Defense budget cuts for ROTC??

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by defense money honey, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. defense money honey

    defense money honey New Member

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    I see today that our esteemed lawmakers (not so super-committee) have failed to do their jobs in Washington. With automatic cuts to the budget, how will this effect those with ROTC scholarships already awarded, as well as future awards. Automatic cuts would reduce the defense budget by 23%...whooaa, thats a lot!! Now what? My DS is a freshman on a 4 year scholarship. Any of you have any thoughts regarding 1) current scholarships being resended or 2) with the cuts last year in ROTC awards, will it only get worse this year?
     
  2. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I don't see the military rescinding offers to existing awardees. But in the past, it has done things like reducing the term of service obligation for awardees or substituting IRR for active-duty time (basically cutting their losses).

    For current and future applicants, this will be an extremely stressful year. My guess is that ROTC (all services) are busy prioritizing right now and deciding between "must haves" and "nice to have" expenses. ROTC scholarships likely will fall in the latter category.

    Also, training dollars will be cut. For current cadets, this means fewer slots for Airborne, etc. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), there is not a lot of precedent here. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would not expect any additional impact this year. Things were already cut back and the new cuts don't take effect until 2013... If they ever do take effect. Congress... Gotta love 'em. I think our cadets and midshipmen could do a better job than the elected idiots in Washington.
     
  4. defense money honey

    defense money honey New Member

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    IRR ?

    Hello Patentesq. Im new to the forum. Can you tell me what IRR stands for?
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Well to be honest there needs to be cuts. There is no way our economy in its current state can support the war budget of the last 10 years. Obviously there needs to be cuts in other areas as well, but the military budget is grossly inflated at this point. Welcome to the era of how ROTC used to be.
     
  6. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Inactive Ready Reserve- Pretty much you serve the rest of your time on possible call-up status...no TIS...no drill etc... You just wait the rest of contract out unless they need you.
     
  7. defense money honey

    defense money honey New Member

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  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Listening to ROTC cadets about the future of ROTC is a fool's errand.

    The future in terms of Army budget is largely uncharted, as it is for the federal budget in general. The 90s provide some clue, but the real cutback pains start in the training realm as cutting training dollars provides an immediate savings, versus cutting future outlays for scholarships or systems.
     
  9. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    So cutting training dollars/quality of training is optimal as opposed to cutting the number of officer scholarships? My point wasn't to explicitly state that ROTC scholarships are going to get cut, but that something has to budge whether it be the military, tax increases or cuts in social programs.

    I do not know a lot about the AD army nor the army in general but a quick look at GDP, foreign and public ownership of debt and rollover risks doesn't paint a optimal future.
     
  10. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I'm not so sure it is helpful to debate the how's and why's of budget cuts. The fact is, though, that they are here. And this is the year that the military forecasts its strength needs for 2016 (and beyond). If the budget folks in the military conclude that they need fewer officers for 2016 to manage a smaller rank-and-file, that reduction will be reflected in the number of scholarships awarded this year. It will also be reflected this year in the opportunities that already-enrolled, current cadets receive for training (priority will go to active duty folks who do not have that training).

    As usual, scoutpilot is spot-on about training being the first to take the hit during budget cuts (produces immediate savings). I also agree that we are in uncharted waters. The "Peace Dividend" of the 1990's was the result of the fall of the Soviet Union, and there weren't any great threats out there. But today, we have an unresolved situation in Iran that could flare up in very short order. Although I could be wrong, my personal belief is that diplomacy is underway with the other Arab states urging them not to object too loudly when we secretly give the nod to Isreal take care of things. That leaves our growing rivaly with China, but that seems less of an "Army" play to me (at least for now) than an "Air Force" or "Navy" play (in terms of a technology arms race). So I think our government is preparing for massive drawdown in the Army to make up for our spending shortfalls (hence, the recent legislation and tax incentives being formulated to help out jobless vets), and this will be reflected in the numbers that the Army ROTC folks are trying to line up.

    Sadly, I do not think that Congress will resolve things before the election, which means the uncertainty about military spending won't be resolved until the Class of 2016 has already reported for class next fall -- well after all of the ROTC scholarship decisions have been made. Under circumstances like this, I suspect the military will likely take a more conservative approach toward allocating new money until its future becomes clear.

    Of course, if the Iran situation takes an unexpected turn next year (which will come at the delight of the military-industrial folks), all bets are off.

    Aglahad: thanks for fielding defense money honey's IRR question.

    Defense Money Honey: If you are an ROTC candidate, you might want to consider getting a new SAF user name. Of course, if you work for the Government Accounting Office, your user name is BRILLIANT!!:smile:

    Lurkers: I have said this many, many times in the past that the real prize is not the scholarship money received for college; it is the EXPERIENCE of being an officer AFTER college. The immediate and significant management experience alone that one gains as an officer really beats any type of experience that other newly minted college grads receive (most of whom are unemployed at the moment and sitting around on Mom and Dad's couch right now -- assuming that's $25-50k in lost income, then being unemployed for a year after college actually equates to 1-2 years of college tuition (not to mention GI-Bill eligility that vets receive for post-service eduction). If you want to become a career officer, you have no choice to go through the commissioning path to get there. And if you decide instead to enter civilian life after your service commitment is complete, you will be light-years ahead of your peers (more important, as an officer you are forced to learn how to lead) and this translates directly greater financial opportunities over the span of whatever career you pursue. You also will have the bonus of having served your country -- something that is truly priceless.

    Should candidates pursue scholarship money? Of course! And they should pursue it very aggressively. But the award of a scholarship should NOT be the primary reason for going down this path. Just know that timing is everything and if many of you were born only a few years earlier, most would be on full scholarship next year.

    So don't let any news about reductions in scholarship money be a factor at all in your decision to become an officer.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I never said optimal. I said it's what happens. If you want to talk about optimal, then you have to consider whose ox is being gored. Or, to put it simply, optimal for whom? If you're a budgetary type looking for savings, cutting training frees up money much more immediately than cutting programs or people. For example, you could save $1 billion by cutting training, or you could cut a $5 billion dollar program for a future system. Which sounds better? It sounds better to everyone in uniform if you only cut the $1 billion. But if that program was on a 10-year timeline, cutting it would save only $500 million a year. But training budgets are annual, so if you cut that $1 billion in training, you save $10 billion over the same 10 years. The pill seems easier for everyone to swallow, because 1 is surely less than 5.

    You have to remember how much training costs. One K2 model Hellfire costs more than your scholarship (about $120,000). In a single hellfire shoot, an Apache battalion might send 60 or 70 scholarships' worth of missiles downrange.

    Everyone wants to believe that the Army dumps a ton of money into scholarships. At the end of FY10 I spent over $128,000 in 30 days to outfit one company with equipment to make up for shortages. That was using left-over money from the budget. I spent the least of the 4 XOs in the battalion.

    ROTC Scholarships are not huge money in the grand scheme of defense dollars. Conversely, they also aren't all that important. In a jobless economy, people will join.

    The first hit you see will be, as patentesq mentioned, a sharp reduction in all the "gee whiz" stuff. Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder (not that cadets have any business there anyway), etc. will be reduced as the training dollars for those schools falls overall. Cadets are the lowest priority for training.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The fact is this is going to be devastating to the Pentagon. The assumption that for this yr it will not have an impact because it won't start until FY13 is BS. The original cut was 450 Billion, they now have to add 650 Billion more into their plans. Remember the DOD is not a mom and pop company, it doesn't turn on a dime (no pun intended) when planning a budget.

    It is going to impact ROTC greatly because even though it will not start until 13, the DOD will have to assume that come 14 through 2023 they are going to be short 110 Billion a yr (450 +650 = 1 Trillion divide by 10 yrs). They already assumed it would be 45 Billion and the cuts were already showing up in little things like the AFA not requesting a waiver for class size, OCS boards being cancelled and fewer scholarships.

    What they did in the 90's for ROTC was made scholarships almost non-existent. Instead of 25% on scholarship, they had 5-10%. Didn't pull that min gpa and there was no grace semester, the scholarship was gone. They cut cadets loose 3 months prior to graduation. That means for cadets on scholarship now, even those who will graduate in May, you are on the hook just like the 90's.

    They also slowed down the rated pipeline, even shut down the Nav school for a small time. There was no such thing as washing back if you busted a ride. Instead it was washed out. Not only out of rated training, but the AF, and you were gone in days. Packed up and gone.

    They also had to implement the RIF. They took in 91, 95% of AFROTC officers from yr group 84-86. 95%, that is not a typo. Our friend who flew in the Gulf, tons of nice medals, including the silver star, in Fighter Weapon School, and told him he was done.

    Promotion boards sped up and reduced the percentage to @50-60% for a few yrs. Understand passed over twice with less than 16 yrs in AD, and they can kiss you goodby with no bennies. Rated officers were forced into non-rated assignments because the ones hit hardest were non-rated. You can take a flier and make them a maintenance officer, you can't convert a maintenance officer into a flier. Same with MSSQ, and PA.

    Crap assignments were handed out...i.e. take this remote to Skorea or to Saudi Arabia OR 7 day opt out, your choice.

    Pay raises were in the 1% level, while at the same time congress gave themselves 100%.

    O'Clubs, gyms, golf courses, day care, MWR became NAF (non-appropriate funded). If they couldn't turn a profit they were forced to close. This is also when the infamous credit card came about, prior to that you had a membership card for each base you were assigned to at the time.

    This is when dependents were shipped off base for medical needs, and smaller base hospitals started closing down their maternity wards, and ERs. It is also when new construction on housing came to a screeching halt, plus perks for living on base disappeared...i.e. no free flowers in the spring, no fences, if they didn't deem it as an emergency nobody was coming out over the weekend to fix anything in the home.

    None of that has come back, except for new construction, so there is no squeezing money out of there.

    They already stated tri-care for retirees will be increasing. So you can't find more money there. They will probably now charge more for AD tri-care, and concordia. They will also probably reduce the benefits in the plan to squeeze money.

    That leaves us with hitting hardware to find the remainder of the money. The 35 once seen as the sacred cow because AF, Navy, Marines and 8 other countries will be on the hit list. That too will have a ripple effect on the UPT pipeline. If you cut the number of jets in the inventory, you need less pilots.

    Bullet at work yesterday was joking with some Lockheed guys, and the guys stated they didn't know if they would have a job next week. Cut the 35 program, and Lockheed will cut their employee roles. This is going to impact more than just the military, it is going to impact the civilian world too. It will than come back and hit the military again. No jobs out there, and AD members won't dive. They don't dive and the military will need to implement a RIF to make them dive. Which in turn will increase unemployment from the lovely 9% to even higher because now it is not just defense contractors out of work, but military members too. They lose their disposable income and they are not shopping, which means retailers, restaurants, homes will take a hit and release their employees.

    You see this has a much bigger impact than just the DOD. It will ripple throughout the country and not just at bases. Remember GE supplies engines for the military, and they too will lose jobs when less 35s are produced. Somebody somewhere makes the computer circuits for these planes. Somebody makes the paint, etc., etc., etc.

    Finally, understand FY13 starts in 10 months, not 14 months in Jan. 2013, but instead Oct 1 2012. For anyone in ROTC they will tell you that their tuition reimbursement is not in their account Aug or Sept., but instead Oct. So, yes, this is something to concern yourself with because now they know without a doubt there will be a budget hit for Oct 1st next yr. They are on the hook for the scholarships now, so where do they do their 1st cut? Rationally think about it. They have to assume that until at least Oct 1st 2013, they will live with 110 Billion less. If it comes back 10/13, they can offer ISS, for 3 yrs. If it doesn't they are still cutting money.

    Contracted scholarship cadets also get stipends and book money. It may be seen as pennies, but right now every penny counts.

    Just my guess, but I bet at least for AFROTC, you will see very few Type 1s, few 2s and more 7s than have occurred historically over the past few yrs. Probably with the hope that the recipient will convert the 4 yr 7 to a 3 yr 2.

    SFT was expected to increase in numbers this yr and IS scholarships to re-start, but I wouldn't be shocked if neither occurs. Once a cadet completes SFT, even non-scholarship they are contracted. If a scholarship cadet is not selected for SFT, they lose their scholarship and are out of AFROTC.

    That will save them immediate money for 13. Not giving IS scholarships is also an immediate savings for 13 too.

    I never thought I would say this, but the 90's will look like a cake walk IMPO for the military than what we will see for at least FY13.

    Thank you lawmakers! Thank you for being so short sighted and partisan to not grasp how 1 in 6 jobs is tied to the DOD. Heck, what did I expect? Look what they did to the housing market? They didn't realize 1 of those 5 out of the 6 was tied to that industry! They still don't get that! So now they have hit 2 out of every 6 jobs. Guess we should be thankful that they bailed out the auto industry.

    Not to make this political, but sorry, Mr. President why did you let it get to this point? If your kids were fighting, you would lock them in a room together until they apologized and made up, you wouldn't stand for them bickering. You wouldn't say that your favorite child was right, and the other child was completely wrong!
     
  13. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Amen, sister.:thumb:
     
  14. Packer

    Packer Member

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    He might if he thought it would impact his image!
     
  15. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I think you are right, Pima. In terms of timing, what see happening is this:

    In view of the President's veto threat yesterday, I suspect that the GOP will spend the greater part of the year assessing whether it is likely that President Obama will be re-elected in November 2012. So the budget fight likely won't be resolved soon. If President Obama is not re-elected, then the veto threat announced yesterday is nullified and the GOP will gain the greatest amount of leverage in post-election November 2012 and still has time to undo the sharp budget reductions planned for defense. However, if it appears clear that the President will be re-elected, then that adds pressure on the GOP to cut a deal before next summer. But I don't see that happening and what I think will happen (JMPO) is that the November will really be a referendum on the philosophical divide between cutting expenses, maintaining a strong military, entitlements, and raising taxes (sadly, the MOCs collectively are arguably passing the buck onto the electorate to make the hard decisions for them).

    The problem is that this all happens after October 1, 2012 (FY2013), and the military budget planners know that. We may see another CR come October for this reason. We are also going to see some very harsh pronouncements from the military in the coming months about how the sky is falling (this has already started with warnings of dire consequences of "hollowing out" the military), but that will need to be discounted a bit because the military is essentially a lobbyist in this fight over money like everyone else. After all, a Pentagon lobbyist gets the same consideration as a lobbyist from AARP, for example.

    Unfortunately, this all gives rise to a lot of uncertainty and hand-wringing for candidates in the coming months. The only way for candidates to mitigate that is to have many, many, many backup plans in place and to plan for contingencies as they occur (this is actually good training for officer candidates, because contingency planning is a HUGE part of being an officer). Even delaying entry into the active-duty military until after graduate school should be considered as a viable possible plan, when entry will come in a more miltitary-career friendly environment. Although it has been quite the norm to commission immediately upon college graduation, there is no requirement that this necessarily has to be the case (as long as age requirements upon entry are met). Long-term planners will know that it is better to join the military after a RIF than immediately before or during one. In this way, a career-officer candidate can manipulate the "timing is everything" factor by intentionally deciding to delay entry. If the candidate is truly focused on having a military career, then s/he might truly be better off waiting on the sidelines until the time is right and the dust has settled on defense spending (after all, officers now are required to obtain a graduate degree at some point). In fact, there are many officers serving today that have done exactly that (many have enlisted after high school, separated, obtained a college degree using ROTC/Service Academy and then returned to active duty, and this has been their "plan" all along!).

    I suppose what I am trying to say here is this: Put thought into what the long-term plan is and resist the temptation to follow a career path defined by a series of short-term objectives. If you receive a scholarship opportunity, grab it! (with the understanding that there will be plenty of scholarship and service academy students who join now who will be RIFed in the coming years, while non-scholarship students who delay entry may actually have a much easier military career path if their class year is not the subject of a RIF). If you don't receive a scholarship, the game isn't over and take it as a blessing that the timing isn't right or that God has a different plan for you. But don't let adversity discourage or distract from achieving your long-term goals. The trick is knowing how to work all this uncertainty to your advantage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't want to make this political, and I am sure many of you feel the same way if you understand how hard 650 BN in additional cuts will impact you personally.

    Honestly, I am in fear now.

    DS is graduating May 2012, luckily he has a very high GPA, national ROTC awards, and a UPT slot. I am hoping he will not be given walking papers in the spring.

    Unfortunately, he has a UPT slot. Bust a ride and it can all be over for him...like they did in the 90's.

    To illustrate how big of an impact this is even at the Pentagon. Last week the GS's were informed cuts might be coming. The joke was if you pass the probation period, you are safe. That is no longer true.

    Everything is on the table for the DOD. Nobody will walk away unscathed. Bullet works on the 35 as a high GS, up for civilian of the yr nationally, and we are worried that his job might be cut. Not at freak out moment yet, just at the what if moment.

    Booze, SAIC, L-3 Comm, Lockheed, Pratt and Whitney are in that fear too. Our friends that are sim instructors are concerned about their govt contracts.

    It isn't going to be pretty. To sit here and state, so they will risk training future leaders via ROTC equates to not understanding that they will also be cutting people with military experience at the same time.

    Big picture. 650 BN, or 65 BN is deep drastic, IMPO suicidal cuts to our country and our economy. ROTC is personal to you. See my GE, Lockheed, textile company comment.

    What if your folks work for a glass company, do you know if they supply the glass for the lightbulbs for the DOD? What if the DOD decided to reduce costs by reducing the frequency of ordering light bulbs?

    That would mean the light bulb company would order less glass, which in turn would reduce their demand.

    What if they were a produce company? The military may decide that brussel sprouts or asparagus is too expensive compared to broccoli. That company would take a hit.

    What if they work in fuels. The DOD may reduce the mins for MQ status flights. Hence, less JP8.

    That is my point. You may see ROTC as a need, and it would be foolish to cut their budget, but the SOD will report to the President, and his job is to defend the country and our economy. ROTC is an easy cut compared to the AD world and the economy.

    Hate to say it as a parent of an AFROTC cadet, but must say it as a citizen of the country.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Even if that happened FY 14 would be the earliest, we are in FY12. Remember FY for the DOD is Oct 1 - Sept 30.

    That would mean before we got back to the pre- additional 650BN, it would be Oct 1st 13 for FY14.

    That was my point when replying no biggie it is 13. Yes, biggie! The best we are looking at is FY14, and that is if they rectify it now. Waiting until next July is too late.

    16 candidates that means you will be sophs in college.

    I concur with your premises patentesq.

    However, let's acknowledge the indirect impact this will have.

    You must admit bringing home troops from Iraq and Afghanistan will create over manning stateside for the military. Reducing the DOD budget may make personnel on the chopping block.

    If so, unemployment will rise.

    Reducing govt defense contracts will equate into companies laying off employees, or at the very least not hiring.

    If so, unemployment will rise.

    That means less disposable income to spend for movies, clothing and those beautiful 49 inch flat screen HDTVs or Ipads.

    Which means less demand, and more supply. Which equates into lay offs and higher unemployment.

    SOD Panetta has an option, save pennies from ROTC and divert it to the AD budget. Or save ROTC and divert pennies from the AD budget.

    That whole unemployment scenario I just laid out, will be an issue for our President come election day 2012. I believe President Obama is a very intelligent man, and I believe he will do everything not to increase the unemployment rate. Nor would he sacrifice our defense.

    ROTC and OCS are 2 places he can squeeze pennies from easier than the AD world.
     
  18. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I mostly agree with you but a lot can and probably will happen between now and 2016. There is no reason to speculate that a RIF is going to hit kids are joining right now (assuming joining means starting in ROTC/academy). I don't think anybody out there has a reasonable idea of what things are going to look like in 5+ years.
    Pima's son is in a different position and it is pretty easy to make reasonable speculation about those who are presently commissioning.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree Packer, our child is different because he will be joining the AD world this spring. His is an AD issue.

    However, it may also impact the class of 13 and 14 due to budget cuts in the AD world. If they cut they may cut for FY 14 too, which would mean 13 and 14 grads.

    15 and 16 can be impacted because scholarships may be reduced.

    The DOD will have to build their budget on the premise that 650 BN will not exist in a long term strategic plan. They cannot build it with a premise that in January 2013 after elections it will be rectified.

    Just like any Fortune 500 company, the DOD does long term strategic plans and budgets. They don't plan 1 yr in advance.

    That is the issue for ROTC candidates and cadets to understand or comprehend.

    I agree that a RIF for a 16 AD grad is highly unlikely. I have always stated the military is bulimic. We are in the purging mode right now, and by 16 we will be in the gorging mode for AD. However 15 and 16 must survive the current mode. Less scholarships.

    I believe the 1st board for AFROTC 16 is Dec. AFA has announced that mass mailing will be late March/early April with only 1050 for the class size compared to 1600 for 14 and 1350 for 15. Just imagine, if the AFA, an SA is cutting would it will be like for AFROTC now with this cut for at least a while.

    Understand MOCs leave for break in Dec. I don't know board dates, but if the board is before they can fix it for congress, you may see AFROTC holding back on scholarships until they get a :thumb: or :thumbdown: regarding scholarships.
     
  20. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    My theory,

    less schools with ROTC programs. Haven't done any research, but there are productive (define as resource vs ROTC cadets getting commissioned) ROTC programs, break even ROTC programs, and bad ROTC programs. My guess is that typical ROTC program require 3 to 5 active duty soldiers and additonal contractor. I would also think the summer leadership camp grades can provide which ROTC programs are histically productive. So get rid of poor performing ROTC programs.
     

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