19 February 2007

Rewarding wrong people

Rewarding wrong people
Gunnery Sgt. Demetrius Crofts
Camp Lejeune, N.C.

"I read the article concerning contacting and re-enlisting former Marines [“Cash to re-enlist: Corps wants prior-service Marines, even if they left active duty four years ago,” Jan. 15]. Upon their re-enlistment, those former active-duty Marines receive bonuses of up to $60,000. At first I was shocked, then a little angry.

I am an infantry Marine with almost 20 years of service. When bonuses were few and far between, the 03 field didn’t receive any, unless we lat-moved into another military occupational specialty. Now that some of us have passed our 16-year marks, we are not eligible anymore.

I don’t know if luring someone back just to receive money is the best course. I have served with Marines who came back in to “get a paycheck to pay off college loans,” and a difference could be seen in their level of performance.

Maybe another option would be to offer more bonuses when Marines are due to re-enlist or to reward years of service so that younger Marines could see what they will get if they stay in the Corps.

Many of us on active duty have received tempting job offers but declined them and decided to stay Marine, no matter the sacrifices we had to make. I do not harbor any ill feelings for those who have joined and decided to move on, but to offer them so much money to get them back is upsetting to some who have stayed the course and continue to serve."

....If these issues are affecting the active duty Marines quality then perhaps we should look at how this is affecting the other branches of the service. I saw the interview with Sen Biden this past weekend where he indicated that Congressman Murtha's first and foremost thoughts have always been with the preservation of our military force projection and how his idea WAS NOT politically motivated but was really motivated by what was best for our armed services and therefore our country. It's the small "letters to the editor" of the Marine Corp Times that, I think, prove this point.

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