Hagel: the beatings will continue until morale improves

| July 21, 2013

Speaking to about 300 Department of Defense employees at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina, Defense Department Secretary Chick Hagel told the assemblage that furloughs for about 800,000 DoD employees are likely to continue next year unless Congress halts the cuts, according to the Associated Press;

On the heels of the department’s first furlough day, and in three days of visits with members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, Hagel played the unenviable role of messenger to a frustrated and fearful workforce coping with the inevitability of a spending squeeze at the end of more than a decade of constant and costly war.

The fiscal crunch also lays bare the politically unpopular, if perhaps necessary, need to bring runaway military costs in line with most of the rest of the American public that has struggled economically for years.

Like I said the other day, this plan for sequestration was engineered by the White House, the president told America during his debates with Mitt Romney that sequestration wasn’t going to happen, then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made no actual plans for sequestration during his tenure declaring that the plan would never be instituted. So when the deal that administration struck with Congress did actually happen because no one could spend the political capital to make a decision on how to cut the budget, they simply targeted personnel costs which are easier and impact fewer voters while each side blames the other.

Like Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey the other day when he blamed Congress for the Defense Department being unable to meet it’s national security goals. Or maybe it’s Dempsey’s fault because he’s just dutifully cutting personnel costs without doing the hard work finding actual waste and abuse that could be cut without injuring national security.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Military issues

Comments (19)

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  1. Steadfastandloyal says:

    Hagel is full of it. If in the next fy they go over 30 or 60 days (cant remeber the exact time line) they have to begin RIFs.

    My guess is if it happens they go right to the time limit of the RIFs. Obama laying off Feds is not something his admin could handle I think.

    No matter. I’m already applying to get out. Tired of the celebration in mediocrity.

  2. DefendUSA says:

    Ha. The reason I haven’t been posting is probably due to all the furloughs. The fucking IRS doesn’t work on Fridays and so many of my clients are getting audited. Yeah, surprise, conservatives they are. Business people trying to make a living and surprise, Obama giving away 630 mil for some shit global warming study….

  3. Setnaffa says:

    The devil is doing his best to get us focused on “stuff” instead of speading the Gospel. Expect it to get worse as the time draws closer, Luke 10:2.

  4. MAJMike says:

    Yup. A RIF in the Flag and O-6 ranks along with a cut in the number of brown-nosers, toadies, and baggage-handlers would seriously impact the problem. Standardize the camo patterns among the services — make them applicable to the point of deployment, not some service fashion schtick.

    I’m sure other TAH readers could produce ways to save money without harming readiness.

  5. UpNorth says:

    “Or maybe it’s Dempsey’s fault because he’s just dutifully cutting personnel costs without doing the hard work finding actual waste and abuse that could be cut without injuring national security.” You actually expect Dempsey to do his job?

  6. Sparks says:

    “The fiscal crunch also lays bare the politically unpopular, if perhaps necessary, need to bring runaway military costs in line with most of the rest of the American public that has struggled economically for years.”
    Military costs, termed “runaway” or not, are not like the American economy at large or any other government agency. They are charged with being prepared to defend our nation, as they are doing now. Just because my neighbor may be having a hard time on the too big mortgage he took out is not a reason or justification to link it to military spending. It is a political “sound good solution to a fell good issue”. The military is on the downhill slope as we speak. With McCain and others trying to get us into Syria, Libya and Egypt we need all the military strength and numbers we can muster. What we don’t need are all of the GO and Admiral ranks from one to four stars we are supporting. I say cut there first and hardest. Hagel and Dempsey are out to keep their jobs. Hagel will do whatever kisses the POTUS’s ass the sweetest and Dempsey is singing chorus along with him. Dempsey will also, eventually give McCain the answers he wants just to keep his job regarding Syria and then, here we go again. Another shit hole war where both sides hate us. There is no and I mean NO common sense in Washington anymore. The civilians who are not military savvy look at these news reports and say “yea sure, I am having a hard time so why should the military have it “good”. The civilian world does not care and does not understand so when they see news articles like this they say “right on”.

  7. O-4E says:

    Most of my people affected are dual status technicians. Guys/gals who are traditional Guardsmen and federal (uniformed) technicians Mon-Fri.

    Thankfully, due to the traditional end of the FY money fest, we can turn around and pout them on 1 day orders to make up the difference for most of them.

    Oh yes boys and girls there are “rules” in place for that to…while that is legal…we can’t have them working on anything related to their traditional jobs…that would violate the intent of the furlough…but I can have them on orders doing other stuff.

  8. Nik says:

    This shit is fucking ridiculous. Why does our armed services have all these different types of camo? Money. You know there are people making bank off the different types of camo being sold to the military. If our government were serious about getting a handle on these types of fiduciary wastes, they would just nut up and say, “Sorry, we can’t afford to do you any more favors”. Then they’d standardize equipment. If the Marines are deemed to have the “best” camo scheme going for Afghanistan, Dempsey would tell the Corps it won’t be their special little thing anymore and every service would be required to change over to that. If the Army has the best woodland camo, same thing.

    Enough of this stupidity. We can’t afford it anymore. If they were serious about bringing costs under control, they’d find the testicular fortitude to start telling people, “No more” and do it.

    But that would presume they were both honest and willing to make those cuts. Instead we have this namby pamby hand-wringing that’s all too common in our “leaders”.

  9. O-4E says:

    @8 Nik



    I have been writing my Congressman and Senators, monthly, about this since 2005. I have it set on my outlook calender. Looks like it may pay off.

  10. Nik says:

    Well shit. Miracles never cease. But it shouldn’t require a law. Barry should be passing that sort of thing by Executive Order, or am I completely wrong about that?

    I never understood that crap from a logical point of view. If the Air Force has the best arctic camo, it’s the best arctic camo. In a business where having the best can save more lives over having “pretty good”, it’s a no-brainer. No service owns any specific pattern, and fuck the petty bullshit.

  11. O-4E says:

    @10…Congress makes the rules and laws…and has to pay for it so that is their purview

    You are correct in your assessment of the idiocy of it all.

    I was a liaison to the Canadian Forces for 2 years. They have it down. Same uniform (and rank structure) across the entire CF.

    The dress uniform is the same cut and pattern…green for Army, dark blue/black for Navy and blue for Air Force

    The combat uniform is exactly the same…with black rank insignia for navy, blue rank insignia for AF and green rank insignia for Army.

    Not saying we should tamper with the dress uniforms…but the work, flight and combat uniforms should be the same

  12. Nik says:


    Yah. Dress uniforms should be distinct. Hell, leave them the garrison uniforms to be different. But even without the financial considerations the best camo is the best camo and should be standard until the new best comes along.

    And the uniforms is just one little area. How many other places are we duplicating and triplicating efforts for no damn good reason?

    Everyone knows there’s a tremendous amount of waste in government, but it seems damn rare that anyone stands up and says “Enough. Fix this, fix it this way, and fix it immediately if not sooner.”

    And we get to pay for it both in terms of money and in terms of not getting the damn services we’re paying for.

    Can you imagine how amazing the US would be to live in if we eliminated just half the waste, even if it weren’t a reduction in taxes? The government would have an amazing amount of money to do something absolutely crazy…like serve the citizenry.

  13. Mike Kozlowski says:

    I wonder how much we could pay for if DoD could stop paying for social actions and environmental work.


  14. Sean says:

    O4E, You’re behind the times the CF have recently re introduced the WWII pattern ranks and insignias and traditions again. http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4882

  15. O-4E says:


    Guess you are correct

  16. DirtDart says:

    All these stupid games. looks like our leaders and the officers and senior nco’s who were not: thick skinned, lack of common sense, raped by the good idea fairy and or politically correct- take your pick or combination. Now they sit in the Ivory tower with no damn common sense and dick up an already fragile system. This attitude is going to cause a greater vacuum in the rank and file. I wonder how soon before the DOD starts placing STOP LOSS and recalls.

  17. jonp says:

    My sweetie was at Ft. Bragg yesterday helping her daughter move off post since she got married a few weeks ago and came home totally dumbfounded. Grass in the cracks of the sidewalks, grass uncut, over flowing garbage cans, retaining walls about to fall down, Rodents in the barracks…
    So Barry can take his Great African Vacation to the tune of $100 Million and visit his old homestead and the DOD can spend a few Million on saving gophers outside of Lewis-McChord but has to lay off workers.
    This is so totally transparent that it’s laughable. Laughable to everyone but our military.

  18. MGySgtRet. says:

    This administration and its “leaders” no more give a shit about the readiness of the military than the man in the moon. And with Hagel and Dempsey as the senior leadership at the Pentagon, do you really think anyone is going to stand in the door over readiness?? They have more important shit to do, like find and prosecute all of those non-existent sexual assaulters, get women in the combat arms and make sure the homosexual lobby is getting all of their DOD mandated benefits.

  19. David says:

    Houston paper today had a front-page article on how the “other half” lives… housing for general officers, area commanders, and suchlike – the Pentagon claims that due to frequent visits by heads of state the palatial fortified digs are needed. In Italy one was a 6,600 square foot palazzo, I think it was in Florida (is that CENTCOM?) the housing for the general cost $160,000 a year.