Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Pentagon Contractors are “Second to None” in Salary, AIA Study Shows

POGO Project on Government Oversight  March 8, 2012

Yesterday, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) launched another volley in its “Second to None” campaign to protect the more than $350 billion taxpayer-funded revenue stream flowing to contractors every year from the Pentagon.

AIA released a Deloitte study it commissioned titled “The Aerospace and Defense Industry in the U.S.: A financial and economic impact study,” which, similar to a previous “study” from AIA, is light on unbiased facts and heavy on fear-mongering.

From page one it is clear that the results of this study should not be used to predict, well, anything. But, don’t take my word for it, take Deloitte’s—“These results are not intended to be predictions of events or future outcomes,” says a disclaimer on the cover of the study. So, while it’s usually necessary to remind AIA that the Pentagon gives defense contractors more money than all of our men and women in uniform, and thus don’t deserve subsidies or corporate welfare while our troops get their benefits cut, or that military spending is one of the least effective means the government has to create jobs, we can instead focus on a remarkable statistic provided by Deloitte.

According to the study, the average salary for the aerospace and defense industry was $80,175. By way of comparison, that is more than $36,000 higher than the U.S. national average cited by Deloitte and more than $10,000 higher than the average wage amongst the U.S. military’s civilian workforce, whom these defense contractors often replace. According to the Office of Personnel and Management, the average salary at the Department of Defense (DoD) is $69,218, and the average salary in every branch of the military is lower than the average salary of these defense contractors.

The average salary of defense contractors is also far greater than the pay of the vast majority of uniformed military personnel. For instance, a Sergeant First Class in the Army (E-8 pay grade) with 20 years of service and a family of 4 receives just over $50,000 annually in basic pay. Even when other military benefits, like housing and tax perks, are accounted for the Sergeant First Class’s compensation is still below that of the average defense contractor. The same is true for many officers. For instance, a First Lieutenant (O-2 pay grade) with 20 years of service takes home just over $53,000 annually.

Fortunately, the DoD is become increasingly more reluctant to pay its contractors more than its soldiers. Just this week, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that contracted operational support for the military has grown from a ratio of six troops per contractor during the Revolutionary War to fewer than one troop per contractor in Afghanistan. And Dempsey said, “It can’t keep going that way.”

Dempsey’s concern for the military’s overreliance on contractors should be echoed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and other Pentagon leaders to remind AIA that troops, not contractors, are second to none

Please see the original and read more here

March 8, 2012 - Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Pentagon | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Why don’t you get your facts right before you start spewing acid at contractors. Firstly, an E-8 in the army is a Master Sergeant or First Sergeant and NOT a Sergeant First Class. He has 20 years of service,and is in late 30s to mid 40s so he can now retire with pension and cheap medical insurance for him and his family called Tricare and start a second career. A First Lieutenant is a young twenty something still green around the neck,.. has served maybe 3 years in the military… $53,000 is a lot for someone this young and no bills to pay because the Army provides everything for him food shelter and clothing (don’t be deceived for he gets additional allowances for all of this). A contractor, on average is in his mid 30s to late 40s, highly skilled with over 10 plus years of experience in his field. So tell again, when the Pentagon will start paying their contractors what they would pay their soldiers and I will tell you to start recruiting now for people as highly skilled as us to take our jobs. Because we will move on and do something else. And then maybe we shall see how dynamic and resourceful the military really is.

    Comment by Harry Meatballs | April 30, 2012 | Reply


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