Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Married BAH

This story from CNN about some enlisted Marines who entered into fictitious marriages so the women involved could live together off base got me thinking about the ongoing battles when I was in between single guys who were pissed off that married guys doing the same job as them got paid more, vs. married guys who laughed in their faces. Excerpt from the story:
Vice told CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego that she wanted to live off base with her girlfriend, Jaime Murphy, as a couple. Murphy is a civilian.
But on her salary, she couldn't afford it.
So she says she found a Marine, Jeremiah Griffin, who agreed to marry her so she could receive the $1,200 per month living stipend the Marine Corps gives to married couples living off base.
A year and a half later, Murphy did the same thing and married Marine Joseph Garner, Vice and Murphy told KGTV, according to footage that aired Thursday...
...The three Marines are accused of pocketing about $75,000.
"There's no conspiracy here," Murphy told KGTV. "There's no trying to steal from anybody. We just wanted to be together and she wanted to serve her country."
Leaving aside the question about why the civilian girlfriend couldn't get a job to help pay for their off-base apartment, the concept of "there's no trying to steal" in attempting to fraudulently get BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) at the "with dependents" rate is one I've seen before. I personally never had a problem with the cases I saw where a couple who were going to get married after deployment had a "secret" civil wedding beforehand so they could pocket the extra six months of married pay, but other cases I heard about seemed more like stealing. I always believed that the military had good reason to encourage marriage among its members -- married guys tend not to get hauled in for doing stupid stuff on liberty, in my experience -- but my viewpoint might have been skewed because I was married for 19 of my 21+ years on active duty. I knew a lot of guys who were almost violently opposed to the "double standard".

What's the best story you ever heard about someone gaming the BAH system?

57 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're not cheating, you're not trying!

I saw a news story the other day about how the LGBT lawyers are filing suit to ensure military members of the same sex can get married once DADT has comes off the books.

What the heck, give to everyone. Like they say, if you can't beat them, join em!

7/02/2011 7:22 PM

 
Anonymous MM1/SS said...

@Anon 7:22 PM:

Those lawyers won't get very far since the federal government up until now has not wanted to take an official stance and infringe on state's rights by acknowledging BAH for married same sex personnel.

From the DADT training I sat through, the military will impose no ban if the state they are living in has legal same sex marriages. All they've said is that they will not provide married benefits because of the DOMA.

That being said, for the original subject, fraud is fraud. Their personal reasons behind committing the fraud are irrelevant, as it is still against the law.

---
MM1/SS

7/02/2011 7:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been happening for a long time

I got out in 1988 and in 1999 I met up with a guy who served on the same boat during the mid 90s. He told me his sister and her girlfriend visited him in Hawaii and wanted to stay but it was too expensive. He wanted a place to live off base. So he married his sister's girlfriend. Happy little family until he got out about a year and a half later and they all had to move back to the states.

PW

7/02/2011 7:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my current sand crab job I work with a guy who is married to a female active duty Army soldier. The guy I know is gay as a three dollar bill. I guess they split the BAH and he/it gets TRICARE..

7/02/2011 9:38 PM

 
Anonymous 3383 said...

I didn't really like the system, but did understand that it is in society's interest to encourage families that produce children.

Which is why I am not fine with gay marriage. Generally, people have gotten married to have kids. Same sex couples, IN GENERAL, do not have children; the reasons are different for wanting to get married.

On the same CNN homepage, there was a link to a family who were unhappy their son died for his country but couldn't get married to another male. I don't follow that logic.

7/02/2011 10:26 PM

 
Anonymous Travis said...

As a young guy in the barracks they were sticklers about not giving BAH to single E-4 and below guys, so I sucked it up in the barracks rather than pay out of pocket to live in town. When I did finally start drawing E-5 pay, I was only about 5 months from my EAOS and most of that was due to be spent underway. So just before the boat left on patrol, I moved out of the barracks and stashed a few suitcases at buddy's house and left the rest in my car at deployed parking. Sure I had to live on the boat for a little bit and I returned from sea homeless, but paying to stay in the Navy Lodge for a couple weeks until my separation was more than paid for with the $2 K+ that I pocketed while out to sea. Probably not my most honest moment ever, but PSD never did ask me where I was living, just whether or not I lived in the barracks.

7/03/2011 1:24 AM

 
Anonymous Stsc said...

An ETC I served with moved his family from HI to the mainland & never told PSD. I don't remember all the specifics but he got caught on an audit his last year of service before retiring and had to pay back the difference of what he collected vice deserved. His nest egg evaporated basically overnight but he didn't get formally charged as there were some ambiguities in the policies back then (now they seem pretty clear) & he paid the money back. He was crushed & basically lived on the boat for the last year.

7/03/2011 2:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel said:

...married guys tend not to get hauled in for doing stupid stuff on liberty, in my experience

Yeah, until you deploy...then the married guys all turn into drunken out-of-control idiots, like they've been released from prison and can now do everything they couldn't do for the last hundred years.

7/03/2011 7:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3383 said:

On the same CNN homepage, there was a link to a family who were unhappy their son died for his country but couldn't get married to another male. I don't follow that logic.

Maybe the logic is like that old argument for letting service members drink at 18....currently they can die for their country but can't legally have a beer.

7/03/2011 7:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had the opposite situation on our boat 10 years or so ago. Gay STS2 (fairly well known throughout boat) had a civilian boyfriend and they lived together in town. Expenses forced the STS2 to "marry" a girl, well known to the crew, and they lived together as a threesome.

A bible thumping LTJG and nuc ET1, newly arrived aboard caught wind of it and tried to shut it down. COB and XO handled the thumpers since the STS2 was about a month out from getting out.

Suprisingly, I saw the STS2, now a LDO LTJG about three months ago at the exchange in Bangor. We talked and he said he came back in two years later. Said he is looking forward to the post DADT Navy.

Great Sailor!

7/03/2011 7:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah, until you deploy...then the married guys all turn into drunken out-of-control idiots, like they've been released from prison and can now do everything they couldn't do for the last hundred years."

I resemble that remark! What happens on WESTPAC stays on WESTPAC!

7/03/2011 7:31 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Yah, right--until some idiot calls his wife from Pattaya. (True story.) As a single E-6, I never understood why I made less AND lived on the tender while some E-3 got into a marriage of convenience (saw enough of them) lived out in town and got a bigger paycheck.

Worst abuse was an E-4 in R-5 division who married a local (legit) but drew OHA (Guam) and lived with her family rent-free. Also had a nasty habit of going home on duty days until the morning he was caught driving into the parking lot at 6:15 AM and the RCO/ARCO caught him.

As for me, after my last Westpac I said to hell with it and moved out into town on my dime about a year before Clinton authorized single E-6 BAQ/VHA. Didn't matter as I was married two months after I left the boat. Loved the fact that the khakipants always kept calling me, thinking I lived in the barracks...roflmao!

Not really sure what current policy is regarding single BAQ/VHA, but E-5 and above sounds like a reasonable accomodation.

7/03/2011 8:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was at NPTU 93-96, I was single. When the MCPON visited, gave a speech and then took questions, I asked why there was a difference between married and single BAH. He said married guys have more responsibilities and therefore needed more money. I further asked him if that logic was applied in the civilian world would it hold up. I was hushed by the PMC.

I was single until I was 30 and it constantly burned me up that I got less money for doing the same job and more often than not, the single guys were chosen to stay after shift to finish some job so that the married guys could go home. Lots of holiday duty days too.

BAH should be a single rate based on location and paygrade.

7/03/2011 9:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yah, right--until some idiot calls his wife from Pattaya. (True story.)"

We had a guy like that last year. A lot of the crew wanted to go "hands-on" with him.

The CO and COB took the appropriate action and explained to the young man some unwritten "laws of the sea". No problems after that.

7/03/2011 9:24 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There should be no BAH. You joined the Navy for base pay and the benefits of rate. Nothing more, nothing less.

7/03/2011 9:26 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While stationed at PSNS I ventured up north to BC quite a bit since I wasn't old enough to drink in the good ol' US of A. At one point I was approached with an offer to "marry" a local so that she could get US citizenship easier and we'd split the BAH. I neglected, but often thought about it while pulling someone else's load because of their built in "my wife she" excuse.

7/03/2011 1:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:26 - it's my understanding that I joined and got 3 squares a day and a place to sleep, hence BAS and BAH.

Boat did a change of homeport to PHNSY about 3 months before my JO tour was up. I didn't want to rent a place in HI for 3 mos so the EDMC called a buddy of his and got me a barracks room with rest of the geobachelors off the books. Quite a bit of change. In return I bought the beer for the lanai.

Thing I hated most was family separation allowance. BAH bothered me, but not as much since I figured the spouse would have a hard time finding and holding a job due to the moving, duty hours, deployments, etc. But FSA is/was a crock.

7/03/2011 2:57 PM

 
Blogger Henson said...

So many layers to this.

What's really interesting is that this woman is apparently not allowed to get married at all. It's against the law to marry the woman she wishes to spend her life with, and it's (apparently) also now against the law for her to marry a man since she's a lesbian.

Hmph.

Something tells me this was just a way for the command to bypass DADT repeal. I lived in San Diego long enough to know that she was by no means the only one to do this - or get caught doing it. Never saw anyone get the book thrown at her this way though. It was always dealt with in the way folks are describing here - by senior enlisted guys doing what they do to cake care of shit and keep it off the green table (and out of the damned papers.)

7/03/2011 6:31 PM

 
Anonymous T said...

This is crap, and really turns DOMA and the silly way the military calculates pay on its face. What guidelines exist to determine when a marriage is "valid" for purposes of BAH? People get married for several hundreds of reasons, many of which do not have to do with "being in love". At what point does a marriage turn into a "sham marriage" and thus fraudulent? There are lots of straight married people out there that got married for health care, BAH, green cards, and other reasons that are not strictly "I Love you". Who are we to say what is and is not a valid reason?

Luckily, the feds have stopped defending DOMA, so there's a good chance it will be fully overturned in the next year or two, and this will no longer be an issue.

7/04/2011 8:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First thing first -- BAH with dependants is $200-300 more a month. That's not a whole lot, especially if your wife had to give up a $50k per year job to move with you. There is more disparity between rank and bah than anything else, yet people get chaffed about marriage for some reason.

It is a bit different on the junior enlisted end, but that's the military's way of keeping 17 to 20 year olds out of trouble. Marrying for bah is usually a losing bargain. At some point someone has to pay for the divorce, and she might suddenly want her 50%.

7/04/2011 11:12 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an old, old story.........
I went in the Navy in 1959 and even then single johns were bitchin about extra money brown baggers got. housing allowance pre-dates WWII I believe when Nav was much smaller and enlisted personnel had to receive permission to marry. On my first boat SS-348 in 1961 only about 20% of the enlisted crew of 65 were married and all were E-6 or E-7. Single crew members were pretty happy to have off-boat berthing in old open-bay section of PH Subbase Barracks. For me, I really didn't care about housing allowance. I was newly minted TM2(SS) in ATR on Fleet Snorkel. Daily ops out of PH. Underway 0730, back in and tied up by 1730. I was drawing $214.00 twice a month and on the way to WesPac. Yen Dollar exchange rate was 360 Yen to the dollar. I loved every minute of it!!


I got married after ten years in the Nav, lived in Navy housing until a year before retirement so really didn't actually see the BAH.

Keep a zero bubble..........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

7/04/2011 12:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The single guys who collect BAH while their stuff sits in storage during deployment make more than married guys --real or fake -- ever will.

7/04/2011 2:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While stationed on a boat in Hawaii, I met a beautiful girl from SoCal on the beach in Waikiki. Since SoCal was my next duty station, I looked her up there and had a great time with her. At some point, she told me that she had married "on paper" a military guy from her high school so he could get the extra money, which they split. I told her I wouldn't go out with her anymore because she was married. She was pissed and told me the Navy would understand it was just a sham marriage. I could see how far that excuse was going to carry me at my potential court martial, especially since he turned out to be a submariner, too. Although necessary, it was tough to walk away from that hot little body.

7/04/2011 2:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was still a NUB on the NYC when I was approached by a shipmate and asked to marry his girlfriends sister so she could stay in the States instead of being deported to the PI.

I told him to pack sand........the girl was deported. Asian women never appealed to me.......

7/04/2011 3:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel:

What a sensitive topic - talk about hitting one of my hot buttons! People on my boat learned not to bring this subject up around me unless they wanted to suffer the wrath of a single JO that was convinced (and still its!) that the Military intentionally discriminates against single people!!

Where to start? Preferential duty for married sailors vs single sailors? Barrack living for single enlisted sailors vs Navy housing for "married" sailors?? Different pay for the fact that you are married vs single???

And then the Navy would bemoan the fact that the law of unintended consequences caused further problems for all the marriages that they encouraged...WTF did you think was going to happen??!!??

On the Officer side in the 80's and 90's i used to rail against the inequities of single vs married. The CO of the sub school mentioned that when he was a JO everyone was married but no one questioned why most of my fellow JO's were un-married. A major cultural shift in the organization and no one was curious as to what that might mean for the organization...

Finally...I blew my top at one Wardroom dinner out at town and emphatically made it clear to the married Department Heads that I was tired of paying for their wive's dinner...the bill would come around and the married pukes would attempt to divide the bill up as if we were all married....WTF??

Sorry for the rambling...twenty years later and it is still a sore subject/raw nerve....

Sean

7/04/2011 6:39 PM

 
Anonymous Stsc said...

As a single STS2 this was one of my biggest complaints. I did the same work but received fewer benefits solely because of my marital status. Married with 4 kids for awhile now and I take full advantage of every benefit from being married. In Hawaii the difference in COLA and married BAH from a single Chief to myself was substantial. I still do not think it is fair and don't try to justify it just because now I am on the other end of the teeter-totter. Pay us for the work we do, not because of how many mouths we feed!

7/04/2011 11:20 PM

 
Anonymous Dardar the Submarian said...

There once was an ETC who refused to set foot in SC ever again, because if he did, his wife could divorce him and get everything. He collected BAH until he retired. How is that less fraudulent than getting married to collect "gay married BAH".

7/05/2011 5:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean, just a couple of data points. First, when you were a JO at Sub School, you probably went there directly from your commissioning source, perhaps with a short TAD first. When the CO of Sub School was there as a JO, he probably had spent a couple of years at sea on a skimmer getting qualified first prior to attending Sub School. Because they were older than you, it's not surprising that his class had a higher percentage of married officers. Second--and more in line with your observations--when you were a JO, the children of COs typically were in the pre-teenage or teenage group. Now you see many COs with newborn children that reflect the COs getting married later in life. But that's not just the Submarine Force, it seems to be a fact for our society more generally. Third, as far as dividing up the bill at dinner, I always thought the wives were much worse than their husbands. As Art Donovan used to say, they were tighter than a clam with lockjaw.

7/05/2011 6:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean, my discussion left out the nuclear power school pipeline because, depending on when you went to Sub School, the CO of Sub School may or may not have gone through that pipeline before going to a submarine. There was a time when JOs went surface line first and then could switch over after they got qualified. There was also a time when JOs went to diesel boats first and then could switch over to nuke boats via the pipeline. Somebody older than me would need to provide further details.

7/05/2011 6:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Luckily, the feds have stopped defending DOMA, so there's a good chance it will be fully overturned in the next year or two, and this will no longer be an issue."

Luckily, the executive branch has decided to stop enforcing and defending the law as it is required to? That's an interesting position. If the Executive Branch disagrees with a law, it can simply ignore it. The job of the Executive is to enforce laws, the job of Congress is to make them.

Also, any member of Congress can defend it in court (and will), so it may not be gone as fast as you think.

7/05/2011 6:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean, one other issue that drove early marriages in the Submarine Force, at least among officers, was the lack of bodies. As a result, shore duty billets were few and far between for the 1960s era submariners. My first CO, for example, was one of only three submarine officers in his year group to have shore duty prior to command. And in those days, the boats that were not in the shipyward were logging some serious time at sea. So if you didn't get married early, the odds were against you getting married at all.

7/05/2011 6:24 AM

 
Anonymous T said...

Anon @ 623

The law is still enforced, it is just not being defended by the DOJ. That's probably because the lasr two court appearances were absolute jokes. Last I heard Congress was having trouble even finding a law firm to represent them in defending the law! The last firm dropped the case.

You are on the wrong side of history on this. In 20 years anti marriage equality folks will be seen as anachronostic as segregationists. I suggest you change your tune before we get to that point ;-)

7/05/2011 7:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are on the wrong side of history on this. In 20 years anti marriage equality folks will be seen as anachronostic as segregationists. I suggest you change your tune before we get to that point ;-)

And right now folks pushing same sex marriage are seen for what they are: pole smoking, pillow biting, pirate ass faggots. No amount of massaging vocabulary or politicizing the APA will change the FACT that FAGGOTS are ABNORMAL. Period.

7/05/2011 7:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And right now folks pushing same sex marriage are seen for what they are: pole smoking, pillow biting, pirate ass faggots. No amount of massaging vocabulary or politicizing the APA will change the FACT that FAGGOTS are ABNORMAL. Period.

I agree, and no amount of PC wordsmithing or sea-lawering will change the fact that

...the mentally handicapped are ABNORMAL. They can't perform a job as well as we, why should they be allowed to join the workforce?

...thalidomide kids are ABNORMAL, they aren't as physically capable as we are. We can't trust them behind the wheel of a car.

...the infertile are ABNORMAL. They can't fulfill the biggest reason most people enter into long-term relationships, procreation, so why should they get to enjoy the benefits?

...other religions are ABNORMAL. Why should we be concerned with whether or not we are infringing on their ability to worship?

And, for the easy comparison

...folks from other ethnic backgrounds are ABNORMAL. They don't share our values/morals. They should only count as 3/5ths a person as far as the electorate is concerned.

7/05/2011 8:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{Luckily, the executive branch has decided to stop enforcing and defending the law as it is required to?}

The executive branch is not required to defend a law that they believe to be unconstitutional. The Full Faith and Credit clause is pretty clear. Overriding the rights of states is especially uncool when republicans do it - they are supposed to be on the right side of that debate.

{No amount of massaging vocabulary or politicizing the APA will change the FACT that FAGGOTS are ABNORMAL.}

LOL - repressing anything?

7/05/2011 8:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess the Federal government forcing Utah to give up polygamy to become a state was wrong? And if DOMA goes down, and Utah legalizes polygamy, does your vaunted full faith and credit clause require every other state to recognize those 'marriages'?

7/05/2011 9:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me it's a balance of powers and separation of powers issue. If the President can decide a law is unconstitutional and not enforce it, that's an assertion that He is above Congress - as Congress has to use the Courts to force the enforcement of the law.

It is the job of the courts to decide constitutionality of laws, not the President. Executive power means enforcing laws, judicial power means deciding constitutionality. The proper place for that decision is in the courts.

7/05/2011 10:04 AM

 
Blogger Henson said...

He is enforcing the law. He's just not shelling out taxpayer money to make DoJ lawyers defend in court (appeals, no less, not the trials themselves) a law that he (as a constitutional law professor) believes to be unconstitutional at its core. Maybe he remembers swearing an oath to defend the constitution, not "any law that congress passes in it's infinite foolishness."

7/05/2011 10:47 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(as a constitutional law professor)

Obozo was NEVER a Constitutional Law professor; He was a "lecturer." There IS a difference. Given his complete misunderstanding and shredding of the document, it isn't surprising.

7/05/2011 11:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not he was a constitutional law professor, it is not within his duties to decide whether or not a law is constitutional.

I understand your distinction between not spending money to defend and enforcing it, but if he believes it to be unconstitutional (and he believes that it matters that he believes that), is it really a big leap from not spending money to defend it to not enforcing it - I mean, if he believes his judgment matters enough to not defend it, why would he enforce it?

I believe that he is substituting his judgment for that of the Supreme Court, and in doing so is hindering the separation of powers.

BTW, this is the same President who (against the advice of his lawyers), decided that the Libyan action didn't merit consideration under the War Powers Act.

Congress does plenty of stupid things....but so do Presidents....and I don't think Presidents should ever decide whether or not laws are Constitutional.

7/05/2011 11:33 AM

 
Anonymous T said...

But the law IS being enforced! The main outcome of not enforcing it is that gay married couples receive the same federal benefits as straight couples. Do they receive married BAH? Can they sponsor their husband/wife for residency? Etc etc etc?

The answer is no. The law is still in. Effect and being enforced.... until it is overturned. Then president will enforce the new status quo. If you are for DOMA you are a bigot who takes orders from some other bigot who pretends to have a direct line to your imaginary Sky Man, period. Just accept that and be honest with yourself

7/05/2011 2:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are for DOMA you are a bigot who takes orders from some other bigot who pretends to have a direct line to your imaginary Sky Man, period. Just accept that and be honest with yourself.

And you're a cock smoking faggot who most likely had his ass raped by a pedophile as a child. Just accept that and be honest with yourself. Better recruit some more homos (aka molest some little boys), else you're type will evolve out of existence.

7/05/2011 5:02 PM

 
Blogger Henson said...

The lower courts already ruled that the section of the law in question is unconstitutional (NOT the whole law, just a section of it.)

The Executive is merely agreeing with the opinion of the lower courts and deciding to use their legal option not to pursue appeal. They defended it in court, they lost, and then decided not to appeal. That is a far cry from your proverbial slippery slope. By your logic, the President is usurping the power of the Supreme Court every time the DoJ opts not to appeal a lost case. Nonsense.

This is just another excuse for people to get faux mad at a president that they just plain never liked to begin with. More manufactured outrage, whipped up by political science majors who agitate for a living.

7/05/2011 5:43 PM

 
Anonymous PTS said...

If you are for DOMA you are a bigot who takes orders from some other bigot who pretends to have a direct line to your imaginary Sky Man, period. Just accept that and be honest with yourself

Marriage, through recent western history (let's arbitrarily say since the reformation), has been defined as between a man and a woman...for the purpose of creating children in an appropriate environment. The definition of appropriate environment has evolved over the years, but at its core it has essentially stayed the same (so children will be brought up by their parents).

I have no problem equating civil union to marriage in law, but the phrase "same-sex marriage" flies in the face of hundreds of years of western tradition and culture. How is wanting to maintain the term 'marriage' as between specifically a man and a woman bigoted?

7/05/2011 5:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just another excuse for people to get faux mad at a president that they just plain never liked to begin with. More manufactured outrage, whipped up by political science majors who agitate for a living.

No need to get faux mad when you can actually get mad at him. I will say that I'm glad he finally stuck and twisted the knife in keynesian economics, though. That's about the only good thing he's done so far, and it merely took (over) a trillion dollars to do.

*golf clap*

7/05/2011 6:02 PM

 
Anonymous T said...

PTS:

For the most part, I agree with you. Whether you call it civil unions or "marriage" it's merely semantics, if a "civil union" for gay people provides the same legal rights as a "marriage" for straight people.

On the flip side, the argument for calling it marriage is the exact same... or what if the federal government neglects to recognize marriage at all, and just retroactively calls all current marriages and future gay civil unions... civil unions? It's all the same, IMO (though the gay community probably disagrees).

That said, the argument of "tradition" is bogus. Slavery was a tradition. Segregation was a tradition. Women not having the right to vote was a tradition. Yet nobody thinks we should go back now.

DOMA is going away, gay marriage is coming soon to most states (10 years from now tops). Demographics basically demand it. The support for gay marriage for the under 35 block is overwhelming. The right should just give up on that fight.

7/05/2011 9:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, t. Of all the challenges facing our country, why are we wasting time on definition of marriage?

Back to BAH, it never bothered me when I was single that married guys got paid more. Maybe I'm a rarity, but I also didn't mind taking duty day before U/W or 1st duty on RTP (which is usually pretty cake duty anyway) so the married guys could go home. Most of the guys on my two boats had little kids and you could tell it was harder on them to go U/W.

Not sure the history of Married BAH, but now that I AM married, I can say each PCS costs us at least $12k in income: it takes my wife 6-12 mos to re-license in each new state, and she earns $2k/mos practicing part-time. If she practiced full-time, she could earn over $10k/mos so it would be much higher lost income (and I could retire, ha!). So the extra BAH helps every 3 years. It also allows us to get a larger home for the explosion of 'stuff' that occurs shortly after marriage and continues every time you have a kid! If I was still single, I could easily live in a 1BR or share a mansion w/ other single folks; I knew JO's in Hawaii who lived on the beach, had elevators in their homes, etc.

As for civilian incomes, COLA/BAH is used there too. I have many friends on the 'outside' who get compensated for their moves (better than the military, I might add) and get additional income for living in high-cost areas (its just not tax-free like BAH).

I don't know any companies that have higher income specifically for married folks, but income is often negotiable upon hiring and during your career for many private companies (unlike us) so a higher income for married people may still occur, just not in so many words (and depending on one's negotiating prowess).

7/06/2011 12:28 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family Separation Pay is BS.....but only because of the name. I'm single, but I have a family, and when I'm at sea, I'm separated from them. So why shouldn't I get family separation pay? I wouldn't have an issue with it if they changed the name to dependent separation pay or some such....

7/06/2011 5:13 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now BAH, medical, and other "family related" costs are breaking the military. It is time to offset the costs by charging more out-of-pocket.

If you joined the military to get rich or raise a family, you picked the wrong job. Our job to to protect and/or kill, nothing more, nothing less. Let's refocus, get back to basics and drop the family fluff (and yes, even BAH for single Sailors...you got a rack? use it!).

7/06/2011 9:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if they don't have a rack because there are more enlisted guys onboard than racks? I guess they can just sleep in the torpedo room inport too.

But how can you discriminate against single sailors? Sailors with wives and kids should move onboard too. Just say no to discrimination.

7/06/2011 9:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ex-husband is dating a woman who is married to an Army serviceman. The two were just married in December 2010 and my ex has been dating her for about 4 months now! He just recently moved in with her, the husband sends her money and she gets tri-care while having a live in boyfriend on the side.... what is with the money grubbing women?!

7/06/2011 9:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it, woman is just a life support system for the most powerful object known to man...

Nothing more, nothing less!

7/06/2011 10:08 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family onboard? Why not? An old shipmate of mine visited Vladivostok on an FFG and met the XO of one of the Russian cruisers. The XO's family s living in his stateroom.

He also hadn't been paid in a couple months... Why aren't we doing that to save the military???

7/06/2011 3:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of lesbos on liberty....

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0707-gays-military-ruling-20110707,0,162126.story

7/06/2011 9:56 PM

 
Anonymous SparkyWT said...

On my boomer in the early 90's when we married guys got our family sep checks we always threw a good chunk of it into the "off crew party fund". I was seen as a nice gesture and when the inevitable "fam sep isn't fair" we always said "agreed, now drink the beer and watch the stripper paid for by it".

7/07/2011 5:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Were the marines claiming to be married not married? Did they not have legitimate heterosexual marriage licenses granted by the state? Did they not exchange vows before two witnesses? Did they not present the proper state-issued documentation to DEERS? If they did, in what way are they supposed to have defrauded the government? Who is anyone involved to judge the marriages fraudulent?

I suppose you could say the gay ones were cheating on their spouses, but we don't bill married sailors for back BAH when they pick up prostitutes on liberty. Most marriage vows include language implying a lifelong commitment, but we don't accuse married sailors of fraud if they get divorced.

The rules are that if the servicemember is married, he is entitled to the "with dependents" rate where offered. Full stop. Perhaps other charges might apply, but they came by the money 100% within the rules and are entitled to it as far as I'm concerned.

7/10/2011 4:11 PM

 
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