Key Elements of Military Retirement System Modification

  • Lieutenant Colonel David Smith

The precedence of a military pension system was established in the colonies well before the birth of the United States and was modified throughout our country’s history to accommodate economic realities, social norms and military requirements. Although the current system has enjoyed a period of relative constancy since 1980, massive federal debt and the threat that military compensation liability will consume the DoD budget compels exploration of cost reduction modifications. Within the DoD, the Defense Business Board and 10-15-55 initiatives propose to restructure the current system to reduce costs and realign it towards the private sector model. Although the 10-15-55 proposal is superior, it remains unaligned as it does not adequately consider existing educational benefits, strategic communications and professionalism aspects of the military profession.