August 2012, The Pentagon. I had just reported for duty on what would become my last assignment in uniform. Gen. Mark Welsh had just taken over as Air Force chief of staff. Having recently served in Germany, I was very familiar with him; he was the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe for part of my tour there, and I’d heard him speak on numerous occasions.
Reforming the military’s retirement system is currently a hot topic in our nation’s capital. Both the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act include proposals for retirement reform; the joint chiefs have weighed in; and the Department of Defense released a white paper last week outlining its position on the reforms. These proposals consist of two main courses of action: matching Thrift Savings Plan contributions for all service members similar to those available to what civilian government employees receive under the Federal Employee Retirement System, and a reduction in the multiplier used to calculate retirement pay after 20 years.