The head man for the U.S. Army is warning that the official Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget and personnel cuts to the nation’s army very well could have not only a detrimental, but a devastating effect on the largest branch of the Armed Forces responding to world-wide threats. As reported by the Reuters news service via the Washington Free Beacon on Oct. 13, 2014, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno warned that even at the current number of troops, there is serious concern if the Army can fulfill its mission.
With the federal government starting its fiscal calender on the first of October every year, 11 and a half months from now America’s standing army will be 40,000 soldiers weaker. Speaking before annual Association of the U.S. Army conference, Gen. Odierno
Despite the governmental sounding name, the privately owned Military Times noted earlier this month that the Marine Corps is also facing a huge cut in the percentage of troops wearing the famed Eagle, Globe and Anchor. As reported, the Obama Administration’s FY budgets since taking office have seen a constant and steady downward drop since becoming the country’s Commander in Chief. With 2009 being the first year of his presidency, Obama has ensured personnel cutbacks beginning with the FY 2010 budget. Since then, the Corps has seen drops from 202,000 in FY 2010 to a planned 182,000 by FY 2016.
Next year’s FY budget cuts see the Marine Corps slashed by 10 percent since Obama assumed power, while the Army faces losing 12.25 percent of its troop strength in just a single fiscal year. During FY 2010, the Army’s authorized troops strength stood at 562,400. During the Obama Era, the U.S. Army will have seen a total drop of 112,400 – or roughly a 20 percent drop. The FY 2016 cuts will ensure the smallest standing American Army since 1940 which stood at 269,023.
For illustration purposes only, an example of what a Pay Grade E-4 with more than two years in service, but less than three years, has a base pay of $2,101.80 a month. While those serving in the Armed Forces are available as well as are physically on duty, the same E-4 currently earns $2.92 an hour. Under the 2014 military pay scale, a Pay Grade E-1 undergoing recruit training is paid $2.12 an hour.
Other cost saving measures put forth by the Obama Administration were cited by the Marine Corps Times last month, the White House cut the Congressionally mandated 1.8 percent pay raise down to a threadbare 1.0 percent. Seen by many military advocacy groups, Team Obama is also floating a “proposal to make troops pay an average 5 percent of their housing costs out of their own pockets. And proposals to eliminate the commissary subsidy — and increase consumer prices — at most domestic installations …”