Sequestration and the Military Family – Friend or Foe?

Charles Krauthammer calls the latest media generated news-gasm about sequestration “The most ridiculously hyped Armageddon since the Mayan calendar.”

Donald Trump blew off the hype by saying policy makers should cut deeper, and if the government doesn’t seriously curtail spending there will be a “big fat explosion and it’s all going to come to an end.” 

The average American just looks at you with a confused look on their face. Webster’s defines sequestration as:

se·ques·tra·tion noun \ˌsē-kwəs-ˈtrā-shən, ˌse-; (ˌ)sē-ˌkwes-\


1: the act of sequestering: the state of being sequestered <a jury in sequestration>

a: a legal writ authorizing a sheriff or commissioner to take into custody the property of a defendant who is in contempt until the orders of a court are complied with

b: a deposit whereby a neutral depositary agrees to hold property in litigation and to restore it to the party to whom it is adjudged to belong


Doesn’t add much clarity does it?  The fact of the matter is this, on March 1st of 2013, as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011; approximately $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will take place over the next decade.  That’s sequestration, and it was a grand idea.  Schedule abhorrent automatic cuts to force policy makers to enact better, sounder measures before the fiscal budget bomb went off.  Ok.  We’re still waiting…

Roughly $86 billion of that $1.2 trillion will take place this year with almost $46 billion coming straight out of the Department of Defense.  What does that mean to the fighting men and women of the good ‘ole U.S. of A. and their families, not to mention America herself?

According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta:

800,000 Department of Defense civilian employees will see their workweeks shortened and their pay cut by 20 percent from late April through September

  •       Cut stateside base operations
  •       Reduce military training except for next-to-deploy units
  •       Delay maintenance of ships, aircraft, vehicles and facilities
  •       Suspend many scheduled ship deployments and make deep cuts in aircraft flying hours

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee stated: “Cuts of this magnitude would be catastrophic to the military,” Odierno told the House members.

“In the case of the Army, it would significantly reduce our capability and capacity to assure our partners abroad, respond to crisis and deter our adversaries while threatening the readiness and potentially the all-volunteer force.” … “It would require us to completely revamp our national security strategy and reassess our ability to shape the global environment in order to protect the United States” … “With sequestration,” he added, “my assessment is that the nation would incur an unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert testified:

“In the Navy’s view, sequestration would cause irreversible damage” … “It will hollow the military, and we will be out of balance in manpower, both military and civilian, procurement and modernization, he said, adding that the subsequent effect on the industrial base “might be irrecoverable.”

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz also stated:

“Sweeping defense cuts mandated by the sequestration provision would gravely undermine the nation’s ability to protect itself.”


As an active-duty service member, military spouse, family or veteran, sequestration could possibly affect you in the following ways:

  •       Military Pay (including PCS and Subsistence) is exempt
  •       All VA programs are exempt
  •       There will be no impact on VA health care
  •       Reductions in contracts have already begun to take place due to the specter of impending sequestration
  •       The reduction to the guard and reserve will mirror the reductions to the active force
  •       115,000 Guard members would not get annual medical or dental exams
  •       The military health system is NOT exempt and will be cut by $3 billion
  •       Many Child Development Centers will experience reduced hours and available slots


Magic 8 Ball says, “Outlook good” that sequestration is a Bad Thing that’s going to cause Big Problems. It’s time once again, “for all great men to come to the aid of their country.”  Let your elected officials know how you feel about sequestration.

Contact your elected officials!











1 thought on “Sequestration and the Military Family – Friend or Foe?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *