Muslims in the Military

On Saturday, the NYT published an excellent profile of Sgt. Cameron Murad, a native Iraqi who is now a recruiter for the US military.

The most salient point from the article for me comes here:

Of the thousands of interpreters working for the military in Iraq, most are civilians under contract, some of whom earn as much as $170,000 a year. But military commanders prefer uniformed linguists because they cannot refuse combat missions and are subjected to more thorough security checks.

They are offered a fraction of what many civilian linguists earn, with salaries starting at roughly $28,000, including allowances. The program’s perks, such as expedited citizenship, a starting bonus and medical coverage, are a major draw, military officials said.

$28,000 vs. $170,000. Anyone who makes the choice to leave that much money on the table to serve should never experience the abuse that Murad’s peers in the military heaped on him.

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