Photo by Patrick Gordon

MANAMA, Bahrain — Servicemembers must choose soon whether to keep their retirement plans or enroll in a new plan that more closely resembles those available in the private sector.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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DoD photo

The military has a retention problem, and Pentagon and branch officials are scrambling to come up with incentives to keep service members from separating or retiring. In order to try and stave off retirement among the most experienced senior enlisted service members, the Defense Department is looking at retirement benefits as incentives for recruitment and retention. It now wants to remove eligibility limits on the dollar-for-dollar contributions for made to enlisted troops’ 401(k) accounts under the new “blended retirement system.”

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez

The military pension system is one of the building blocks that make up military culture. So many other things revolve around it. Being a career service member is defined by one’s willingness to make it to 20 years of service, upon which point you can retire with a pension.

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