Pay and benefits scare tactics?

Top brass claims personnel costs are swamping DoD, but budget figures say otherwise

To hear the top brass talk sometimes, you might think the biggest threat to national security is your paycheck.

It’s become a common refrain: Military personnel costs are soaring, changes are needed.

And, oh by the way, that will probably mean less money going to the men and women in uniform.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sounded the alarm about military compensation and personnel costs as a major problem during a recent speech to an influential Washington think tank.

He urged Congress to “make tough choices to bend the cost curve on personnel.”

To find out what the top brass is leaving out when they sound the alarm on personnel costs, pick up the Dec. 2 issue of Army Times, on newsstands now.

Soldiers convicted of sex assault, rape and other sex offenses face discharge

Army Secretary John McHugh has issued an order to round-up all soldiers who have been convicted of sex assault, rape and other sex offenses “as soon as possible” and initiate proceedings for their discharge from the Army.

The move is part of the Army’s campaign against sex assault in the service. Soldiers convicted of a sex offense who are deployed will be returned to the states, said Troy Rolan, an Army spokesman.

The Army is working on guidance to implement McHugh’s unprecedented Nov. 7 directive, Rolan said.

To find out what other assignments sex offenders are barred from as they face discharge, pick up this week’s copy of Army Times, on sale now.

DoD seeks plan to shut all U.S. commissaries

Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan to close all U.S. commissaries — about ¾ of its stores, according to a resale community source familiar with details of a meeting with representatives of the Joint Staff and Pentagon comptroller’s office.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the meeting was held within the last few weeks and was part of preparations for the fiscal 2015 DoD budget request due out in February.

Will your post commissary close? And will anyone oppose the proposed plan? For more, pick up the Dec. 2 issue of Army Times, on newsstands now.

Outside the Wire

See the photo that prompted an email about “pretty” soldiers, which landed two colonels in hot water. For more see the Army Times Outside the Wire blog at

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