The United States military is known for their “free” benefits to the armed forces. People say the military is like the civilian sector in terms of salary and benefits. This essay will look at two sections between military specifically using the Marine Corps for analysis and civilian sector using information for a logistician to see how similar these two groups are. The first comparison to be examined is the pay for the military. The military wages are based on a pay scale issued by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) grouped by time in grade and time in service (or their rank and how long that service member has been in). A Marine’s pay can fluctuate depending on numerous factors to include how many dependents they have, the cost of living where the Marine is stationed, and if the Marine is deployed to a combat zone.
An example of this fluctuation is Marine Sergeant A of four years will make a base pay of $2,487 dollars while a Marine Sergeant B of ten years will make a base pay of $2,995. This increase in base pay is due to the Marine A being in for only four years while, Marine B is in for 10 years. This is how the pay scale is used by time in service. A pay raise in the military can come in two ways. The first way, according military.com, a pay raise is awarded as an annual pay raise issued by the House Armed Services Committee, which for the 2012 Fiscal Year was 1.6 percent. The second way a Marine can achieve a pay raise is through promotion to another grade (or rank). Using the above example in the case of the 10 year Sergeant with a base pay of 2,995 gets promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant his pay will increase from that 2,995 to $3,243. The comparison of the civilian pay is not as extensive as the military in the determination of pay. The civilian business sector determines pay or salary during the interview process. This means the pay an employee starts with begins early in the employment process.
Government contractors give a salary range that they are willing to work for and if hired are paid within that range. The employee has the option to receive pay raises as well. The two ways a pay raise can be acquired by civilians are employee performance evaluations, and promotions. The first of the two options is achieved on an annual basis. The performance evaluation looks at how well you’ve done for the year in regards to your work performance, job knowledge, communication skills, initiative, teamwork, and many other factors. These factors are given a grade and depending on that overall score a percentage is calculated and delegates how much a raise is deemed appropriate for the employee. The better the job performance all around, the better the raise will be. If your performance is subpar, then the raise percentage will also reflect the same. The next option for a pay raise is promotion. This is done as a reward for excellent service and the management seeing that and placing you in a higher position than you were to begin with. The terms of promotion would be discussed at the time of the position being offered.
The military and civilian both show similarities in pay raises but show stark differences when it comes to each goups basic pay. The medical and educational benefits of the two groups are similar in they provide the same set of options. Medical, to include dental and vision, will begin our comparison. The military, according to military.com, provides active duty personnel with TRICARE Prime. This includes medical coverage, dental coverage and vision coverage. TRICARE Prime is accepted at military hospitals and clinics for all facets of medical, dental and vision care. In the civilian sector medical, vision, and dental are sponsored by different companies. As an example, Qinetiq North America uses Anthem as the companies medical and vision coverage while Delta Dental is used separately for its dental coverage.
Education is another benefit that military and civilians partake of while employed. The military has many different types of tuition assistance that can be used by military personnel during enlistment and after discharge from active service. These education benefits include the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The military has tuition assistance that can be used while in the armed services and is provided free of charge to the service member.
When the service member is discharged from the armed services, that person then has the option to use either the Montgomery GI Bill (MGB) or the Post 9/11 GI Bill. These two education benefits have duration of 36 months of use. The education benefits of a civilian in the work force can be limited. Many major companies provide some tuition assistance to their employees. Unlike the military once the employee leaves the company the education benefits end at the time of termination.
The military and civilian sectors have many striking similarities. While the military is very black and white the civilian sector has room for discussion in many of the benefits that have been examined. The militaries benefits are predetermined in terms of pay, medical and educational benefits. However, civilians have the same benefits but with more options to choose in terms of how much the employee gets compensated for working with the company and what medical care they want. Examining both groups shows that even though both groups operate differently they are in many ways the same.
2012 Military Pay Charts. (n.d.). Military.com Benefits & Resources. Retrieved from http://www.military.com/military/benefits/0,15465,2012-1pt6-Pct-Military-Pay,00.html Defense Finance and Accounting Services. (2012, January 10). Retrieved October 13, 2012, from http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers.html TRICARE Prime Overview. (n.d.). Military.com Benefits. Retrieved October 13, 2012, from http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/prime/tricare-prime-overview.html
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