"Citizen soldiers" in the National Guard and ready Reserve are critical to our security.
As recruiting incentives, the Pentagon provides double pay for days the citizen soldiers spend training (one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer).
A day's work nets two days' pay.
But if the troops are activated - perhaps for combat duty - they are paid at the regular rate. A day under fire gains them a single day's pay. They receive some supplements, such as combat pay, but still take home less than if they were training.
The Pentagon has painted itself into something of a corner on the compensation issue. Pay cuts for training are not realistic. But neither is paying a man or woman more for learning to fire a rifle than for using it in combat.
Obviously, at least for Guard and Reserve members sent into battle, the system should be changed.