While the defense department has worked to spare military families much of the brunt of the sequestration cuts of 2013, that may not be possible going into the 2014 fiscal year. Budget uncertainty and politics-as-usual may mean that military families will have to do more with less.
On July 23, the House approved an amendment to the appropriations bill that would prohibit the furlough of civilian DoD employees in FY2014. The bill would force cuts to be made “from other areas within the department’s budget,” according to Georgia representative John Barrow (GA-12), who sponsored the bill.
The problem is that “other areas” include programs that active duty members and their families depend on, in addition to operating budgets that pay for things like fuel for ships and planes and food in chow halls. This could also be very bad for civilian DoD employees, as it could mean that they simply lose their jobs altogether, instead of just losing a few days of work.
On August 6, the DoD announced that it was able to reduce the number of days civilian workers would be furloughed from 11 to 6, meaning that furloughed employees would be back to work full time by the end of August.
Furloughs are over, effective immediately, for DoD Education Activity personnel, allowing teachers and support personnel to begin the school year without having to worry about it. However, looking forward to the 2014 fiscal year, there is more uncertainty.
This has been one of the most volatile and uncertain budget cycles the Department of Defense has ever experienced, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in his announcement on reducing civilian furloughs. “As we look ahead to fiscal year 2014, less than two months away, the Department of Defense still faces major fiscal challenges.”
There is another round of cuts that will automatically be made in the coming year if something isn’t done to stop them, to the tune of $52 billion. According to Hagel, “it would create “an extremely severe package of military personnel actions including halting all accessions, ending all permanent change-of-station moves, stopping discretionary bonuses and freezing all promotions.”
Here’s what that means:
- Military members wouldn’t be promoted, and those recently promoted may not get paid for their new rank, as there is often a waiting period between assuming rank and being paid for it.
- Military families wouldn’t be moving to new duty stations, or those who are leaving the military would be responsible for moving themselves back to their home area.
- Certain bonuses would be gone.
- A significant reduction in recruiting efforts.
- A new round of personnel cuts.
- There is talk of permanently closing stateside commissaries, the DoD’s answer to grocery stores, which saves shoppers about 30 percent on average over civilian stores.
- Housing allowances are on the table as well, however Congress has to approve any reduction by law.
“If Congress does not approve these proposals, even more cuts in combat power, readiness and modernization would be needed,” Hagel said in his letter.
The Strategic Choices and Management Review that was undertaken by the DoD to look at the effects of sequestration showed a number of flaws in the automatic cuts. The SCMR also showed that, if allowed to continue, the effect on national security, civilian employees, military members and their families would be devastating.
“Its findings are sobering,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told Congress on August 1. “The things we have to do under sequestration are not strategic — they’re dumb.”
The SCMR did find President Obama’s proposed budget would allow the implementation of the main points of the defense strategic guidance, Carter said. However, if sequestration continues, he said, the DoD would be forced to make more “significant” changes.
Force reductions would be necessary under the president’s budget scenario, Carter said, but they would be done in such a way that would have a minimal impact on force readiness.
Automatic cuts pose a significant threat to national security and are damaging to the country’s image around the world, Carter said.
“Friends and potential enemies around the world are watching our behavior,” he said, “We’re accepting unnecessary risk. It’s embarrassing and unsafe to be in the situation we are in.”
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
Being retired, the only decent benefit is the commissary. 30% of the 500 to 600 I spend monthly at the commissary comes close to 2000 a year. I do not see a raise in the future.
Shades of Carter , here we go again. When my husband retired,men who had retired before him in the same rank were getting higher retired pay because the retirees were given raises while active duty military were not. They get away with this and our "medical" benifits are next.
As a disabled Marine veteran, whose son is currently serving in the Marine corps, this is a national disgrace. The primary reason for our military, according to the US Constitution, (provide for the common defense). I ask my self why not cut the pay and benefits of all federal employees and elected officials. Any one who has served in the military and the families that supported them know the hardships they endure and understand how difficult it is to serve this Country.
I need not comment on the current state of our Nation; unemployment, health care, IRS, Bengasi, Congress, a president that out and out lies to the people.The salvation may come if we vote out the officials that have created this mess.
Wow, they have no respect for our military and they obviously are ungrateful IDIOTS. MAYBE. If they would cut foreign spending and MAYBE pay congressmen less we wouldn't have an issue!!??! This is rediculous to do to the Americans THAG service and suffer the most.
http://www.youtube.com/v/8D-OL-KQOt4 - As you are watching this video, consider what these military men do 24/7 under horrendous living conditions. While considering the job they have chosen to do, think about the job Barrack Hussein Obama was elected to do. Think about Obama's living conditions compared to those of the soldier. Think of the difference in the wages paid to each and the extra perks Obama gets that the soldiers do not get. Think of the recently signed budget legislation that cuts military benefits. Seriously consider which earns the money they are paid--who did their job and who failed. Obama screwed up at least 9 times in 2013: diplomatic gaff Iranian nuclear program, threat to invade Syria, $1 billion on Obamacare website, Obamacare failure, lie of the year (if you want to keep your healthcare you can), failure to uphold 4th Amendment (the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, effects), etc. Obama has not been checked on these incompetentcies and is on a second $4 million (maybe $400 million) dollar vacation in Hawaii with family and friends while the soldier barely had time to eat on Christmas day, much less spend time with his family and friends even if the soldier was lucky enough to get a couple of days leave. Please ponder the attitude Obama has for the military. It is not one of respect and Obama certainly has no understanding of military regulations. Remember the marine who was directed to hold an umbrella to protect Obama and a visiting dignitary from the rain, and other incidents of military ignorance. Think of the over 100 impeachable offenses committed by Obama, at least one an act of treason. Keep in mind all of Obama's unconstitutional acts and ask yourself, "have I exerted my independence and supported the United States Constitution against an unqualified, charlatan dictator/traitor. If you have not let your Senators and Representatives hear your voice, and would like to protect your God given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, do it today, do it tomorrow, and do it forever. Write to those who were elected to represent you in Congress and demand they perform their Constitutional duty to impeach, convict, and remove Obama from office. It is imperative that the Senators forget about party loyalty and focus on all the impeachable acts. If they are true representatives of the people and honor their oath to protect, defend, and support the United States Constitution, they will vote to convict. If they fail to do so, "We the People" must remove them from office at the ballot box for they too have committed impeachable and treasonous acts.
Our military deserves better than what they have been given in the 2014 budget. Our elected officials should be ashamed that they would cut the military benefits but not a dime was cut from the Congressional budget or the President's perks.
It is interesting, every time congress needs to find money they always come to the military for their cuts in the budget, why don't they not take their automatic raises(that usually rounds out to almost 4,000 dollars) and if you do that times the members of congress/senate and including the president. This could help to toward the budget, but nooo they always go to the military for the cuts. I think that the senate and congress should all be voted out of office and then they can go stand in the unemployment line and the president should be impeach and actually removed from office so he can not longer do any more damage to this great country.
How bout we stop paying Congressman and see if we get work done, they sit up there and bash one another while not working for the people who put them in office. Why after one term do they get a retirement, take that away from Congress also cut thier personnel. Some congressman have 10-15 personnel working for them, REALLY this is not right. Lets Sequester Congress and see what type of backlash we will get. The military is important and makes us the Country we are. If you keep cutting them they will not be around very much longer.
Having spent 30 years in the Army I can tell you that I have been through many budget cut, force reductions, and cuts in benefits. They can really hurt. Look we all know it, our government is out of control. President Obama and his dysfunctional Congress is killing this country. I hope to live long enough to see them call for the military option and no one is there to answer the phone. Wake the hell up, this is all part of a plan of redistribution of wealth to a point where we all the same. Let''s see how long a socialist country can survive in the world. Oh, wait, we have already seen that. I never thought that I would say this, but I would never allow my son or daughter to join the military.
wow i cant belive it my husband spend 8 months defending these country and now they want to take most of our help away they should be ashamed to even think about these unbelievable
Really??? Take money away from our Military?!?!? How could you? Take money from the people to who protect us!! Screw that. How about take cuts from Congress or people in the senate who make more than they should anyway??? I bet if it were them with pay cuts their butts would be on top of getting this together. Being a military spouse the military barely makes enough money to get by for what they do in the first place. They should be ashamed of this and do the right thing. There are other ways to get around taking money from the military.
My God the military puts there life on the line for us with on Questions asked and this is what you do! I really don't understand this should not happen Get you head out of you ass and do what need to be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????
I really dont understand why teachers in the dodea system get every one year, two year or three years a paid trip home with the whole family, they get there houses paid, utilities
paid and get a bunch of money on top of that. some of them make over $140.000 a year plus get the flight , the house and even more. that is wrong. they should just get paid as a regular teacher, pay for their apartment and flights them selfs. That would safe a lot of money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It is crazy what those teachers get and it is not like the others that work at a school do a lot of work. some of them just show there face and get paid. I mean really??????????????Lets stop that and use that money for the Kids!!!!!!
This is just such a ridiculous blow to the morale of the military members and their families. How are they suppose to go off and defend our country when they are treated like this?
I cant wait for them to decide to cut military personnel of the BAH. I hope they have plenty of on post houses, as without the BAH there is no way that the average soldier can afford to support his family. Lets just give them one more thing to worry about while they are out there either dying ir watching thier friends die fighting a noncence war. Or "helping" people that dont want our help. Lets leave the Congresses pay alone tho. We wouldnt want them to have to not have access to 174,000.00 for the average joe in congress. 223,500.00 for the house speaker and the Presedent Pro Tempore gets 193,400.00. Plus free medical and God only knows what else they get. I am preetty sure that they dont have to pay for any of the trips they take. Nope that is on us too. while a Spec in the Army gets paid 24,972 a year....I think that the congress deserves to get paid for the work that they do, but I do NOT believe that a ojb sitting behind a desk making laws that go against the barest of human rights is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. that money should be reduced and spent on the military. and by military I am not talking about giving a 4 star general a raise I am talking about giving the average Joe a pay raise. And if that cant be done then use it to help fix our debt and for God' s sake STOP SENDING MONEY TO AFGHANISTAN!!! we need it here! that woud cure alot of our debt problem. stop sending money we obviously dont have to other countries and make our own suffer because we are trying to be everyones white knight and "save" them from themselves.
Instead of cutting most of the funding to the military and families. Why not cut the paychecks to the Politicians in Dc and stop paying for the Presidents vacations. Why pay for their lavish lives and make Americans suffer when in the end everybody knows those scums in DC, especially the President arent contributing anything for the well being of our country. While we loose funding and jobs, those pigs keep getting bonuses. Ill be damned as a soldier, i gotta eat of paper plates and eat a limited supply of food while they eat like kings on expensive plate-ware.They wanna cut funding, start in DC.
What do I think? I think that Congress is on crack! Come on really? You would rather cut Military Personnel, pay and such than to shave some off the top? I mean really? The very folks who defend you right to make such ignorant decisions? 26 year Navy Wife and I'm disgusted by it. The current Military Squadrons, ships, platoons etc have to rob Peter to pay Paul and it's only getting worse. The manpower is not there. The local base here couldn't afford to cut the grass. They were letting it grow to 12 inches before cutting it. Wow we look like a "GOT IT ALL TOGETHER" kind of Military Force huh? Other countries must be laughing at us. They have to pull service members from their jobs to fill positions that were left open because of the cut backs. Everyone is short handed and the stress is high! Don't even get me started on who the idiot was who thought 9 month deployments would be good for the Navy. The families are suffering and so the Military members suffer! I'm ashamed very ashamed of this. Ask any Mom of 4 living on a 2nd class Petty Officer's pay how to make ends meet. Let them show you how to budget and make it all happen without a kid ever even knowing there was a struggle! Washington needs help! Let the Military Spouses show you how it's done!
What do I think? I think obama needs to stop taking vacations on our dime, stop running this country into the ground & move out of the white house.
Misinformation much? This is the result of allowing a 2 party system run the imperial forces. Think for a second if we had even just one more party with significant representation in congress...this idea of 'bipartisan', 'across the isle', 'the other side', etc. would not exist and we wouldn't have a war of one party on the other simply 'because they're not us', while crying about being victims every chance the get in major media outlets (all the while no one calls them out on their lies).
We aren't in this because of spending. We're in this because of politicking gone awry and money'd interest moving the chess pieces around while the population looks on...wondering when they will get their turn since we haven't had one in 20 years.
Defenseless? Our budget and capabilities exceed the next 4 countries combined budget-wise and our capabilities exceed the next 20 countries combined. One aircraft carrier carries the power of small country and we have 7 of them.
Our defense more than fine.
Although I understand the need for some cutbacks, I have a 5 person family, when my husband retires in 2016 I sure hope that they will not expect us to pay out of pocket to move to the last home. The military moved us here to a vegas not a great place to raise a family but part of the job requirement. I want to move back to PA with my family when when my husband retires. Paying for a five person family, moving all our stuff back DIY move across country, two cars, driving one, shipping the other. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Then you want to reduce pay to do that move? What about those who were moved overseas with family in tote. You want them to pay a DIY move from Italy? Germany?
There is a lot to consider when you reduce family housing cost , travel pay ect.
We should not reduce military personnel or cut cost in fuel, but some programs like Shopping at the commissary are nice but there are stores outside in the area. Some of the extra bonuses taken away are a big deal for a short term. PCS moves should be minimal I agree with that.
Sadly, most of this is going to happen. The two things that are not going to occur are 1) those recently promoted may not get paid for their new rank...and 2) military would be responsible for moving themselves back to their home area. Everything else has happened during military downsizing and will occur again.
First off, Boehner is not a member of the Tea Party, he's actually a target for the Tea Party because he does absolutely nothing. And Obamacare needs to go, obviously if the country can't budget what it already has, how in the world is it going to afford this monstrosity? The Tea Party is doing exactly what you are crying about, they're trying to vote out the incumbents and vote in new people to make REAL changes. The only real solution democrats ever put forth are more taxes, more spending, and bigger government, which is our problem now. You'll keep calling the Tea Party idiots, and keep voting in the same democrats who are just as much of a problem as Republicans. When the government needs cuts, the FIRST place they need to look is at the political elite. Retirees will pay more in health care while "retired" politicians receive the best health care available, and they will also be exempt from the rules of Obamacare, the system that you and your democrats promised would be so wonderful.
This is disgusting and so very upsetting. Keep lowering the morale of our troops by continuing to cut everything and see where that leads us. As a veteran myself, coming from a military family and having a son that is active duty this makes me want to cry. Its real easy to budget if you stop spending $500 per box of paperclips.
I hate to tell you, but family members who have been around the military only since 9-11 have had it pretty good service-wise, as they should. But, once we are to the point where all that is left is cut, cut, cut, they are finally going to feel it (if they haven't already).
This is not the way to go. Our military are the people who fight for us. Right now they are fighting battles that are not any of our business. Hussien is dead, Bin Laden is dead. Why are we still over there losing sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, etc. But to continue on is beyond ridiculous. But if these wars are going to continue why do we not take away some of the benefits for those who don't do anything but sit on their backsides and argue about laws that aren't as important as keeping our nation safe. What is wrong with people that they fight over marriges that are against the law of God as we are an "Nation Under God" aren't we. We need to focus... FOCUS PEOPLE FOCUS!!!! We are being fed nonsense to keep us diverted from the real issues at hand. So Executive Orders can be signed before we have a chance to truly debate them. Or even complain. What are we thinking??? Most of us aren't. And those of us who are have to way of making changes that actually help our country and not help it sink into a spiraling hole to no return. I feel this will fall on deaf ears actually but thought I would through this out there anyway... Our Country is dying and it seems there is no hope or resolution...
I would agree that John Boehner and the "Status Quo" Republicans aren't attempting to solve problems. They should be working making legislation to reverse the damage that democrats have done to the Constitution over the past Century instead of just trying to prevent further "progression". Yes to vote out incumbents! We need more true conservatives!
wait so you are saying that the dems idea to cut workers to make more room for unemployment is a good idea? maybe it is me but that is the most backwards thinking around. before you cut workers(whom you will pay unemployment for) how about reduce entitlements first.
cut congresses pay check and see if they'll do more with less.... bet they wont like it... pay them by the hours they work and not a salarie... bet they'd get more done.
there are two solutions I'm sure would work. dont let the miilitary suffer. as an AD member i can say where I'm stationed the cost of living is very high and if BAH and BAS get cut down it will be very hard to make it.
Why not cut congress members pay? They make more money than military families. Way more. This is getting absolutely ridiculous.
Obama has continued to push for the weakening of the bill of rights which is considered part of the constitution. Same with the other 17 amendments. 3rd party searches should require a warrant under reasonable search and seizures including libraries. There is an expectation of separation of information from agencies with libraries that existed prior to 9/11 that should exist now especially for people who do controversial research for scholarly purposes. He has pushed for more power to executive office weakening the main body of the constitution. Which was intended to limit government especially the executive office. The whole that's not how it has been used argument does not fly because of the abuses of government searches during the commie scare in the 1920s-1940s.
Military families should not be the ones jeopardized by these cuts. We know there are better ways to do this.
Interesting that all you read/hear about from our DC folks is "Cost Cutting"! I really wonder how much we would hear (or perhaps NOT Hear) from our "Elected Officials" should THEIR salaries be cut? No, I don't want to even guess what we pay for our folks up there that are supposed to be running our Government. YES! I know all this is available from the WEB, but I'm really affrid that knowing such would just be too much for me! However... If you folks look this up, perhaps YOU GUYS and GALS might make more of a dent into the crystal palace of these Politicats. Why are "WE The People" always the ones that continue to be on the short end of the financial stick? I wonder what the going rate is for getting anythng through our Governmental Maze? Are we really getting our mony's worth from thiese folks? I wonder what it would figure out if it were broken down to what it ACTUALLY COST'S US to have these voices represent us? I know that the cost of legislation is expensive, after all it takes a long time and effort to Read and Listen to We The People! However, as I stated, I wonder how much it REALLY COSTS to have the elected privlidge to investigate each "ITEMS" of Government? How much does a "Bill" reall costs us, the average Tax Payer to have ANYTHING just o be brought up for vote? I would love to see the actual cost of Government that is FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY??? THE PEOPLE?
Each of us usually get an ESTIMATE on what we want built, maintained or even TORN DOWN. How about OUR GOVERNMENT providing WE THE PEOPL the actual COST of passing OR even NOT PASSING a BILL OR OTHER legislation? NO! I'M SURE THAT THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN! However.. should it be, just think "We The People would REALLY/ACTUALLY find out HOW MUCH IT "REALLY COSTS" to run our Government!!! What do you BET that we NEVER hear or read such a figure!! After all what would these men and women do if they were actually paid for WHAT THEY "ACTUALLY DO"!!! (Comments?)
No. However, the only good thing to come from sequestration is thaT, finally the obscene war (yeah, we stopped playing defense a long time ago) department budget is finally reduced a bit.
This wreaks of the libertarian infiltration of the GOP...shut the government down and let the chips fall where they may.
So...let me get this straight...they're going to keep paying for operations and cut the funding to the people who volunteered to make the operations happen?
Anyone else find this disturbing? Keep buying and paying for weapons, tools, fuel, ammo, etc. but then cut benefits that were earned by the service members.
I weep for the future.
“The things we have to do under sequestration are not strategic — they’re dumb.”
The question is, is this the only way to reign in spending? Is reigning in military spending at all a dumb idea, or is it possible that maybe we should find areas that are smarter. No department ever wants to see their funds cut, and when it comes to military you can easily say you are putting us in danger or neglecting soldiers (both of which are horrible) but isn't there some way to lower spending here? Nothing ever contracts with ease, especially government agencies, but sometimes it does need to happen when we don't have money.
@Rickster432 The military is by definition...socialist. I love this. Serve a few years...get a pay raise...serve a few years...get a pay raise. Do you differentiate the military from any other social program in the US?
@nana Hey Nanananan! Wake up! The money is gone.......America is broke and the "good ole days" are gone forever! I spent forty years in the military....I got mine when the "getting" was good! Don't have any babies.........the future looks bleak! SSG Morton (RET).............Sorry for everybody in 2014!
Most of this doesn't come from cut spending, it comes from the war-on-an-ideal, which will go on indefinitely, can never be won, and requires ever reaching bases and random operations with no rhyme or reason. This road we're on, we started travelling on it a long time ago...
You can't simplify this further? I'm not following you and your reasons are too complicated for me to understand...
Tiffany, I wouldn't count on anything "not going to occur" at this point. While those things have never happened before, neither has the current situation we are in. And since no one is cutting the salaries of Congress or cutting back on the President's vacations, I wouldn't bet money that those things won't happen too. Thanks for your comment :)
I am a military wife station in Texas and as it is we can barely stay afloat. My husband is an E6 and is up for his E7 promotion in February and he has 19 years of service. We don't qualify for government aid such as food stamps or WIC even though we have 3 children. Cuts need to be made to the budget, but taking it away from those who give their lives in times of war is not the way to do it. If we lose our BAH and/or BAS, we will literally drown in debt. I can't afford to work because we don't make enough to pay for childcare. Even if I could find employment, it would be nothing more than minimum wage which won't allow me to afford childcare and after school care for my older children. I'm not affiliated with any political party and I'm trying not to point fingers, but I bet if you took Congress out of the picture and put in a group of enlisted military wives, you would have a workable budget in less than a week that doesn't cut from the military or education!
exactly cut Congress pay, and the DOD teachers, who get more benefits then the military families they serve, its just not right, if you look at the military most of them E4 and below are living below poverty level and could qualify for foodstamps, its insane! They need to rework their own pay scale
Joseph, I think that the point that was being made with that statement is that there absolutely is a smarter way to do it. Passing a budget and making cuts strategically will accomplish that goal, but without those things happening, we will feel the full force of sequestration beginning Oct. 1. We've only had to endure it for a short period of time this year.
We'd be just as safe if we cut that $58billion directly from operations. Closing down a couple of bases would do that easily. And by a couple, I mean, 3 or 4. They're not cheap.
I am absolutely against cutting anything for our military, but I am trying to figure out where you get that a DOD employee receives better benefits than active duty. My husband served in the Army for 10 yrs and is now a DOD employee (not a teacher) and as a GS-11, we are struggling compared to his E-6 pay. There is a HUGE difference, especially with sequestration.
Jeremy, I believe another round of base closures is coming, but it isn't as easy as simply closing a base. Those service members need to be absorbed into other commands and it has to be done in such a way that readiness isn't affected. I can think of a few bases that I've been to that should probably be closed, but we'll see what makes it to the chopping block after the next BRAC committee meets.