I'll admit that my first reaction to this story was outrage. Large employers around the country are laying off workers in droves and other large businesses are closing their doors. Now the Navy has gone out and spent 322 Million Dollars to house just under 1,900 petty officers. Is this the best way to spend our tax dollars?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, yes it is. The US armed forces are having an unbelievably hard time holding on to talented and experienced solders and sailors. There's no way that the wages can be matched by the private sector, so the only way they can try to keep them is with the extras. This housing complex is a good way to do just that.
It may seem that the ranks that are housed here are a little low. It would be understandable for officers to be here except by the time most military members become officers, they are already working on families. The lower enlisted ranks often do not last longer than their first billet. The senior enlisted (E-4 to E-6) are the ones that we need to keep. Most PO's are considering a military career but are still young enough to want to be single for a while.
Ask any senior officer and they will tell you that the senior enlisted personnel (CPO's) are the glue that holds the unit together. If you can't retain the junior NCO's, they will never become senior NCO's.
Yes, it does seem a bit excessive for a naval housing unit but I ask you, what will be the cost to this country without a well trained and experienced military?