What does the military drawdown “sequestration” mean for your servicemembers,servicemember family members and our future?
The internal attack on our military comes at the worst time ever. Correct, the US down sized its military after WWII and even the Vietnam War and Cold war but to downsize it during the current war on terror, which is still currently under way for those that forgot that every day warriors are kicking butt in Afghanistan. Although, America has drawn down its forces in the past “after” a war, even then it quickly regretted it. Some may argue that we have to cut spending to balance the national budget. I would agree however does it make any sense to aim half of the proposed federal cuts onto the military when the military represents one fifth of our federal spending? (Note: many cuts are being justified to support other federal efforts i.e. Obama care instead of balancing the national budget)
What does this mean for servicemembers?
It hasn’t been defined 100% yet but it is bad. On one hand it means your Marines, Sailors etc will be in America for a long time, the down part of that means that they wont be were terrorists are or other national securities. Yes, they will be in America, not sure though if they will still be in the military:
-Marines: furloughs 20,000 in Feb (completed) , more to come in March
-Army: 78% of combat Brigades will not do any training (go dormant) due to sequester.
-Marines and Army units in Afghanistan will be extended past their predetermined return date in lieu of any replacements coming to relieve them
-Navy: The Secretary of Defense has delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and the USS Gettysburg (CG-64) and more to come.
AirForce: We won’t progress, simply go into idle as other countries grow.
Military civilian workers: the furlough of 180,000 civilians would mean more than 31.5 million man-hours of productivity and specialized expertise lost this year
After the sequestion takes place below are some facts about your military: (source Panetta) The US military will be…..
The smallest ground force since before World War II
-The smallest Navy since before World War I
-The smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force
-The smallest civilian workforce in the history of the Defense Department
Undermine our ability to meet our national security objectives
-Generate significant operational risks and delay response time to crises, conflicts, and disasters
-Severely limit our ability to be forward deployed
-Severely reduce force training and threaten overall operational readiness
America will see the smallest military reduction in its history. The last time that the US made such significant reductions was in 2000 only to react to a knne jerk requirement for servicemmebers and equipment as 9-11 occurred in 2001.
Whats this mean for the servicemembers families?
According to the law, on January 2, 2013, the President must issue an order cutting government spending by the sequestered amount. This would mean almost $55 billion from the Department of Defense (DoD) alone.
What we know could happen under sequestration:
- DoD funds that are not committed to contracts by January 2, 2012 would be subject to sequestration.
- Funding for war operations in Afghanistan would also be subject to cuts.
- The President may exclude military personnel accounts, which includes about one-third of the defence budget, from sequestration. This would mean for the first time in 12 years the military pay would be reduced from an already conservative salary to pennies.
- Up to 300,000 servicemebers out of the military by the end of 2013. (can you imagine what 300,000 military personal looking for a job is going to do to the unemployment market?)
What can you do?
- Contact your Member of Congress and alert them about the possible catastrophic consequences of sequestration on military families. Ask them what they are doing to avert sequestration. Let them know sequestration could result in a greater downsizing of our forces. Many service members could be forced to transition out of the service at a time when our economy is experiencing unemployment levels near the highest in recent memory. Is this how we thank those families who have put their lives on hold for the past 10 years? Programs supporting military families and survivors could be drastically cut, adding to the burden of those who remain in service and who have spent decades sacrificing their personal interests in service to their country.
- Contact your Member of Congress!
Time for a C-Gar