Personnel Chiefs Stress Future Funding Stability

May 19, 2017

At the request of the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Personnel, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), chair; and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), the committee's ranking member, the four personnel chiefs of each service testified this week before the subcommittee on the status of their services. 

Coffman opened the hearing stating, “The hearing will focus on the military service personnel systems as we enter the fiscal year 2018 budget season.” 

The personnel chiefs faced questions covering all aspects of the military personnel systems, to include recruiting, retention and diversity. A key point in the hearing testimony was made when the committee leadership asked the service personnel chiefs in turn what they see as being the greatest challenge as they look to the future in providing stability to the force and what Congress can do to help.

Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, USAF, stated, “Sir, I would say what you can do to help us most is provide stable funding over an extended period of time, because the ups and downs, especially from a military manpower perspective are impossible.” She was supported in her statement by the other service personnel chiefs. 

Representing the other services were Lt. Gen. James McConville, Deputy Chief of Staff, G1, who recently was nominated for promotion to four-star rank and to be the next Army Vice Chief of Staff; Vice Adm. Robert Burke, Chief of Naval Personnel, and Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, USMC. 

Given the ongoing concern regarding continued sequestration and its wide-ranging DoD impacts, it was another strong signal from senior defense leadership Congress needs to move forward and find a way to come to a compromise to end it - and its compounding damage to the readiness of the armed services. 

Ending sequestration remains one of MOAA's top legislative priorities and was one of the top two issues we “stormed the hill” on this past April. The MOAA Government Relations team will continue to press the issue in our meetings and discussions with key congressional leadership as we work issues related to the soon to be released FY 2018 budget.  

The personnel chiefs all thanked the committee for their past support and stated they looked forward to working with the committee membership and staff on policies, programs, and issues that were of importance to servicemembers and their families and to the overall readiness of the force. 

 

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