Technically I think the prior military make around $17 an hour ($32,000-$36000/year) at the academy while CTI's make around $9 ($18,000) not including per diem. Thats if you even go to the academy right away. If you go terminal, you'll go straight to your facility and possibly go to OKC later for Radar school if the facility you're at is an up/down. Not all facilities are bad. Mine is great and I love it. But yes the pay sucks universally.
Just before I left OKC (Nov '06), there was much talk about the FAA not grandfathering in the military pay for those guys, and starting everyone at the same exact wage.
Now, with per-diem in effect, being off the street will be a cake walk. I went through without it, and the only way we (my wife and I) stayed above water was having her work a sheeut job out there while I attended class.
If you get the military pay instead of the GS-1 Step 1 screw job, PLUS per diem? Shit, you'll be living like a king in OKC... but you're still gonna take a pay cut when you get to your facility thanks to losing that $79 a day per diem.