E-10, E-11: Will Army Add NCO Pay Grades?

Washington Report

(July 18, 2017) Sgt. Major of the Army Daniel Dailey was just floating an idea among peers last month when he mentioned adding two pay grades for senior noncommissioned officers. He was speaking at a senior leadership conference at Fort Bliss, Texas.

But in an age of social media, the discussion quickly went beyond the room when one attendee posted the idea to a closed Facebook group, “which is precisely what we asked them not to do,” said Master Sgt. Tyrone Marshall, Dailey’s spokesman, in an interview with Army Times.

So the idea is out there, first published by Military.com and followed up this week by Army Times, which is asking its readers what they think of the idea.

There is no ongoing effort to make the change, Marshall pointed out.

“It was simply dialogue, and that was the appropriate venue to have that discussion because he was among the Army’s senior enlisted leaders,” Marshall said.

Dailey’s thinking goes like this: Once an NCO reaches E-9, pay raises stop. However, a sergeant major could serve at the battalion level, brigade level or division level for the same money. However, when officers move along that same path, they receive promotions and pay hikes.

So the NCO makes the same amount while looking after a few hundred soldiers or a few thousand.

Command sergeants major do earn extra money when working for generals, but that money is minimal and is not calculated as part of the soldier’s retirement.

Such a change would not be easy. Military.com says that if the Army approves the idea, it would need support from the other services, the defense secretary and Congress.

Command Sgt. Major John Raines, the command senior enlisted leader for the Mississippi National Guard, told Military.com, “There are a lot needs in the services. You prioritize those needs and I just see that it would be hard pressed to make it on top of the priority list.”