Peace Time: May 19, 2001


A review panel has noted that the long-standing Army policy of allowing career soldiers to retire on half-pay after 20 years of service is, indeed, having the well-known effect of encouraging people with valuable experience to retire. Soldiers note that as they would draw half-pay for "sitting home and relaxing", staying in uniform after that point actually comprises a 50% pay cut. Retirees are highly prized by business and industry, which often has jobs waiting at better than military pay (without the overtime, travel, or combat) which these soldiers can obtain in addition to their retired pay. The Pentagon panel has recommended that the system be studied to determine if some career fields (such as doctors) should have to work 30 years before retiring.--Stephen V Cole


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