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Old 09-27-2015, 10:27 AM   #8  
Gets Weekends Off
Albief15's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2006
Posts: 2,626

The airlines can go suck it.

When I was a Guardsman, the nation got a full up combat qualified F-15C instructor pilot, who was governed by the same UCMJ that covered active duty officers. I was available to be activated, deployed, placed in combat, or in some cases civil defense roles (F-15 pilots in New Orleans manning checkpoints, etc after Katrina) at a moments notice. I maintained the same currencies required by an F-15 pilot on active duty. Cost to the country? About $35-$50k a year or less on average. Medical benefits? None. Retirement? Not until age 60, and then at a discount to the active duty guys. The nation got (and gets from the rest of you still serving) an experienced, capable, ready to go to war group of pilots for pennies on the dollar compared to active duty pilots. Post 9/11 GI Bill? Not for me. Tricare? Nope... But just as much chance to get activated and go get killed in War or Peacetime as anyone else serving....

Airlines get a lot from government, including airfares for GS and military folks, military charter business, CRAF payments, as well as the government paying for the infrastructure of the industry with ATC, the FAA, NTSB, and safety programs in a host of agencies.

What does the government ask in exchange? "Let my servicemen serve unmolested, and protect their jobs..."

To me, its a bargain for the taxpayers. The total force provides great backup and insurance to the active duty, at a cost that saves our nation a tremendous amount of money.

So a few airline CEOs and others don't like the fact a few pilots out there who are serving their country get a break? I don't care. I don't care about their bonus, the shareholder concerns, or their scheduler's complaints. If we are going to defend this country, and deal with threats from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, ISIS, and whoever else wants to challenge us, its going to be expensive. We are broke as a nation, and we need to find a way to do what we do with the resources we have. The ANG and Reserves offer us a way to do more with less expense. Make it too hard to do both jobs, and the pilots will make the choice many have already made--to give up on the military side of things. The government knows that if they bend to the airline CEOs, in a few years they won't have a reserve force to manage. The airlines need to adapt. I think the costs could easily be absorbed with a reduction in management's compensation or stock buyback plans.
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