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Military Personnel: Military and Civilian Pay Comparisons Present Challenges and Are One of Many Tools in Assessing Compensation
Brenda S. Farrell
The Dept. of Defense’s (DOD) military compensation package, which is a myriad of pays and benefits, is an important tool to attract and retain the number and quality of active duty servicemembers it needs to fulfill its mission. Compensation can be appropriate and adequate to attract and retain servicemembers when it is competitive with civilian
compensation. However, comparisons between military and civilian compensation present both limitations and challenges. This study compared pay and benefits provided by law to members of the Armed Forces with that of comparably situated private-sector employees to assess how the differences in pay and benefits affect recruiting and retention of members of the Armed Forces. Specifically, the objectives were to (1) assess total military compensation for active duty officers and for enlisted personnel; (2) compare private-sector pay and benefits for civilians of similar age, education, and experience with similar job responsibilities and working conditions of officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces; and (3) assess the 10th QRMC
recommendation to include regular military compensation and select benefits when comparing military and civilian compensation to ascertain if it is appropriate. The focus of this review was active duty servicemembers’ perspectives on compensation, namely, cash compensation and the value of benefits to servicemembers versus the cost to the government of providing compensation. Tables and figures.
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