Washington, D.C., March 11, 2010 — “Any attempt to link rising military personnel costs with shrinking military readiness is total nonsense,” said Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., who leads the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the largest and oldest major combat veterans’ organization.
“If the Defense Department needs a larger budget for personnel programs, then let the VFW carry that message to Congress. Just don’t pin the budget blame on servicemembers and military retirees.”
Tradewell’s ire is targeted at the new DOD undersecretary of personnel and readiness, Clifford L. Stanley, who in testimony yesterday before the personnel subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “Rising personnel costs could dramatically affect the readiness of the department.”
His predecessor, Dr. David Chu, took the same position in a January 2005 Wall Street Journal article, by saying “The amounts have gotten to the point where they are hurtful. They are taking away from the nation’s ability to defend itself.”