The following Letter To The Editor of Military (Air Force) Times was written after having witnessed more of the same foolishness I have seen repeated time after time in the nearly 30 years since I swore an oath "to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic".
Decisions such as these are not made to save money, the are made to promote people to the next higher position and beyond. Decisions such as the one I reference are made to effect short-term savings, without concern for long-term outcomes, so that the responsible individual can claim saving $XXX,XXX,XXX on their performance report and/or award citation, not because it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
In this case, the Pentagon apparently believed that the threat in the Middle East and Russia have wained to the point of eliminating Hazardous Duty Pay and Rest and Recuperation Leave in several countries where our men and women in uniform serve and are put in harms way every day. As we have all witnessed since last winter's Olympic games, Russia and Iraq are anything but stable and the regions are more volatile than any time since the mid-1980s. So the geniuses at the Pentagon decided to save some money at the expense of service members, once again, as has been the case over and over again for as long as I can remember.
I think my letter speaks for itself ...
I understand that the "imminent threat to personnel has been significantly reduced" in numerous countries adjacent to Iraq and Russia in order to save money (June 23, 2014, page 2). My only question to the JCS is: Did you get an INTEL brief before making that ignorant decision? If so, have those individuals been relieved?
Things in Russia and Iraq have been on a steady decline for months, so where is the surprise? Maybe our leaders could have saved money by not closing bases in the region and reducing forces only to have to ramp-up again. Knee jerk "money saving" (wasting is more like it) initiatives have been going on in one form or another for the last 30 years (as I have witnessed) and it needs to stop!
Instead of focusing on military active duty, retired, and veteran benefits/entitlements as the "go to" deficit reduction strategy, try looking past your noses and focus on the big picture. And don't bother thanking us for our service until you can start treating us with dignity and respect rather than the contempt you and our government leaders have displayed for 13 years of wartime service to our country, protecting YOUR FREEDOM!
CombatCounselor ... OUT!