Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that if Congress fails to end budget sequestration, DoD could be forced freeze military promotions, suspend recruiting and put a hold on all PCS orders. According to Tom Philpott’s Military Update, Hagel said, "[DoD] would seek to minimize cuts in the day-to-day operating costs most closely related to training and readiness.” It would keep in place a hiring freeze on civilian employees and continue to reduce facilities maintenance. That would mean more understaffing of units and offices, and some employees working in "substandard conditions.” When sequestration kicked in this year, cuts to military personnel accounts were avoided. However, if sequestration moves forward as expected, promotions, PCS moves, recruiting, and reenlistment bonuses etc. will not be shielded from the $52 billion cuts in defense spending slated for October. Hagel also urged for Congress to support the President’s proposed 1% pay increase for 2014. In addition, the Defense Secretary called for a bigger reduction in forces than current law allows, which would likely include involuntary separations. Read Tom Philpott’s Military Update column to get the full story.
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