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Budget Process Impacting the Issuance of PCS Orders?

We're moving this summer. At least that's what we've been told. Where are we moving? I have no idea. And it's driving me crazy. In the past, we've had orders in hand sometime in February (or at least verbal notification) and by mid-March I've already fully researched the area and more times than not, locked in housing. I'm not comfortable being in limbo this close to a move. There are so many things to do to in advance of a PCS move, and the sooner we can get a handle on them, the better.

Today, I received a press release from AUSA urging Congress to "Immediately pass Fiscal Year 2011 defense appropriations legislation that will fund the Department of Defense at levels higher than continuing resolutions allow." Something in the release caught my eye:

Some of the services have frozen civilian hiring while others have delayed the issuance of permanent change-of-station orders to preserve greater funding flexibility.  In addition, the services have ordered bases to issue only short-term contracts.  These factors will drive up costs at a time when the Pentagon is working to trim billions of dollars from its budget.
Truthfully, I have no idea whether the budget process is causing the delay in receiving our particular orders, but if it's not impacting my family, it seems that it may impacting other military families. I fully understand the economy is in horrible condition and all of us have to do more with less, but the thought of hanging on much longer and being forced to truncate the already-stressful PCS process is not an attractive prospect. Especially if we move to an area with limited housing options and we're among the last to receive orders. I know it'll all get done, I just want to get started on the doing. Hurry up and Wait. I'm not very good at it....

Anyone else holding out for orders, or find that you've received them late in the game compared to previous PCS years?

Full AUSA release is below:

‘Get Off the Dime and Provide the Dollars’

(ARLINGTON, Va. – March 16, 2011)  As concern mounts within the Army about the impact of yet another congressional continuing resolution, AUSA President Gen. (Ret) Gordon R. Sullivan is again calling on Congress to immediately pass Fiscal Year 2011 defense appropriations legislation that will fund the Department of Defense at levels higher than continuing resolutions allow.

In a letter last month to leaders in both houses of Congress, Sullivan said, “In a time of war, expeditious completion of defense funding legislation is absolutely essential.  Our Army in the field needs timely access to appropriate funding.  I ask that you focus your considerable energies solely on completing a bill that will provide an uninterrupted stream of funds.”

Further, in an opinion piece titled, “Get off the dime and provide the dollars,” Sullivan said, “I am very concerned that operating the Department of Defense by means of a continuing resolution rather than appropriations legislation will spell disaster for our military personnel.”

Sullivan notes that funding cuts caused by the continuing resolution are directly affecting the Army’s readiness; requiring fewer flying hours, cuts in training for home-stationed ground forces, contract cancellations (which translates into lost civilian jobs), multi-year contract deferrals including the Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, and requests to Congress for urgent reprogramming to fund equipment needs for troops in Afghanistan.

He said, “This is not theoretical, this is real-world. It has immediate impact on our troops.”

Also, under continuing resolutions, new starts are not allowed and procurement accounts are frozen at 2010 levels.

Some of the services have frozen civilian hiring while others have delayed the issuance of permanent change-of-station orders to preserve greater funding flexibility.  In addition, the services have ordered bases to issue only short-term contracts.  These factors will drive up costs at a time when the Pentagon is working to trim billions of dollars from its budget.

Sullivan today said, “We are a nation at war.  Our Army must be given the financial tools that will allow it to operate efficiently and protect the men and women who are on the front lines fighting for our freedom.”

Since 1950, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) has worked to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America's Army and the men and women who serve.  AUSA is a private, non-profit educational organization that AUSA provides numerous professional development opportunities at a variety of events both local and national.

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