Letter: Military pay differences explained

Did anyone edit this blog post? It appears to be a series of disconnected thoughts, probably bearing little or no resemblance to the source article. For instance, in one paragraph, what is the putative connection between pay once commissioned and performance at military academies? As a retired colonel, I can assure you that I had no interest in whether an officer pulled tours while a cadet. Then there's the hypothesis that female officers’ pay might be higher than a male officer’s because the females are in the health care services. In general, the only difference in pay for officers, normalizing for rank and time in service -- at least for the Air Force -- is based on being a doctor or a pilot. Percentage-wise, the medical field is a vanishingly small proportion of the military population (male and female), so it is unlikely that a few female doctors would account for any putative differences. Did someone offer an ad hoc proposal that the health care field would account for a "pay difference" because it met with their preconceived notions of the roles females play in the military? Odd. Finally, at least in the Air Force, a prime criterion for promotion beyond captain has, for the past 20 years or so, been a master’s degree. (NOTE: A Ph.D. has traditionally been a negative indicator for promotion beyond lieutenant colonel.) But in those 20 years, more than 95 percent of Air Force officers have earned a master’s degree before approaching promotion to major, so advanced education is essentially a nonfactor, unless you spent too much time in school and not enough at work -- that was not a factor with officers I was aware of. Anonymous

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