Mullen, military coalition at odds over bonus

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, will not join a chorus of critics who oppose the $30,000 bonus offer made to careerists in their 15th year of service if they agree to accept a less generous retirement plan.

Mullen, in our interview two weeks ago, suggested the Redux bonus, officially titled the Career Status Bonus, is a reasonable tool to help hold down soaring personnel costs.

Soon the Military Coalition, a consortium of 35 military and veterans associations, will urge Congress to repeal the Redux bonus offer as a bad deal for almost any careerist enticed to take it.

“The Redux bonus saves the government incredible amounts of money,” said coalition co-chairman Joe Barnes who also is national executive director of the Fleet Reserve Association.