Shutting down the government has become a yearly occurrence. The government begins its fiscal year on Oct 1, and the band-aid fixes begin once again for the military. For however many days that Congress can’t agree on a budget, or if they intend to hold something hostage like Ted Cruz did in 2013, whatever the reason, all too often, Congressional members threaten a shut-down of the government (“sequestration”) often making the excuse that it does not affect the military and their readiness.
That’s simply not true.
When a sequestration goes into effect, the military must use their resources only on an as-needed basis. As a result, all but emergency purchasing comes to a grinding halt. The delivery of vital materials, training, and supplies are brought to an abrupt standstill.
Ships require trained personnel, and with a sequestration, training schools become nonessential. A crew consists of sailors on every level, trained for their specific jobs. Schools must be maintained, ensuring personnel can still stand a watch. When a sequestration happens, if sailors can’t get trained then ship’s movements could be affected.
Without a moment’s notice, support DoD personnel are relegated to an abbreviated schedule that can hamstring a command. And all the personnel that assist the military get relegated to a four-day workweek, such as agriculture, transportation, and other departments necessary for ship’s operations. The entire process is an undue hardship that could be easily avoided with proper planning.
The effects of a sequestration reverberate through the military for years. The military paychecks are not a bargaining chip to be used to get what a politician wants. Ted Cruz loves to use this tactic and that is why he is no friend to the military.
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