General Question

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Marrying for money while in the military?

Asked by DrasticDreamer (19303 points ) September 10th, 2010

What do you think about people who serve in the military that get married only for the extra money they receive?

To be clear, this question is not specifically about the “sanctity” of marriage in general – but more about how you, as a tax payer, feel about paying for a marriage that has nothing to do with love.

Because they serve our country, do you think that perhaps they deserve a little extra money, thus you don’t care? Or do you find it angering that this takes place, and that you are helping to pay for it? Thoughts?

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29 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Some people will milk the rules for any advantage they can get. Are they the people we want in the military? I doubt it. Do these people get attracted to the military? I wouldn’t be surprised. And I don’t think we should be surprised that this goes on, either.

Ben_Dover's avatar

They don’t deserve any extra money. They already get room, board, clothes and plenty of exercise. And, they get to kill people legally.
If they get married for the money, they wouldn’t be the first to do so.
I know plenty of babes who married for money and claimed that love sometimes must be sacrificed for security and a nice car and a big home.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@DrasticDreamer

Unless things have changed beyond all recognition since I was in, a soldier getting married for whatever “extra” money might be involved is indeed laughable.

BTW… in MY world, one gets married for a wide variety of reasons, one of the worst of which is money!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@CaptainHarley I know someone who did it, which is actually what prompted this question. We’re talking about $2,000 extra.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@DrasticDreamer

So $2,000 is the current going rate for getting married? Things are more desperate than even I thought! Heh!

That’s rather like the Income Tax deduction for a child… most parents spend three or four times that on their child.

JLeslie's avatar

Our military gets higher pay if they are married? That sounds absurd to me. Why?

@CaptainHarley are you saying military men don’t get certain tax deductions so this makes up for it?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

No, I’m saying that getting an extra $2,000 a month isn’t WORTH getting married for!

Ben_Dover's avatar

@JLeslie They get higher pay because it costs more to support a family.

Trillian's avatar

Oh for pete’s sake. The person in question was probably already living with someone. You just get a little bit extra for housing and food. No one will ever get rich while serving their country. At least not if their countr is the USA. Getting married for a little extra Housing allowance? Considering the job our active duty personell do, the fact that they can be called up to leave their homes and families at a moment’s notice, and have to have arrangements made ahead of time accordingly, and having lived on that pay myself for fifteen years, I can tell you that it is little enough.
Hell, my tax dollars can fund a project that charges five hundred dollars for a hammer, I guess a shipmate can take home a little extra.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ben_Dover I find that to be unAmerican. We are supposed to be paid based on the worth or our work.

I should probably mention my dad is a retired officer.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Their base pay does not increase because they get married. When a soldier gets married, he gets extra housing allowance because he has dependents. How much housing allowance he gets depends on his rank and which base they are stationed at.

A soldier with my husband’s rank and no dependents gets $1056.00 per month as a housing allowance here. Once they have dependents, that amount goes up to $1410.00 per month. If they live on post they don’t get any of that money, it goes straight to housing. We lived off post when we first got here and all of our BAH went towards our rent. Married soldiers aren’t permitted to live in the barracks under most situations unless they request to be a geographical bachelor (which means they are there alone and their spouse isn’t with them).

If the soldier deploys, they get family separation pay as well which is an additional $250 per month.

If you want to look at what people are getting, here is a BAH calculator. You would have to put in a zip code and the soldiers rank.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, housing allowance, hmmm, not sure what I think. Being married does not usually mean you have to buy a larger house. Kids maybe I can see the logic. I guess if you think of it like the wife has less of a chance to build a career, because she will be supporting her husband in his military career, maybe it makes sense for the military to pay out more. I would guess our government might prefer married soldiers. Might want to encourage it? I’ll wait to read more answers to decide what I think.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie It can be hard to get a job as a military spouse. A lot of employers don’t want to hire spouses because they know there’s a good possibility that they will be moved within a few years. I only worked for 6 months in Texas because we ended up being moved before we were suppose to. Those kind of things don’t really scream stability and long term employment on your resume. It took me several months to get a job here in Kansas and I am a nurse, it’s much harder for people that don’t have careers that are in demand.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

The person who did this was not living with the person they married, before leaving the country. I doubt this person is going to live with the person they married when they are back home, as they are also dating someone else.

Like I said above, this was strictly “business”.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@JLeslie Perhaps unAmerican in re America today. But then, America today is the NaZIs of the world. “We are supposed to be paid on the worth of our work!” hahaha… Is that why CEO’s of mega corporations are raking in incredibly high salaries while the economy is going to hell in a hand basket and thousands of hard working Americans are being made homeless?

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I basically said the same as you immediately above your post, possibly we were writing at the same time.

@Ben_Dover well, I guess more accurately we are paid by the rules of market forces, supply and demand, and competition. I can’t stand the crazy amounts CEO’s make either, many times i feel it lacks integrity, but they make that money because they can, they don’t make it because they are married. But, I guess in the government the pay lacks competition or market forces for the most part.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I saw your post first. I replied to verify that spouses can have a hard time getting a job and explain why.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@JLeslie The Capitalist System is just another form of slavery. Saying we are paid by market forces is simply disingenuous. We are paid enough to keep us coming back for more, and to keep us enslaved to the system.
CEOs are paid big buck as a reward for keeping the masses enslaved.

Blackberry's avatar

Of course it’s wrong to do it for business, but it happens, just like civilians marry for money. Some steps are taken to make sure this doesn’t happen, but it probably isn’t doing much. Some guys got busted on a ship in my basin for doing this, they brought women from a foreign country here lol.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Well, that would explain why this guy I knew got married all of a sudden before deploying. It really made no sense to me beforehand.. I mean, he and the wife were not in a relationship, actually, he was basically into polyamory. I tried to figure it out and the best I could come up with is maybe more leave time or better housing. It makes so much sense now.

I feel like it should bother me, but it doesn’t really. However, on the one hand, it makes me kind of angrily laugh because straight people basically get to do whatever the hell they want. I love all the Conservatives preaching about the sanctity of marriage and all of that bullshit, yet they don’t seem to have a problem with straight folks gaming the system or whatever.

Aside from that, I don’t feel like military pay is exorbitant to begin with, so figuring out a way to make a bit of cash while putting your life and limbs on the line in the Middle East, who could blame them?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Would what branch of the military someone is in, who did this, make a difference to anyone? What if it’s “just” the Coast Guard? Keep in mind I’m asking this question to get opinions – not to state my own opinion one way or another.

JLeslie's avatar

@MissAnthrope One time when I was discussing gay marriage with someone who was against it, his reason was, then gay people will abuse the system to become citzens and get health insurance. Can you believe that?! Of course I said back, “so only straight people should be allowed to “cheat” the system.” WTF?!

@all my final answer regarding the OP’s main question is, if it is there for the taking, I’m ok with it, ok with them getting married. Some people get married right before they deploy, because if something happens to them, the spouse will be able to receive whatever benefits a spouse gets when someone dies, and if the girlfriend is going to travel or move with them, better they are married, not only to get moved, but also health benefits, let alone this extra housing allowance. Possibly the allowance for marriage should be changed, but while it is there, I am ok with people using it.

@DrasticDreamer Reasonable question. My father received a housing allowance and he worked for the Public Health Service. He also did not have to change his state residence if he moved. Basically no one lives on a base if they are PHS. For instance the Surgeon General is an officer in the PHS (I think technically a 3 star Admiral or something like that) naval rank and uniform, except the insignia on the uniform is different. They receive full military benefits.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t support tax payer money going towards military perks, to begin with.

hobbitsubculture's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t support taxes going towards the military in general.

I’m much more comfortable seeing the average citizen cheat the system and get a little extra income to live off than I am with the whole imperialistic war machine.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I wasn’t going to say anything in general, but I agree with you two.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m curious, for those of you against a housing allowance at all, how do you suppose soldiers are suppose to move all over the country and the world so easily whenever the military tells them too? Renting on one person’s income can be hard, especially with that the military actually pays. Most areas around military installations have pretty high rentals because they know that the soldiers and their families need to live somewhere. Most military installations don’t have enough housing on them for the soldiers to live on the installation in military housing. When we moved here, we were told the wait list to get into military housing was 6 months to 2 years long. We had to rent off post for about 6 months before we were able to get into military housing. Soldiers and their families aren’t always given a lot of notice for when they will move either (the two times we’ve moved, we had about 2–3 weeks notice). That did not leave me much time to find a job in the new area before we got there or to look for places for us to live. When we got here, we had to live in a hotel for the first week and a half we were here. That was with us taking the first place we could find to rent in town.

I don’t think people should get married just for extra money and I don’t think people should take advantage of the system, but assisting soldiers with housing has never bothered me (even before I was involved with the military). The military base pay really isn’t that great unless you get really high up in rank. Most soldiers could make a lot more money in the civilian world doing their jobs than they do in the military.

Trillian's avatar

Being married does not constitute a house or apartment in itself, but it means that the person can not live in the BEQ or BOQ. Those quarters are not designed for dependents. He/she get comrats and BAH according to rank and area. You would get higher BAH at club Pendleton than Camp LeJeune, for instance. The extra money you get for having dependents does not in any way offset the expense of said dependent.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Seaofclouds I understand you can’t possibly rent all of those places on your own – no one should expect you to but since we have such a cozy relationship between private industry and the military, I’m thinking they can put up the money instead of draining the tax payers.

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