Dailey to Congress: Benefits Must Not Erode

Dailey to Congress: Benefits Must Not Erode

Photo by: Army National Guard

Feb. 15, 2017

As Congress moves to increase Army end strength and reinvigorate the service’s hardware modernization programs, lawmakers also must maintain support for robust benefits for soldiers and their families, the service’s top enlisted member told Congress.

Recruiting and retaining quality soldiers requires sufficient funding for equipment, training and manpower, but it also requires a “consistent, predictable budget that supports benefits and services throughout the entire life cycle of a soldier—recruiting, retention, transition and veteran status,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey told the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee on Feb. 14.

“After visiting and talking with thousands of soldiers and families over the past year, I believe their quality of life is OK, but it’s not great,” Dailey said.

 “If we continue to be placed in positions where we must choose benefits or training, we will certainly lose out on quality talent down the road. Fiscal uncertainty will result in loss of confidence in our institution, and ultimately degrade our ability to retain and recruit.”

Maintaining a strong military is a requirement for the nation, “but it is a choice by individuals,” Dailey said. “We must ensure our actions and decisions reinforce the idea that we are behind our professional all-volunteer force.”