As you are aware, sequestration went into effect on Friday, March 1st.
Over the past several years, we have faced a lack of predictability and flexibility in our budget cycle and a series of cuts. This fiscal year alone, we face the potential of at least an $18 billion dollar shortfall in our Operations and Maintenance accounts, due to the combined impacts of sequestration, the continuing resolution and contingency funding. These are the funds that allow us to support operations, maintain readiness and pay our civilian workforce.
While our attention here in Washington is on the fiscal situation and the difficult decisions that will shape our force into the future, we need you to remain focused on the fundamentals: develop your Soldiers, Civilians and our future Army leaders; conduct tough, realistic mission-focused training; maintain and account for your equipment; be good stewards of your resources; and sustain the high level of esprit de corps in your organization. Our top priority is to ensure that our forces defending the homeland, those in Afghanistan and Korea, and those next to deploy and rotate into theater, have the resources required to execute their missions. We also recognize that along with risks to readiness, sequestration will also bring particular hardship to our Civilian workforce.
We will share information through official Army channels on the impacts of sequestration as soon as it becomes available. You can also expect your Army leadership to visit major installations in the months ahead to facilitate a dialogue and listen to your concerns and those of your Family members.
Our current fiscal situation is challenging, but we must approach this as an opportunity to demonstrate, once again, our commitment to selfless service and our profession. Our Army will always remain, in every respect, the Strength of the Nation. Army Strong!