Army Secretary Highlights Three Priorities
People, values and alliances were the top priorities listed by Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper at a 2019 budget hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Taking care of soldiers, civilians and families topped his list. Recommitment to Army Values and the Warrior Ethos was second. Strengthening relationships with allies and partners came third, according to his April 12 statement.
The Army is asking for $182.1 billion for fiscal year 2019, an 8 percent increase over 2018.
Bigger budgets have helped, said Esper and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley. “We have stopped the bleeding of the Army and are on the mend,” Milley said. “We have a better Army today than we did just a short time ago.”
Milley said the Army needs consistent and predictable funding to continue to improve. “You are not going to dig out of a 10-year trough in two years,” he said.
In a joint statement, Milley and Esper said, “The Army is committed to taking care of our soldiers, civilians, and their families by maintaining opportunities for promotions and schooling, providing attractive career options, and continuing quality of life programs.”
“We ensure the well-being of our people through world-class medical services, quality facilities to live and work, and child care and youth services. New civilian hiring initiatives for spouses promise to accelerate work opportunities on Army installations, while other reforms may allow them to sustain careers by reducing the frequency of moves. The cumulative effect of these programs is to increase retention through increased satisfaction with Army life,” they said.