Considering the commonly held American view that military personnel are heroes, it seems wrong that the highest paid Pentagon employees wouldn't be on the frontlines or even making military decisions, but coaching football. However, outside of maybe one or two high ranking officials, these football coaches are the highest profile employees due to the popularity of college football. Putting together winning programs at military academies is no easy task, but Ken Niumatalolo has managed to build the Navy program into a winner, and has raised the academy's profile across the country. While soldiers deserve a higher salary and better benefits, publicity is rarely free, and the football coaches at the academies have the highest profile of all employees.
Football players at military colleges are less likely to learn valuable skills that'll promote U.S. security and democracy from their coaches. Skills like diplomacy, critical thinking and decision making, and effective communication are what professors teach. So, professors in traditional academic fields should receive the Pentagon's highest salaries, not coaches.
Words cannot describe how wrong this is. How the Pentagon can justify paying a football coach (Navy's Ken Niumatalolo) 46 times as much as the highest-paid active-duty soldier can make is beyond me. Active-duty soldiers, who risk their lives, get paid anywhere from $18,378 to $35,578, according to GoArmy.com. Meanwhile, Niumatalolo made $1.638 million this past year for coaching football. That's 89 times as much as the lowest-ranking active-duty soldier makes. This is embarrassing and sad.
There is not group of people that stand to lose more at a moment's notice then the men and women who service in the armed forces. There job, in the simplest form, is to stand between the rest of us and the people with bigger guns, bombs and hostile intent. Football coaches do not. The salaries of major college football coaches is an insult to soldiers, teachers and players.