Chairman Commits to ‘Lead Through’ Budget Crisis
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 2, 2013 In a video message to service members yesterday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff committed to leading through the effects of sequestration and encouraged dialogue about its impact.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said the military must continue to protect the nation, preserve defense readiness and ensure troops -- especially those in harm’s way -- are well-trained, well-led and well-equipped.
“We’re going to have to stretch our readiness dollars,” Dempsey said, “and that means part of the force will be advantaged and part will be disadvantaged.”
Still, he said, leaders including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the service chiefs are well aware of the turbulence the fiscal crisis is causing.
“We are committed to leading through that … and we’re going to do it with your help,” Dempsey told service members. “We understand the difficult position we’re going to place you in; we understand the hardships you may have to suffer [and] we understand the uncertainty and the anxiety that that can bring.”
Dempsey acknowledged not knowing how long the fiscal uncertainty will last; noting elected officials may exercise their options over the next few weeks or months.
In the meantime, he said, he’d like to hear what is on the minds of service members.
“Stay in touch … tell us the effect of the decisions we’re making,” Dempsey said. “I admire you a great deal for what you’ve done in the past, for what you’re doing now and what we’re going to ask you to do in the future.”