I propose the following "TIR Pay Table" to simplify the system and better reward performance, not longevity. The upper and lower limits are set to the minimum and maximum values on the proposed 1 July 2000 values. There are 30 equally spaced increments in pay. Each year, any cost-of-living allowance would be determined and applied to the upper and lower limits, and the intermediate pay steps automatically would be calculated.
Each newly advanced sailor would be compensated at the "initial base pay" rate regardless of the number of years of TIS that he or she has completed. Then, each year, for the number of years shown, the base pay would increase until the person had served more years in grade than shown on the table. As an example, a person promoted to E-6 would receive $2,017 and would receive longevity raises for the next three years, until he or she received $2,315. At this point, the sailor would only get cost-of-living allowance raises and would need advancement to reach the next pay scale. Those who advance in rate before receiving the next yearly increase would skip to the initial base pay of the next pay grade, jumping a year ahead.
Another evaluation of the new TIR system would be to determine the "break-even" advancement points for pay raises. Using nominal TIR/TIS flow points for three typical sailors, a newly advanced second class petty officer with four years of TIS would be compensated at $1,634 under the President's system, and $1,621 under mine. Similarly, a first class petty officer with 12 years of TIS and one year of TIR would go from $2,111 to $2,117, and a senior chief petty officer with 20 years of service and one year in rate would receive $3,014 under the administration's proposal and $3,009 with my plan.
My proposal offers several reforms. First, it rewards TIR, not TIS, consistent with seniority. Second, there are only 30 equally graduated steps versus 65 different levels of pay, making it easier to administer. Third, there are limited increases for those who remain in pay grade for longer periods of time. Fourth, in no case would a junior sailor be compensated at a higher rate than his or her boss.
The object of pay table reform is to reward performance, skill, and experience. I believe that career performance and progression are positively correlated—that the Navy advances sailors with superior evaluations at vastly faster rates than those whose performance is only average. The TIR pay system better compensates those who better serve our Navy.
Master Chief Haggard is the Quality Control Advisor to the Nuclear Enlisted Community Manager.