Normally it behooves the services to stay detached from the political sphere. But if Congress doesn’t pass a defense budget this year, and instead simply keeps operating under a continuing resolution, the services are going to run out of money next month.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Right now, the U.S. Army is operating on a "continuing resolution" for its funding. That's not a real budget, not one that plans can be laid out against, and it's a situation that if it continues will mean that Army training will cease sometime this summer.
"Funding under a continuing resolution for a year will result in a dramatic decrease in training, starting next month, in May," said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley. "By July 15, all Army training will cease, except those units deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq."
With the exception of those units who are scheduled to go into combat operations, Milley told lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that combat training center rotations would stop if the Army doesn't get a budget.
What will also stop, he said, is Basic Combat Training -- the training that turns young civilian Americans into Soldiers.
Milley pointed to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, as an example. That location is one of four where the Army conducts BCT for new Soldiers. Other locations include Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Benning, Georgia.
"At Fort Jackson alone, on an annual basis, we train -- we recruit and bring in to Basic Combat Training -- the equivalent of the British Army, every year," Milley said.
And it isn’t just the Army. All services will essentially have to cease all training operations.
And given the parlous state of readiness throughout the forces, any suspension of training operations will simply dig that hole oh so much deeper.
We’re not a hollow force right now, but we’re not nearly as robust and resilient as we like to think we are.