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Soldiers serving outside the wire are asking for more money

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ark

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http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080310/CPACTUALITES/80310033/-1/CPACTUALITES

Sorry the article is in French but I suspect it will be reprinted in English sometime soon.

In short, some interviewed soldiers back from Afghanistan are complaining about incentives associated with living conditions and danger when it comes to serving inside and outside the wire. At the moment, soldiers serving in Kandahar are paid the same regardless of duties performed. Some of the interviewed soldiers would like to see an increase in incentives to those who are serving outside the wire.

According to LCol Gagnon it would be too complex to keep track of who is doing what where in order to compensate soldiers accordingly.

Back in December, a soldier was rebuffed when he displayed his frustration in front of everyone.
 

Dirty Patricia

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This is an age old issue and one that was brought up often in '06 and one can see why.  A soldier in KAF with AC, meals at the DFAC and ice cream on the board walk is not experiencing the same level of hardship as a soldier sleeping in the sand in the middle of a laager eating IMPs and sipping hot water.  Then there is the getting shot at and blown up aspect.
 

Teddy Ruxpin

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This is one time where I do agree with an "us and them" approach.  As DP points out, there are certainly differences between living standards/risk within the TF.

However, the good LCol in the article is correct:  everything hinges on implementation and on tracking - mechanisms that are well nigh impossible to put into place.  On the surface, it is deceptively simple - X Coy is on a FOB and deserves Y.  Unfortunately, things aren't quite that easy and soldiers not permanently but routinely "outside the wire" could easily be disadvantaged, despite the risks they're exposed to.  We could end up with a situation where HA and RA levels are determined by individual and even then folks would be missed.  Maybe that's the way to go, but good luck making it fair.

This is indeed an age old issue and I remember it coming up in Bosnia years ago, where staff in Sarajevo received the same benefits as the battle group, despite considerably different conditions.  In the end, the mechanism was judged too difficult to implement back then (it may have changed after my roto, however) and everyone received the same.  The same happened on APOLLO and on the early (Kabul) rotations of ATHENA (both affecting me personally [grrr!]).  I suspect it will be the same here.
 

Sig_Des

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Dirty Patricia said:
Then there is the getting shot at and blown up aspect.

I'm not arguing the point that there is a difference between KAF and outside the wire, but I seem to remember Mak getting blown up at KAF:

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060629/afghanistan_folo_060630/20060630?hub=TopStories

I'm not saying those outside the wire shouldn't be compensated more, but where would we go with the tracking? Different hazard levels such as different ops? Fobs level, whatever, KAF level less, Kabul level less?

When people at KAF go out on a convoy, do we work it like FOA? Track how often and when they go out?

Or should we just give an outside-the-wire bonus to guys who are out?

Like I said, I'm not against it, just wondering about the mechanics of it.
 

Spring_bok

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Kabul was HA 4.  People on TV Tower Hill got HA5 and so did Recce Sqn whe deployed for more than 24 hours.  KAF is HA 5 right now and is the  highest.  If KAF gets reduced to HA4 (IMHO its prety comfy)  Then we may see HA5 remain for those outside the wire.  As far as tracking it can't be that hard, its just like FOA.  Clerks in Julien didn't have a problem keeping track.
 

X-mo-1979

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Or at the end of the tour clerks send in the nominal roles for their sqn/btln's with name and days spend outside the wire.When you get home you get a lump sum of the "outside money".


 

Dirty Patricia

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Spring_bok said:
Kabul was HA 4.  People on TV Tower Hill got HA5 and so did Recce Sqn whe deployed for more than 24 hours.  KAF is HA 5 right now and is the  highest.  If KAF gets reduced to HA4 (IMHO its prety comfy)  Then we may see HA5 remain for those outside the wire.  As far as tracking it can't be that hard, its just like FOA.  Clerks in Julien didn't have a problem keeping track.

There are 6 levels of Hardship Allowance.  After weeks out in the desert living in the sand on hard rats, sweating in 50 degree heat, hunting the Taliban and only getting HA5, one often wonders - "What the hell do you have to do to get Level 6?"!!!
 

Nfld Sapper

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Dirty Patricia said:
There are 6 levels of Hardship Allowance.  After weeks out in the desert living in the sand on hard rats, sweating in 50 degree heat, hunting the Taliban and only getting HA5, one often wonders - "What the hell do you have to do to get Level 6?"!!!

Move to hell?  ;D
 

Dirty Patricia

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Before some clerk jumps all over me, there is a Level 0 Hardship Allowance, so technically there are 7 levels (0 to 6).
 

helpup

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This topic was recently brought up to the Army's Ombudsman through the Snr NCO mess.  It was introduced by a RSM as a point the troops have been vocal about.  At the time the original topic was awarding a bar, leaf or identifier to the medal to show the outside the wire people.  Pay was quickly added to the suggestion.  As I recall the conversation most of the people present were dead against it as it would bring up the "us vs them " and be bad for morale.  I pointed out that this is not a Cbt Arms thing and any changes have to take in account for anyone who leaves the wire, from mechanics, convoy escorts, drivers and the list goes on.  But from experience there is a large number on every contingent where they do not leave the gate. 

Some people that I respect a heck of a lot brought up the point of what would be the quantifier for it.  One day a month a week per month, who would administer it, wouldn't people now just jump at it as a do the minimum to get the bonus/medal?  I pointed out that deciding what would qualify is beyond my payscale.  But if they were worried about morale now how about the troops who are doing the job knowing that pay and recognition for their leaving the wire is the same as anyone who doesn't have to leave the camp at all.  Yes there is the chance of rocket/motor attack in KAF but it is not the same feeling as heading out the gate.  Yes those that do are less worried about the cash for doing their job and in most cases it is what they joined for, regardless of trade.  But I have heard and experienced it myself, your doing what you do outside the wire and it would be nice to have a form of acknowledgment in either payscale or as simple as putting a bar/ leaf on the medal.  Not going into the "CIB" equivalent on this thread.

Heck I don't need all the bonuses that are given to us for doing the job I and many that I know would do it with out the bonus.  ( but I wont give the money back mind you and the amount does make the home life for soldiers easier " honey I am on the next roto we can get that .............. you wanted now.)  But since it is there and pretty generous IMHO then there should be a easy way to add a level for those who work outside the wire. 
 

helpup

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To add to my earlier post, the general consensus from the meet with the Ombudsman.  Most of the Snr NCO's on our base are dead against it, as being too divisive, hard to implement, lack of precedence in past wars and just plain not needed.  I don't see that policy changing unless people like the CLS or CDS can be brought on board. 
 

GAP

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long long ago, and far far away.....we all received $65.00/month combat pay (tax free no less!!) thus making a Sgt's pay $265.00/month.... we all bitched about and were glad to get the extra $65.00, but that's what everybody got. I was inside the wire a large portion of the time, outside a lesser amount....didn't matter much..... and sometimes it was quieter to be outside the wire at Khe Sanh than stay inside it....same ol', same ol'....just a different pile.
 

Fusaki

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This topic was recently brought up to the Army's Ombudsman through the Snr NCO mess.  It was introduced by a RSM as a point the troops have been vocal about.  At the time the original topic was awarding a bar, leaf or identifier to the medal to show the outside the wire people.  Pay was quickly added to the suggestion.  As I recall the conversation most of the people present were dead against it as it would bring up the "us vs them " and be bad for morale. 

I have a feeling that most of those who are opposed to this pay raise are not the ones who would be eligable for it. ::)
 

McG

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Wonderbread said:
I have a feeling that most of those who are opposed to this pay raise are not the ones who would be eligable for it. ::)
I tend to suspect the opposite if it was the Sr NCO of an infantry battalion.

Spring_bok said:
As far as tracking it can't be that hard, its just like FOA.  Clerks in Julien didn't have a problem keeping track.
There was far less going in & out the front gate in Julien than KAF.

helpup said:
As I recall the conversation most of the people present were dead against it as it would bring up the "us vs them " and be bad for morale.
I don't know that I buy into this argument.  Certainly, it would be far less divisive than fancy new medals or badges which may cast someone with the stigma of being a lesser soldier simply because they were placed in an important (read essential) job which kept then in KAF (or even inside the CP at a FOB) & not trigger pulling.  I see the money issue as appropriate compensation for work done.  If a guy is exposed to greater hazzard, then he deserves the greater hazard pay.  If a guy is exposed to greater hardship, then he deserves the greater hardship pay.

If the mechanisms can exist to implement Hazard & Hardship allowances in an FOA like fashion, then I'm all for it.  If not, then the next best alternative is to pay everyone like they are living out of the wire (as it is better to over pay some as opposed to under pay those who've earned it).  I suspect the CF is attempting to implementing the "best alternative."
 

dapaterson

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I'd agree that the hardship and risk levels should be assessed for outside vs inside the wire.  No system will be perfect, but acknowledging the differences by providing additional pay would definitely help morale - and would meet the intent of offering the two allowances.

I do remember one situation with some similarities - a "field" exercise where 95% of the folks were living in the field eating IMPs, and a handful of folks (myself included) were living in Mod tents up on base, with permanent facilities for ablutions and laundry, and eating meals in the mess.  Because it would be "too hard" to track the two groups separately (the words of the G1), everyone on exercise was paid FOA vice TD (back in the days when TD was $4 a day on base).

To atone for my sin, after endex I rang a bell and saw my ill-gotten FOA (and then some) disappear down a large number of appreciative throats.
 

TCBF

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- I worked in a paper mill in 1973.  It ran 24/7.  We got paid shift differential, with the graveyard shift making the astronomical amount of $4.11/hr.  4-12s was less, and dayshift was just under $4.  The pay office - three people, I think - kept track of all hours worked on all shifts, plus overtime (different rates!) minus deductions (incl union dues and footwear plan) and did it all WITHOUT computers.

- They did it all right down to the penny and you can bet half our guys kept track of it down to the penny as well. 

- Yet today, with enough computing power to recreate the 'Big Bang', it is too complicated?  I call it laziness.

- Not saying there should be/not be different levels,  just that 'too hard to sort out' is NOT an excuse.
 

medaid

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TCBF said:
- I worked in a paper mill in 1973.  It ran 24/7.  We got paid shift differential, with the graveyard shift making the astronomical amount of $4.11/hr.  4-12s was less, and dayshift was just under $4.  The pay office - three people, I think - kept track of all hours worked on all shifts, plus overtime (different rates!) minus deductions (incl union dues and footwear plan) and did it all WITHOUT computers.

- They did it all right down to the penny and you can bet half our guys kept track of it down to the penny as well. 

- Yet today, with enough computing power to recreate the 'Big Bang', it is too complicated?  I call it laziness.

- Not saying there should be/not be different levels,  just that 'too hard to sort out' is NOT an excuse.

The same goes for CBSA, it's quite a big organization, and we've had shift differential, holiday differential and overtime pay. It can be done. Someone just has to do it.
 

Good2Golf

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...swipe cards at the clearing bays to track in/outs?
 
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