Generals said what?
Senior Pentagon officials told Congress on Tuesday that troops are willing to sacrifice portions of their pay and benefits if it means keeping and improving the training and equipment needed to do their jobs.
The first bit of idiocy is putting pay and benefits on some linear line with training and equipment. The Pentagon seems to be treating these as some sort of zero-sum game, where we can either provide what we promised in terms of benefits, OR give the troops adequate training and equipment. I'll come back to that.
Personnel officials from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the Department of Defense met with the House Armed Services' Military Personnel subcommittee to talk about cuts to pay and benefits the Pentagon is proposing for its upcoming budget.
These include a smaller pay raise -- 1 percent raise, an average 5 percent reduction in housing allowances, and higher health care fees for some retirees.
A five percent cut to an Admirals housing allowance won't land him eating spam five nights a week, but on an E4's budget that's harder to take.
However, the personnel officials who offered testimony before the subcommittee could offer only personal anecdotes to back up their belief that troops would welcome pay and benefit cuts. No survey results were offered. Leaders also said it could not wait for the results of a commission due to issue its report on military pay and benefits next year.
You don't say?
Testimony from the military brass took some lawmakers by surprise after troop advocacy groups have rejected the cuts to pay and benefits proposed in the upcoming budget.
Again, you don't say?
This comes from the same people that brought us the boondoggle of "unexpected overhead costs" with the LIttoral Combat Ship.
The 52-ship LCS program was supposed to be one antidote, but the Navy has struggled to realize its onetime hopes for LCS. The ships were supposed to sail with smaller crews than traditional warships, reducing the steep costs of personnel. They were supposed to easily swap out high-tech mission equipment so that the same LCS could go from being a subchaser to a minesweeper to a pirate-fighter. And they were supposed to enter the fleet in large numbers for comparatively low costs, helping boost the surface force at the time when the Navy’s favorite talking point was “quantity has a quality all its own.”
Instead, the Navy has had to add sailors to its LCS crews because their workload was too exhausting. The mission equipment is years away from being ready to deploy. And the Navy has abandoned its onetime hope for the ships to swap equipment quickly. In fact, the Navy itself is home to some of the biggest skeptics of LCS, who quietly worry the fleet has bet on the wrong horse.
OK, so we need to spend more to fix the LCS, and that should come from soldiers and sailors earned benefits?
But we're still paying the manufacturers on time, even though the ships don't do what they were said to be able to do, cost more than expected, and cost more to retrofit to do what was promised.
And we're cutting benefits? In what world does that make sense?
As one commenter on the American Legion's Facebook page noted:
I had to check twice just to make sure it wasn't a Duffel Blog article*.
*Duffel Blog is a satirical publication like the Onion that covers military issues. If you don't read it for your daily chuckle, you should.