LCDR (Join to see) I do love this argument, especially because I have a job skill that pays extremely well on the civilian side. For me, it has never been about pay or benefits. I enjoy being a part of an organization that cares about each other. I've traveled many hours to meet up with a friend who I deployed with in 2009, or was stationed with in 2012. The community is a small one, but the friends you make are friends for life.
I think that would depend on the training and NEC or MOS you had over the years. My pay was not the greatest when I retired, about $18K base pay (1977). And that was what I was offered by my first private industry employer in high tech telecomm as an entry level. Three years later, it was $55K. Five years from the date of hire, I was promoted to Director of Training. But the highest paying job I had was in sales, nothing equivalent to that in the military. There was nothing like the career in the military to give the safety net and security to take risks in civilian life. Wouldn't trade one for the other during my working career.
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