Patterico's Pontifications


McChrystal to Retire With 4-Star Rank

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

General McChrystal will retire with 4-star rank as a parting gift from President Obama and the taxpayers will be the ones paying for Obama’s generosity. Who says it doesn’t pay to vote for Obama?


40 Responses to “McChrystal to Retire With 4-Star Rank”

  1. The big bucks will be from a book.

    Arizona Bob (f57a20)

  2. So, then, what’s 34 years of service and a lifelong retainer worth?

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  3. He would have retired as a three star so the bump to four star probably cost less than Paul McCartney’s night at the White House.

    Noah (026d7f)

  4. Noah, the delta is about $8k a year.

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  5. Sorry, I can’t get too worked up about the monetary difference between 3 and 4 stars when it comes to the retirement stipend.

    The difference in prestige is enormous, however, and not one that I think Gen McChrystal has shown himself to deserve.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  6. VI…
    Using a service longevity of 30-yrs, and retirement at 75% of base, the monthly difference between O-10 and O-9 is $1494 ($17,928/yr).

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  7. AD, I looked here:

    O-10 first year is $13,044 per month
    O-9 1st year is $12,272 per month.

    Delta = $772 per month x 12 = $9,264.

    I made some assumptions, but reckon I’m close.

    Is there a better site?

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  8. And, yeah, I know that’s more than $8k…that was a quick math in my head approximation.

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  9. I certainly have no objections to my tax dollars paying my proportional share of the 4-star retirement.

    jim2 (813bf9)

  10. Via the Washington Post, Hot Air says Obama’s decision “nets him another $8,868 annually.”

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  11. Well, I went to the standard military pay scale, 30-yrs for each rank, and computed at 75%:
    O-10 = $16939.20/mo (@75% = $12,704);
    O-9 = $14946.00/mo (@75% = $11,210), using 2010 rates.
    I’m not going to try to get into the anticipated COLA’s for the future – they will be what they are, and can change at the whim of the Congress,
    but I think the chart I used is on the same site.
    Though $1494/mo isn’t something to sneeze at, I think the point that EW1(SG) made about the prestige factor is very valid. It is why Joe Sestak doesn’t like to talk about why he retired as a Rear Admiral (Upper half), but always mentions that he was a Vice Admiral.

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  12. I have no objection, either. How much did we give to Japanese speculators of derivatives?

    nk (db4a41)

  13. Of course, I’m relying on what I learned about Retirement Pay back in the stone-ages:
    2.5%/mo with a max of 75% @ 30-years.
    Has this changed?

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  14. They waived the 75% cap, so it’s 2.5%/year of service. If he has 34 years of service, it would be 85% of his active-duty pay.

    It started in 2007.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  15. I think Arizona Bob has it right, though, the big bucks may be from a book. I doubt he’ll bash the president, but might be fun if he went after “the fourth estate in wartime.”

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  16. I believe Biden will get a little bit more than $250,000.00 when he “retires”, just for being Vice-President for four years. I don’t know if he can doubledip for his time in the Senate.

    nk (db4a41)

  17. He could say everything that needs to be said, and probably already has been, about VP Bite Me in a short OpEd.

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  18. “My Service,” by GEN Stanley McChrystal

    Chapter 1: Don’t trust a Rolling Stone reporter.
    Chapter 2: When in doubt, see chapter 1.
    Chapter 3: I voted for who?

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  19. Well, let’s take another whak at this…
    says that the pay for an O-10 with 38-years
    (last I knew Commissioned Officer “Good Time” included their time at The Point/Annapolis/AFA, and he graduated in 1976, which means his Date of Service is 1 July 1972)
    is $18675, O-9 is $16478.
    If Stashiu3 is correct (and he always has been), then he gets 95% of Base: $17741 v. $15654; a diffrence of $2087/month.

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  20. He has served honorably and did a good job while in Iraq. ’nuff said.

    Dmac (ab1849)

  21. I’ll take McChrystal to fight a war over Obama any day.

    nk (db4a41)

  22. When my husband was ready to retire from the service with 25 years of service, I got a call from Washington telling me that if he was willing to stay in one more year, the difference in retirement pay would be about $300 a month. We talked it over and discussed how much cash in the bank we would have to have to generate that $300 and decided to stay in one more year. At that time, retirement pay was based on years of service plus PERMANENT rank/rate at time of retirement. For instance, an E9 who was selected for the Warrant Officer program and who attains, say, W2 rank before retirement might find it more beneficial financially to retire as an E9 (Master Chief in the Navy) rather than at the officer level of W2.

    The 4-star rank goes with the job where a 4 star rank is necessary and reverts after the job is done and a new assignment made. However, according to this from Wiki, a 4 star who serves a certain length of time at that grade retains the rank:

    To retire at four-star grade, an officer must accumulate at least three years of satisfactory active duty service in that grade, as certified by the Secretary of Defense and confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary of Defense may reduce this requirement to two years, but only if the officer is not being investigated for misconduct. Officers who do not meet the service-in-grade requirement revert to the next highest grade in which they served satisfactorily for at least six months. It is extraordinarily rare for a four-star officer not to be nominated to retire in grade or for such a nomination not to be confirmed by the Senate unanimously.

    With McChrystal, it appears he got a gift, since he was confirmed as a 4 star in June 2009, just one year at that rank.

    Sara (Pal2Pal) (4d3f49)

  23. I find it ridiculous that he is being rewarded (and yes, he is being rewarded).

    Had his subordinates complained about him in such a loud way, he would not have tolerated it for a second. While he resigned, he really was recalled and would have been relieved for cause based on Obama’s comments on his performance.

    This may seem unfair, after all, since Obama is probably a terrible judge of Generals, but McChrystal is leaving the military under conditions that would embarrass a PFC.

    I agree, he’s done more than his duty to his country and given a lifetime of hard work to the cause of freedom. I am sure he was one of the best soldiers and rose because of great ability, though I’m also sure he was not doing the best job at his recent job.

    I think he should simply have been given what he was already entitled to. It’s not about money. I’m grateful for his service, but he didn’t deserve something like a promotion.

    Further, I’m not hearing much about this report on the US paying something akin to protection money to our enemy in Afghanistan. This administration makes everything political and I don’t think we’re getting anything approaching the real story about McChrystal’s retirement.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. Just got an email forwarded many times that made the claim that the General and his men purposely did this to expose how the military really dis- respects Obama. They knew the General would be fired, but he couldn’t live with the ROE any more.
    And the ROE was the first thing that got changed by Patraeus along with an extension. I’m not so sure that McChrystal is the bad guy here. I think it all goes back to Obama and his thinking he is really a Commander. Far from it.

    bald01 (3771f4)

  25. No, McChrystal is definitely not the bad guy.

    nk (db4a41)

  26. bald01, I really don’t think there is any evidence that supports that claim that McCrystal’s self-inflicted wounds were intentional. These were all negligent discharges of his mouth without any aiming involved.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  27. Whatever the General earns in a pension, he will deserve his far more than whatever Obama gets.

    MU789 (2a2527)

  28. We were going to pay for his retirement one way or another.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  29. “#

    No, McChrystal is definitely not the bad guy.

    Comment by nk — 6/30/2010 @ 5:40 pm

    I agree completely, but this isn’t what he would have received had he simply retired without the Rolling Stone fiasco. He screwed up, even though he truly did serve his nation for a long time. I think this is far from a big deal and not worth fretting over, but it is strange that he’s being rewarded in this way.

    And I honestly do find fault with his performance. I mean this with respect, because most commanders would be unable to perform as well as McChrystal did, to be fair.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. I think I’ve mentioned this before. I believe there’s a dichotomy in the military between the zanies and the footsloggers — the unconventional warfare and the conventional warfare proponents. That could be part of the situation against McChrystal. He was an expert in unconventional warfare. He’s been replaced by an expert in conventional warfare. There’s politics inside the generals’ club as well as in the Congress and the White House.

    nk (db4a41)

  31. nk:
    Though you characterize Petraeus as part of the “fire and maneuver” contingent, he is the one who wrote the current Field Manual on Counter-Insurgency Warfare, relying heavily on the works of a Frenchman who was their expert in Algeria/North Africa. I don’t think Patraeus is as unknowledgable and/or disdainful of unconventional warfare as you imply.

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  32. I imply no such thing.

    I don’t compete with four-star generals in warfare.

    I am pretty opinionated and arrogant but not to that degree.

    nk (db4a41)

  33. Well, there’s being arrogant, and then there are those who are self-assured.
    History does not look favorable upon generals who were arrogant.

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  34. I’m sorry, I meant that I am not that opinionate and arrogant — a lawyer — to compete with four-star generals. I give both McChrystal and Petraeus the respect they deserve as experts in their jobs and in their respective strategies.

    nk (db4a41)

  35. I admire those who serve in the military. One of many reasons I feel that way is because they are committed to discipline, and I think that’s an important quality to have in organizations and as individuals. To me, treating McChrystal outside the usual rules undermines discipline because it suggests some people get different rules than others.

    On the other hand, I worked as a civilian on a base many years ago, and there are different rules when you’re a general.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  36. My father was motorized mountain troops. His second brother was a commando — under his contract he had to be on call until he was thirty-five and retrain three months every summer.

    I have some kind of complex, I think, for never having served.

    nk (db4a41)

  37. “And I honestly do find fault with his performance. I mean this with respect, because most commanders would be unable to perform as well as McChrystal did, to be fair.”

    Dustin – Let us know when you make up your mind.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  38. On the list of federal expenditures I would slash, this is very, very low.

    Beldar (ba1b1f)

  39. Let’s get some perspective here. McChrystal is only accused of insubordination. Obama, who will be involuntarily retired in 2013 for gross incompetence and trying to destroy the republic will also receive a full pension!

    Bill Fabrizio (5abdd8)

  40. I question whether other high ranking retirees should now sue for pay and grade, if they were retired before serving 3 years in grade at the lower rank. Gen. Mcchrystal served about 13 months in grade. He deserves to be a Lt. Gen. What about Admiral Sestak?

    robert schwartz (90c5da)

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