Doing More with less in the US Military
English Composition 2
October 19, 2015
I joined the Air Force in June 1999, it was a time before the stress to “Answer our Nations Call,” it was a time when the military had just come out of the Cold War, the war that never actually happened. It was a time when a Master Sergeant (E-7) would walk around with a coffee cup and paper in-hand yelling for others to do the work. This activity was considered the norm, and there were multiple people who were needed to complete each task before the Master Sergeant was satisfied. In 1999, there was no such thing as “doing more, with less” as the Air Force was a service of ...view middle of the document...
One uniform was green, designed for the woods, and the other uniform was brown, for the desert. In the 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports it states the following figures on just how much each branch spent. The Marines totaled spending at $319,000 on a uniform that could not be shared with other branches due to the insignia for the Marines (anchor and globe) being incorporated into the camouflage pattern. The Army spent $2.63 million on its own research leading to a “universal camouflage” that later was scrapped due to the pattern not proving successful to operatives in Afghanistan; therefore another $2.9 million was allotted for region-specific camouflage. According to the GAO, the Army’s total spending was approximately $30 million. The Navy superseded the Marines with a total spending of $435,000, and rounding out the forces the Air Force settled with spending $3.1 million for its own uniform.
Looking back, it was easy to see all the spending, we were in the “War on Terror” and much how I feel about the “War on Drugs” it’s a war that will never end and a title that can endorse large amounts of funding. If you take a look around any U.S. Military base, you will likely notice flat screen TV’s on most walls and other similar indications of fruitful spending. But was some of this spending necessary? Of course, with a force that was split and fighting multiple front wars from both Iraq and Afghanistan each war declared its own front just as it did its own check book.
When sending in today’s soldiers to war we should spare no expense; however, not on uniforms to look a certain way but for that of the safety of our troops. In the Gulf War the average Humvee had a cost of $70,000 and the now modified or up-armored cost of each is $160,000 to $200,000 (Keyes, 2011). Furthermore pushing the spending is the change to the way we fight wars has changed our current vehicle fleet. The average one-time cost per troop carrier is now $630,000 compared to that of the original $70,000 Humvee (Keyes, 2011). Seeing this number always scares me as if we have cried wolf with uniforms and spending all that on those will now be one less vehicle that will not be upgraded leaving those soldiers open to safety and concern.
So with the past military budget resulting in excess spending, what could the future bring? The Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah James, stated, “By making these tough choices today we will set ourselves on a path that we will be the most ready and modernized Air Force in the world, albeit a smaller one. But we need to remain very lethal against any of the potential adversaries that we might face” (FY15...