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Reply #118


Response to anobserver2 (Reply #115)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:27 PM

118. MacDill has TWO golf courses.

The reason that the base CO opened up his base to people who were background-checked is because the taxpayers are NOT paying for that shit. Those are non-appropriated funds instrumentalities--they must either self-sustain or they must be CLOSED.

Now, if we add 800 souls to the base population, who join the O-Club at a dues of $17 per month--when we do the math, that's $13,600 a MONTH, $163,200 a YEAR--that'll pay for a lot of greens upkeep, now, won't it? These 800 souls will spend money at the base restaurants and in the "mall" and food court area at the PX/Commissary (though they won't be allowed into those stores) and keep those businesses viable, too. The businesses "kick back" into the MWR/MWA funds and that enables that department to fund stuff for the junior enlisted at a cheaper cost to them. That "Friends of MacDill" thing was a QOL business decision made by the base CO to keep those businesses operating on base -- nothing more. The people that were picked to participate were ones that had a lower probability of being troublemakers (getting drunk and in fights, etc.) and who were likely to use the golf course, the club, etc., and spend money there.

Of course, Ms. Kelley kinda blew that shit to hell when she phoned her FBI pal and put a spotlight on the program, but this program has been working for quite a few years, now and the CO of the base is not the originator of the program--it was created by his predecessor.

Most flag/general officers that I have known, who live in assigned government quarters, don't have "palatial" homes. They do have nice quarters, the bulk of which are "public entertainment" spaces. They don't generally live in those spaces-they're like museum areas. They live in a smaller part of the home day-to-day, normally.

Above two star, that's when the perks really start (some exceptions for the two stars in major command overseas). As often as not, a flag officer working at the Pentagon, unless he has some major-ass fancy title, drives his own car, lives in his own house, and doesn't have any "servants." The "servants" are associated with command positions that are three and four star. The "chefs" are military cooks--admittedly, good ones, but guys/gals who rotate in and out of the duty. Same deal with the schmucks (an aide (junior officer, usually--occasionally as high as field grade, and an enlisted person who keeps the uniforms looking spiffy--rather like a valet)--they come with the JOB, they don't follow the person around. The people who do the maintenance on the house are assigned, technically, to the HOUSE, not the principal living in the house.

Overseas, where flag/general officers are assassination targets, they have drivers who are trained in escape/evasion and who know how to drive a hard (armored) car. Some have bodyguards (or PSDs--Personal Security Detachments) but many do not. Any flag/general who "summons" a choir or a quartet to personally serenade them is going to get fired, quickly--those assets can only be requisitioned with justification, in writing, in advance. Now, that justification might include building community goodwill, but the smart leaders do not abuse the privilege.

The aircraft are often an issue--the whole "austerity/luxury" cycle seems to wax and wane routinely, with flags taking re-purposed support aircraft for a time, then transitioning to civilian luxury aircraft, then going back to the more "operational" models.

I don't disagree with many aspects of the article, however, it is important to distinguish between a four star in a specific position and one who is a program manager at the five-sided funny farm. The latter guy doesn't get all the perks...even though he (and so far, usually a he though that's changing) is often making bigger decisions as to the over-arching direction of the military (either logistically, fiscally or operationally) than some of these "in command" party-goers.

Gates' comments are salient, too, as well as accurate in the larger picture-- however, you'll find that the flag/general officers will tend to close ranks and not 'dis' one another. They'll try to pour oil on the waters here to protect their assets.

I will also say, though, that it seems that under Dumbya, the "perks" have grown once again--under Clinton, that shit was pared down considerably but it's like weeds--if you don't chop that stuff down regularly, it grows like crazy.

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anobserver2 Nov 2012 #115
LineLineLineNew Reply MacDill has TWO golf courses.
MADem Nov 2012 #118
anobserver2 Nov 2012 #119
MADem Nov 2012 #120
anobserver2 Nov 2012 #123
MADem Nov 2012 #124
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