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.


 
 

 
hb

Mental health services available for all Team March members, families

March Field offers mental health services through Elaine Valentine, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, director of psychological health and a licensed clinical social worker with more than 15 years of experience in the mental health care...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Women can succeed in a man’s world

Courtesy photo Pamela Hann, March Base Civil Engineer, surveys a consturction project at March Air Reserve Base, California. Hann became the first female BCE in Air Force Reserve Command on May 15, 2005, and is responsible for ...
 
 
NWH3

National Women’s History Month: Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives

(Final in a 4-part series) The National Women’s History Project’s 2015 theme is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” In this ongoing series, we highlight individual women who made a difference in the fabric or our ...
 

 
Miracles

Retired Air Force Reservist finds inspiration through loss

Courtesy of Evan Money (First in a three-part series chronicling Angela Alexander’s incredible story which led to a book, a ministry and now, a documentary.) MIRACLE: “An unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be ca...
 
 
U.S. Air Force art by Master Sgt. Elizabeth Concepcion/Released

Airmen stay focused in DOD competition

U.S. Air Force art by Master Sgt. Elizabeth Concepcion/Released Digital painting created in Adobe Photoshop. This artwork was created to depict the US Army occupation in Vietnam and was inspired by the story of a Vietnam war ve...
 
 
Photo: Air Force
Ninth Chief Master

Former CMSAF Binnicker passes away at 76

Photo: Air ForceNinth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Binnicker died on March 21. Former Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Binnicker, who was the service’s top enlisted man from 1986 to 1990, passed away in Ca...
 




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