Service Chiefs: Troops Will Head for Exits if Budget Cuts Persist

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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, testify on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP/Susan Walsh)

 

Caps on defense spending limit training, force service members to use old gear and may lead to an exodus of troops from the armed services, the four service chiefs told lawmakers Thursday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warned that a return of sequestration budget caps would promote fiscal uncertainty and take a deep toll on rank-and-file morale.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 put a temporary stay on a half-trillion dollar tranche of defense budget cuts, but the armed services must plan around the reductions for five more years if Congress does not again act to avert them. Continue reading