Letter to the Editor
I just read Milt Zall's column, "Pay Parity," in the April 9, 2001, edition of Federal Computer Week, and
I take exception to his attitude that federal civilians and military service
members are the same, therefore deserve pay parity.
When I entered the Army in the 1960s, I remember the draftees in my
outfit chiding me whenever I complained about something because, "You asked
for this, buddy." By their reasoning, I had no right to complain. And you
are using the "all-volunteer force" argument even today to repeat and reinforce
that position. The point is that it wasn't and isn't true.
His other assumption that all government is "just business," just
another job we go to each day is also false. As a military officer, I
put up with things a federal civilian would never stand for, and I live
with situations and conditions a federal civilian could not, and would not,
The military is not necessarily better than any other group of federal
employees; we're just different, despite the best efforts of the Clinton
administration to make us into "just another job" through social engineering
and political correctness. And we deserve to be paid fairly for that difference,
although many in our ranks serve primarily as patriots and would remain
in the profession of arms regardless of pay.
You see, Mr. Zall, the primary difference is this: (A) When a federal
civilian raises his right hand, he says he is willing to WORK for the government.
(B) When a military service member raises his right hand, he says he is
willing to DIE for it.
Chief Warrant Officer, W-4 Army Fort Drum, N.Y.