What Happens if the Military Runs for the Exits?

By Faye Higbee

If our volunteer military continues to be stymied by budget cuts, will the Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors  run for the exits? It’s a question posed by 4 Service Chiefs at a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday.

A word of warning from the top brass

Marine Commandant General Robert Neller, Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, Chief of Naval Operations Adm John Richardson, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen David Goldfein testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept 15. They warned that continued sequestration – budget cuts- will cause service members to leave the military, leaving America in a serious situation.

“Our pilots join the Navy to fly naval aircraft; that’s what they want to do. Money can help up to a point … but at the heart of the matter, there is a highly dedicated team that wants to defend the nation in high-performance aircraft, and that’s what they want to do: They want to fly.”Adm. John Richardson

The issue, as we have previously reported, is taking parts from older aircraft or attempting to refurbish aircraft that have been relegated to the “boneyard” is taking a toll on the morale of their pilots. Plus, the flight hours have been cut severely in those branches, which causes mistakes to be made…and deaths are the result.

Not to mention that commercial airline companies pick up our military pilots. If they can’t fly, they leave.

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Thirty ships not added to the Navy’s fleet, the Army to lose between 60,000- 100,000 troops…the list goes on.

“Pilots who don’t fly, maintainers who don’t maintain, controllers who don’t control, will walk. And there’s not enough money in the treasury to keep them in if we don’t give them enough resources to keep investing.” Gen David Goldfein

The Air force has a program called SLEP –  Service Life Extension Program- to make their aircraft last longer. But that becomes risky after a period of time, because like everything in our world, things wear out. By the time they are worn out, parts have to be procured at a “significant cost,” according to General Goldfein.

With every branch losing troops and working with older equipment, the situation looks grim. The Obama administration and Congress have not stepped up to their responsibility to protect America. Sequestration has hampered our military for far too long.

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How much longer can our Armed Forces maintain under the sequester? USMC Cpl. Kamran Sadaghiani Photo ID: 200762595327 Submitting Unit: 31st MEU Photo Date:06/24/2007