Are you starting to get the feeling that no one in Washington is serious about looking out for our uniformed military personnel? Recent budget talks about cuts to veterans programs and military pay leave me dismayed.
In recent months, we’ve seen repeated indications that the Obama administration is prepared to get tough and cut spending—that is, only so long as they can cut spending on defense and military priorities, while allowing the rest of the federal budget to continue growing by leaps and bounds.
We’ve seen it with the Pentagon’s push for higher fees on veterans covered under the Tricare system (while the administration leaves Medicare and Social Security spending untouched). We’ve seen it with the push for “early outs,” forcing uniformed personnel to leave the service—while allowing the civilian bureaucracy to grow unchecked.
Here’s Washington’s latest assault on our military personnel: the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation has recommended that National Guard and Reserve drill pay for training days be slashed in half.
The QRMC’s stated goal is to reduce complexity in the reserve and guard pay system. That’s a worthwhile goal—but not if it comes at the expense of force readiness or creates a disincentive for men and women to serve. Those are precisely the effects that slashing drill pay would have on the services. (You can read the full QRMC report here in PDF format.)
The National Guard Association of the United States has raised the alarm over this attack on our service members. I encourage you to visit the NGAUS website to learn more and how you can get involved to stop these assaults on our military.
Jessie Jane Duff, Gunnery Sergeant, USMC (Ret) is a member of the Concerned Veterans for America’s organizing committee.