In recent days both Secretary of Defense Hagel and Army Chief of Staff GEN Ray Odierno have outlined in great detail the devastating effects of sequestration on our nation’s defense forces and the Army, in particular. I have sent a letter to key members of Congress urging them to put the nation’s fiscal process back in order so that our Army and its fellow services can maintain readiness and their ability to defend the nation.
Given the evidence of the past several months, politicians will continue to talk while our national defense falls apart. The automatic, mindless cuts imposed by sequestration put the nation’s defense posture at serious risk. The Army, about which I know the most, will become hollow with furloughed civilians, tiered levels of unit readiness, backlogged pilot training, flying hour cuts, falling crew certification, deferred battle loss replacement and facilities maintenance and cancelled schooling and unit Soldier training that will lower professional leader development and unit readiness.
All of us understand that the Army must be smaller in an era of fiscal constraint, however, I cannot emphasize enough that sequestration with its rigid implementation and lack of responsible oversight does not allow the Army leadership the funding certainty or financial flexibility to responsibly structure, fund and maintain the Army of the future.
It strikes me that what has been created by sequestration is irresponsible, allowing all to say “not my problem” when in reality it is a problem we all must work together to solve. Join me by contacting your members of Congress and urging them to pass legislation that will end sequestration. Visit the Legislative Agenda page on AUSA’s website www.ausa.org. Click on the “Contact Congress” link and then on the prepared letter “Stop Sequestration Now” to let your representatives and senators know that it is time to act.