time goes on.

June 1, 2018 Stars and Stripes

DECA chief hears you: Commissary shelves will be better stocked

“There seems to be a total lack of concern on the part of the commissary management to keep shelves stocked.”

Many commissary patrons echoed this complaint in reacting to our recent news column on base stores, and it’s not news to the interim director of the Defense Commissary Agency, retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert Bianchi.”

 

What has changed?

DoD wants to sharply cut commissary budget as overall defense budget increases

“For a number of years, some within the Defense Department have floated proposals to reduce the commissary budget.”

Blogged about it here:

Killing the Commissaries

 

My take:

The plan is to save money by defunding the commissaries. Less people will want to shop there after the transition, then we’ll have the numbers to show that it makes no sense to continue to support funding for the commissaries.

 

Cries of Desperation

Commissary sales are down. To increase sales, people who formerly did not qualify to shop there will now become eligible:

Commissary employees to get shopping benefits

No need to volunteer to go to far away places and maybe never come back again. If you work at the facility-you now qualify for this traditional benefit.

 

Once an incentive to stay for 20, now maybe an incentive to qualify for a 0 percent disability:

Department of Defense Expanding Access to Military Commissaries, Exchanges and Recreation Facilities

Who is eligible?

“…veterans with VA- documented service-connected disability ratings of 0-90 percent…”

What is a zero-percent disability rating?

Claims agents are standing by:

“So what about zero-percent ratings? A veteran may be rated at zero percent, which means that a service-connected condition exists, but that it does not affect his or her ability to function.”

San Diego area military bases to open gates to thousands more veterans in 2020

“Starting New Year’s Day, more than 3 million veterans nationwide, including tens of thousands of local veterans, will be able to shop at exchanges and commissaries on military bases and utilize their recreation facilities.”

Until now only active duty military, retirees, Medal of Honor recipients and veterans who were 100 percent disabled could shop on base…”

“The change is expected to boost sales at base grocery stores, shops and restaurants, which have suffered years of declines…”

 

Summary

Commissary funding has been cut. The benefit has been reduced and people are less inclined to shop on base for this reason.

We can’t have poor sales numbers. We will not put the benefit back to the way it was when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will open up eligibility and get more people to show up to shop on base.

The folks who lied about progress in Afghanistan and those who promote giant flag rituals at sporting events are running the show. Look for more in the way of marketing spin. The traditional benefit isn’t coming back.

 

Recommendations

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Did these guys sign up for benefits?

No. They stayed for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and kept reenlisting until they had 20 years in for benefits.

They could have left the armed forces to stabilize their lives Re: children in school, home ownership, a chance at decent local jobs for a two income household, family separation, getting shot at, etc.

They stayed in based on what they thought was an honest understanding of the benefits they were earning.

For budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

Whatever happened to the formal congressional declaration of war?

This would be the time to hear from elected leaders and top generals on all the issues that have doomed the Department of Defense track record for winning wars since DOD was established in 1949.

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

 

Photo-

A message sent by DeCA to The Troops that is no longer seen at the commissary.

Not seeing any “this offer expires on” date here.

 

In the news:

Jan 14th, 2019 Military.com

CBO Suggests Raising Tricare Fees, Cutting Veteran Benefits to Slash Deficit

No matter what political party or personality is in power, there are ongoing moves to modify what people thought they were earning in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service.

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

 

Recommendations

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

For budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

Whatever happened to the formal congressional declaration of war?

This would be the time to hear from elected leaders and top generals on all the issues that have doomed the Department of Defense track record for winning wars since DOD was established in 1949.

 

Don’t miss our companion blog- found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo- A symbol of Support The Troops Nonsense & federal government credibility

 

Took a ferry ride and went to see my sister yesterday. At the end of our visit she pointed out the new flag she had placed at the front of her home and asked why she didn’t see one when she came to visit us on July 4th. I was able to provide her with some answers.

Bait and switch on incentives used to get people to stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces

No matter what political party or personality is in power, there are ongoing moves to modify what people thought they were earning in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service.

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

 

Undeclared/Unwon Wars That Never End

No matter what political party or personality is in power, the wars roll on.

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

Whatever happened to the formal congressional declaration of war?

This would be the time to hear from elected leaders and top generals on all the issues that have doomed the Department of Defense track record for winning wars since DOD was established in 1949.

 

The Meth/Heroin Racket

We’re told that we are in a life and death struggle in the War on Terror. Bad people will come here to destroy our American way of life if we don’t send The Troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2009, we need a special ID to go have lunch in Canada and then return home.

Seems like strict post-911 security protocols, the War on Terror, and a $40.6 billion US Dept. of Homeland Security would be a drug cartel’s worst nightmare.

No matter what political party or personality is in power there is no shortage of cartel-sourced meth or heroin anywhere in the US.

July 26, 2018 Seattle Times:

Opioid overdoses jump in Snohomish County after tightening of prescription rules

“The health district said the dramatic increase in reported overdoses may be due to doctors observing tighter guidelines on opioid prescriptions, leading their patients to turn to heroin or to illegal opioid vendors.”

Old news- local LE agencies may benefit when the US Dept. of Homeland Security fails to keep heroin out of the US:

Heroin busts could finance police construction in Snohomish

Welcome Home Troops

 

Don’t miss our companion blog- found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

Defense Commissary Agency – trying to explain themselves:

Where did my coffee go?

A large number of comments have been posted in response on the Defense Commissary Agency Facebook page. Real people who aren’t paid by the federal government to post articles and comments aren’t having it.

Many comments about Cooper cheese and why it’s gone. The article posted by DeCA says items are removed if they are slow to sell?

View comments here.

The plan is to save money by defunding the commissaries. Less people will want to shop there after the transition, then we’ll have the numbers to show that it makes no sense to continue to support funding for the commissaries.

 

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

 

Don’t miss our companion blog- found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo- A symbol of Support The Troops Nonsense & federal government credibility

 

DSC_0002_005DOD-

“All military retirements are protected from inflation by annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), based on changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as measured by the Deparment of Labor.”

 

“Under the proposal, a sergeant first class in the Army who qualifies for retirement at 20 years of service at age 40, and who has most likely deployed multiple times to war, could lose approximately $72,000 between retirement and turning age 62.”

These are the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Welcome Home Troops

Thanks for your service

 

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

 

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here.

 

 

Photo- A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

 

oki“The White House also proposed an increase to the current enrollment fee for working age retirees in the Tricare Prime program phased in over the next four years.”

These are the traditional DOD military healthcare benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

In every discussion forum I take a look at- someone makes the point that the TRICARE program is much more generous than any civilian plan.

Most Americans never do a day in the Armed Forces, fewer still are interested in doing 20 years.

The country does not support a draft, but is OK with decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. The wear & tear required during 20 years in the crotch is not similar to most civilian jobs.

 

Room for savings-

Google:

$60 billion in DOD contracting fraud

& see where savings are available to pay fees for healthcare earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

 

Many Americans may associate free medical care with people who stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces.

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

My concerns are not specific to any political party or personality.

Here’s the Republican position Re: making good on healthcare benefits for The Troops:

“Pulling the TRICARE Prime idea from a recent Congressional Budget Office report, McCain said forcing retirees under 65 to use TRICARE Standard, the fee-for-service option, or health insurance from civilian employers, or space-available care at base clinics or hospitals, could save DoD medical accounts up to $111 billion over the next decade.”

Senator McCain,

There was a time when Moms & Dads, friends, relatives, folks at church and school and people with years of military experience encouraged a younger generation to take a favorable look at making a career of the US Armed Forces.

Even if there was another draft- people would be drafted for an enlistment- not a career.

Good luck with your all-volunteer military.

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here.

 

 

Photo- USMC Okinawa 1980