The Peter Principle is alive and well in both the private and public sector.
The private sector long ago started dealing with this including teaching employees, one way or another, not to consider a job to be employment for life.
The military should not be any different and compensation should not be in line with the private sector. Retirement certainly should not be so easy to attain. People in the military should be there because they want to be.
While the military is currently volunteer, before Bush started the wag the dog wars, many would join for perceived easy benefits, not thinking they might actually go to war. I think that is the wrong motivation.
If there were actually a credible threat to the US, I don't think there would be a shortage of volunteers for the duration of that threat. Get in, and get out. If not, bring back the draft.
Really, what makes being in the military any more special than being a policeman, fireman, or teacher? All put their lives on the line. And where do we stop? TSA? Dog Catcher? Anyone below the poverty level?
We hear talk of balanced budgets, cutbacks, and outsourcing. It should apply across the board. Those who want to deny me affordable healthcare should have their own removed first. Those who want to cut my retirement pension and healthcare need to have their own eliminated first.