"The popular belief that there is a huge disparity between what U.S. private security contractors and military personnel are paid has been exposed as a myth yet again."
Yes! Even though "[a]n active-duty sergeant (or E-6 in military terminology) has an annual base pay of $33,976" and "a similarly qualified military contractor, whose average base pay is $165,000" may not appear to fair to the underpaid sergeant, it's easy enough to distort this 4.8-fold disparity into a 4.8-fold myth!
I mean, once you start inflating what the sergeant's "paid" with other goodies like
"allowances for housing and subsistence...Adding special duty pay, a re-enlistment bonus aggregated over four years, and other allowances, minus federal taxes, the total net cash compensation comes to $63,340 a year"
But that's not all! Then add "healthcare, installation-based benefits, subsistence in kind, family housing and barracks, education and other benefits," and "retirement pay accrual, compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs, pension, healthcare and related health benefits" to (un)even things out.
Now subtract more than $69k for the "high tax bracket" contractor. Now subtract all the same amounts you added for the sergeant regarding housing, healthcare, retirement and "other benefits."
And what do we get? Well boo-hoo for the lowly contactor, who walks away crying with "a net cash compensation equivalent of a paltry $38,306" Ouch!
And what of our active duty soldier? Well it turns out his compensation "can be up to $126,734."
WOW! If only our servicemen knew that $33,976 was actually $126,734 if you're in the military, but $165,000 is only $38,306 if you're a contractor! Then mercenary firms wouldn't have to recruit from reputable nations like "Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador," who have long histories of outstanding militaries.
Unfortunately, these Latin Americans are "willing to work for $2,500 to $5,000 a month, compared with perhaps $10,000 or more for Americans." Someone should tell them their 5k a month is really only like $1.13 a year if you do that math right.