Decreased Military Readiness
At an annual global security forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said if sequestration-related cuts are here to stay, then decreased military readiness may be the norm. Instead of hoping for sequestration to end, the military should figure out how to work within the budget constraints they’re dealing with now, including for maintenance and training. Planning under these constraints now would mean being prepared for a crisis, instead of dealing with a crisis when it happens. Unfortunately, part of this may mean only those forces who are “next on deck” for missions will be trained, instead of the full force.
That’s the date the second round of sequester cuts will kick in unless Congress approves a new budget. The military’s portion would be a more than $50 billion cut.
Military Families Feel the Budget Strain
Servicemembers and their families are increasingly feeling the negative effects of sequester cuts according to a September First Command Financial Behaviors Index®. When survey respondents were asked to identify ways that sequestration is impacting their households, “a reduction in personal expense benefits (housing, clothing, food)” was selected by 29 percent, and “less likely to be promoted” was picked by 28 percent. Faced by these fiscal stresses and uncertainties, military families are increasingly worried about their professional and financial futures.
2014 bonuses for federal employees are on…but will be reduced proportionately based on sequestration cuts. Employee awards will be capped at FY12 levels, but as of now, they will not be canceled.
Sources: federalnewsradio.com, militarytimes.com, First Command Financial Behaviors Index®