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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

Air Force JROTC cadets graduate Summer Leadership School

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Air Force JROTC cadets from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley and Arlington High School in Riverside, graduate from a two week Summer Leadership School, held at March Air Reserve Base,...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Airmen attend second annual Norton-March reunion

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mitt, detachment chief, 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, answers questions about the MQ-9 Reaper at March Air Reserve Base on June 20. Members of the Nort...
 
 
Halle-Berry

Halle Berry Connects With the U.S. Military

Halle Berry stars in the Science-Fiction show “Extant,” which just began its second season. Finding out someone values and appreciates what you do can keep you floating at cloud level for weeks, especially when the someone ...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Charles “Chuck” Flood, Satellite Services, Inc., passed away unexpectedly, June 17, 2015

Courtesy photo Chuck Flood: March 16, 1963 – June 17, 2015 Flood had been employed by SSI since February, 2005. He had been the fire truck mechanic, responsible for over 15 fire fighting vehicles at Edwards Air Force Base and...
 
 
Watchara Phomicinda — LA Daily News staff  photographer

March honor guard gives final honors to America’s veterans

(Final in a two-part series on honor guard, reprinted with permission) Watchara Phomicinda — LA Daily News staff photographer Brittarose Morgan, 77, right, wife of the late Airman First Class Roland Morgan with daughter, Kym ...
 
 
HBI-photo

Fitness at a glance – It’s all about timing!

Ever notice how your anxiety tends to increase around your fitness assessment time (FA)? It is amazing that in 20 minutes (or less) your FA is over, but your anxiety level has cumulatively increased over the 30-90 days (or more...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>