A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


December 11, 2014

We're Failing Our Military: The NDAA & Military Morale

     I'm just going to say it ... the failure of the lame duck Congress to give sufficient and appropriate attention to the state of our Military is appalling!  And, apparently, they aren't paying any attention to the mandate they have been given by voters in the latest election.  We can only hope that the new citizen servants coming to Washington after the first of the year will deliver on their promises to our men and women in uniform.
     In case you didn't know it, this Congress is attempting to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is an ill-disguised effort to downsize our military forces, and to "fundamentally change" their objective.  Instead of making sure we maintain the finest fighting force in the world, the military is being hamstrung in an attempt to weaken it.  (I admit it is sometimes difficult to choose between supporting our Military and encouraging the Military-Industrial Complex).
     Besides affecting the national security of the country, Front Page Mag reports these items in the Bill:  "A scheduled pay raise of 1.8 percent will be reduced to one percent; there will be reduced growth in the troops’ Basic Housing Allowance (BHA) for those who cannot be accommodated on military bases; and a $3 copay will be added to the cost of prescription medication."  All these cuts will drastically affect the standard of living for our already strapped soldiers. 
     But never fear ... while the troops suffer forced reductions, there is always room to advance the social agenda of those in the White House and Pentagon.  The NDAA would establish Committees to address feminist-oriented issues, such as "Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces"; as well as to investigate "gender diversity metrics", which would allow the  more qualified personnel to be replaced by those meeting minimum standards -- laughably referred to as “lower but equal.”
     I just don't understand it.  Why is there this push to make the Military "politically correct" like the American culture?  It is easy to see that this will make our fighting forces less effective and substandard to those in the rest of the world.  Do you think it's time to put on my tin foil hat?
     And just what do you think all this is doing to the morale in the Military?  There is an in-depth article on the Military Times website, titled:  America's Military:  A Force Adrift.  I suggest you read it in its entirety, but for brevity's sake, I will highlight a few of the points that this well-written article makes.  
     I believe, that for the most part, the civilian population misunderstands the mindset of our Military.  Sure, there are those who enlist for the education opportunities and for the job security.  But you might be surprised to find out that the vast majority sign up because they see that going to war and fighting for their nation is a noble cause.  There is a true "warrior spirit" that resides in many of these men, and when their mission is unclear or contradictory, it leads to major morale shifts.
     According to a Military Times survey of 2,300 active-duty troops, morale indicators are on the decline in nearly every aspect of military life. Troops report significantly lower overall job satisfaction, diminished respect for their superiors, and a declining interest in re-enlistment now compared to just five years ago.  Service members say they feel underpaid, under-equipped and under-appreciated.  After 13 years of war, the all-volunteer military is entering an era fraught with uncertainty and a growing sense that the force has been left adrift.
     When speaking about their "Mission", troops seemed to indicate that there is a growing disconnect between the civilian population, who has been groomed to psychologically move on from the wars; to cut their losses, so to speak.  But to the troops, themselves, the mission still matters and is unfinished; and those losses have names and faces attached to them.  
     The Military Times Survey also revealed that morale is down due to the stress related to fiscal insecurity.  There is no longer the promise of long-term job stability, and the budget cuts due to Sequestration have affected more than just salaries.  A Navy aviation machinist's mate first class based in El Centro, California, said operational budget cuts left him and fellow sailors cannibalizing working parts from other aircraft entering phased maintenance so they could repair higher-priority broken jets.  How have we let the preeminence of the U.S. military fall so far?  And how could we expect morale to be anything but in the dumps?
    Furthermore, the potential for more Congressional budget cuts is always hanging over their heads.  A Navy fire controlman chief with 10 deployments said budget fears are contributing to a feeling of distrust and abandonment. "If sailors are worried about not getting paid, how am I supposed to do my job?" he said. And then came the bottom line, as far as I'm concerned ... he went on to say, "I'm not an effective warfighter if I don't have the backing of my government at home."
     And there you have it; that's the real heart of this matter.  In order to have confidence that our nation is secure from outside forces that wish to destroy us, we need to have confidence that our military are "effective war fighters"; and they need to have the confidence that their government is supporting and championing them.  Unfortunately, one of the most effective ways to secure peace at home, is to develop and maintain a strong, forceful and powerful Military.  From where I sit, that is no longer the objective of our elected officials, and it is cause for great alarm.  

For more information on the details and objectives of the NDAA, click here.  If you would like to read about the results of the Military Times Survey, then click here.  Both articles will provide you with a broad overview of the declining state of our Military.  

Psalm 108:12-13    "Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes."

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