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There's a common myth in American society that the military personnel are underpaid for their services. While there certainly isn't a dollar figure that can be attached to jeopardizing a human life, the military and US government has gone to great lengths in approving consecutive military pay scale increases since the 1980s. The fact of the matter, the military pay scale isn't as shabby as you may think especially given the special circumstances that many of the members are allowed. In this article, we're going to take a look at the overall military pay scale and specifically what changes are due in the 2011 military pay scale.

Before we get into the actual military pay scale, it's important to keep in mind that according to the military pay scale, everyone enjoys the same base pay, regardless of what military service you are in. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard resources enjoy the same pay as the higher-risk soldier/marine positions, and if combat does occur, they are usually safe and comfortable within the confines of a ship or large military base. In fact, most career service members rarely spend time in combat zones and are able to take advantage of the extra pay and perks such as 30 days paid vacation, "long weekends", and short Fridays. Not too bad, right?
Let's talk about military pay scale specifics. The average age of a recruit is 19 years old, and according to the latest military pay scale, the typical pay for a 20-year old sailor at the E-2 level is $37,637 a year. 

If he has a wife and two kids, the military pay scale indicates the salary is $41,021 - excluding special pays and bonuses! The average military personnel who skips college and joins the military takes home around $48,180 a year, assuming he reaches level E-4 and has a wife and two kids. This salary is more than typical college graduates and at least $14,000 more than the average salary of any other occupation in the country. Going up the ladder, a career enlisted man at level E-7 with 20 years of service and a wife with four kids earns $78,221 a year (according to the military pay scale) - this amount is higher than most Americans with advanced academic degrees (MBA, PhD, etc.).
As you can see, the military pay scale is nothing to scoff at. If you are serious about serving in the military, you can absolutely make an above-average living for yourself and your family. The government is fairly quick in approving annual military pay scale hikes, and the 2011 military pay scale is no exception. The package up for approval is a 1.9% pay raise; although lower than the previous 3.4% increase in the 2010 military pay scale, still a decent raise given the economic conditions. Despite the myth that military personnel are severely underpaid, the facts speak for themselves - while you certainly can't put a price on life, the military pay scale indicates that military personnel are relatively financially well off.
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