Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret.
Association of the U.S. Army
AUSA, with your help, has fought since the beginning of sequestration to end the arbitrary, cookie-cutter approach to deficit reduction.
Now, along with you, we will fight with equal vigor to undo the provision of the new law that creates an enormous penalty for current and future military retirees who protect and defend this nation.
We will work with the many members of Congress who agree with us to eliminate the working-age COLA reduction before its implementation in 2015.
There is an old saying that there is no gain without pain.
That saying certainly applies to the budget deal which was passed by the Senate Dec. 13.
With the passage of the budget deal, we have made inroads into the nightmare that is sequestration.
We have restored budget certainty for the Army for the next two years and allowed for appropriations legislation that will provide much more financial flexibility within Army accounts.
The Army will gain some significant budgetary advantage and certainty from the legislation but at a significant cost – the 1 percent COLA reduction for working-age military retirees.
AUSA opposes that reduction and will work beginning now to get that provision of the budget deal repealed.
The administration and Congress have always vowed that any changes to the military compensation and benefits package would be grandfathered for the current force.
The budget deal breaks that vow and targets a group within a group, creating some retirees who are paying the price for the deal and others who are not – to say nothing of currently serving soldiers who, when they retire will be penalized as well.
This change in the retirement system is a breach of faith and a devastating financial blow to an earned deferred compensation component.
Those currently serving will look at how current retirees are treated and, as the economy improves, will vote with their feet and retention of battle-tested soldiers will diminish and national security will suffer.
Please go to our website, www.ausa.org, click on the "Contact Congress" link, enter your zip code, and send the AUSA-suggested letter titled Repeal the Military Retiree COLA Cut.