Air Force

March 15, 2013

Sequestration pinch includes tuition assistance suspension

by Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Though budget woes led the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force to suspend their tuition assistance programs and the Navy continues to consider its options, the program is important to the Defense Department and to service members, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

“The program enables the professional and personal development of our service members and facilitates their transition to the civilian workforce,” Little said at a Pentagon news conference.

The press secretary placed the blame on a “sequestration” mechanism in budget law that kicked in March 1, triggering across-the-board spending cuts that Pentagon officials repeatedly had warned would harm the nation’s military readiness.

“Let me be clear: we’re here because of sequestration,” he said. “If sequestration were averted, we may be facing a different set of choices on these and other programs.”

Last week, Little said, the Defense Department’s comptroller issued guidance suggesting the services consider significant reductions in funding tuition assistance applicants, effective immediately, for the duration of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

“We’re in a period of terrible budget uncertainty,” Little said. “This department  is making multiple decisions that aren’t exactly to our liking, but we are having to swallow bitter pills, not because we want to pop them, but because we’re forced to make some very tough decisions.”

Such decisions, Little explained, are the “unfortunate outcomes” of budgetary uncertainty and the need to ensure the availability of necessary resources to respond to crises around the world.

“We’re walking soberly into the sequester period,” Little said, before relating Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s direction on the matter.

“His very clear instructions have been for us to, in a very calm, cool and collected manner, deal with the hand we’ve been dealt and it’s an unfortunate hand,” Little said.

Little maintained that DOD officials have been transparent, both within the department and with the American people, about sequestration’s consequences.

“We’ve been very clear about impacts to readiness and the services are making decisions on a broad range of programs,” Little said. “It should come as no surprise to anyone that these kinds of decisions are coming down the pike.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

‘Retired Air Force Reservist finds inspiration through loss’ addendum

Angela Alexander was a member of the 56th Aerial Port Squadron, March Air Reserve Base and on annual tour in Japan when she was notified that her family had been in a severe car crash. She was told her husband, Suri and two dau...
 
 

Alcohol: how much is too much?

Alcohol is a part of the American culture — civilian and military. Many of us drink with others to socialize and celebrate important events. Or we sometimes drink alone to relax and unwind from a hard day at work. But along with the good times and good feelings associated with alcohol, there are well-known health...
 
 
BC3---women-in-combatswuare

AF begins testing phase for women in combat roles

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum Cpl. Daisy Romero (left) and Sgt. Jessica Dmoningo, assigned to a female engagement team (FET), speak with an Afghan man in his compound during a patrol in Marjah, Helmand pro...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum

Ten ways to help kids conquer military life challenges

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum Capt. Adam Luber, a 334th Fighter Squadron pilot, and Jeremiah Seaberry, the 334th FS pilot for a day, watch F-15E Strike Eagles on the flightline during a 4th Fighter Wing Pilo...
 
 
BC4---wildfire

922nd Civil Engineer Flight, small unit, worldwide impact

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jason Saberin Members of the Army’s Northwest Division Field Engineer Support Team join the 922nd Civil Engineer Flight’s Staff Augmentation Team (S-Team) at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., Feb. 2...
 
 

AF sexual assault prevention: moving in the right direction

“I was raised in a household where you take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame others for your downfalls,” said Tech. Sgt. Kathleen Thorburn. “Instead of seeing a crime that had occurred, all I could see were my mistakes. Why did I go to that party? Why did I accept the drink? Why...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin