Defense Department Budget Cuts

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Roadking, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Roadking

    Roadking Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
  2. Sawndog

    Sawndog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    11
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,543
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    I thought those cuts were more about right-sizing the officer corps given the post-surge/port-war reduction in forces. Are you certain budget cuts was the source of the class reduction? :confused:
     
  4. Sawndog

    Sawndog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    11
    I was told by one of the colonels that usually USMA accepts ~1400 candidates each year and the U.S. Army expects 1,000 graduates from that initial 1400. Now they can only accept ~1190 ('16) and are expected to still commission 1,000 cadets. According to what the colonel said, it wouldn't be because of the troop reduction (due to the same outcome), but probably because of the budget.

    This is all speculation from what I was told of course.
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,540
    Likes Received:
    841
    If they are still planning on commissioning the same number from the USMA as the previous year it seems like the goal was to leesen the attrition rate thus saving money by having fewer cadets start then drop from the Academy.
     
  6. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    1
    The most obvious cuts we've seen here so far are all occuring in the mess hall
     
  7. Jkaz

    Jkaz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm going to agree Sawndog, I was an applicant for USMA 2016 and recieved a letter stating exactly what Sawndog has brought up. It was almost verbatim stating that I fell into that ~400 candidate range and would not be offered an appointment. Although at the same time the downsizing theory makes just as much sense.

    I wonder what the numbers are going to be like for the USMA class of 2017?
     
  8. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    Despite appearances, they are actually increased spending on cadets in the mess hall last year. And when things like table cloths were cut they redirected that budget as a conscious business decision. (Sat in on a very good briefing on this by DCA last year)

    So why not pizza and ice cream as most cadets would really want? It's that pesky fitness/health push the Army has to comply with.

    So what are you getting for your $11.20/day? More fresh ingredients, less processed. More selection on the salad bars & fruit, vs throwing away thousands of uneaten salads.

    Not saying the food is good, or that cadets like it. Just that from a budget perspective there have been increases last year not reductions. And more importantly, they are working to better use the money for ingredients rather than table cloths, servers, etc.
     
  9. hmza

    hmza Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    I concur! DH and I ate in Washington Hall while attending his 35th reunion. Paid $$ for this and the food was NOT good. That was the consensus from everyone we talked to that ate there after the pass and review. DH talks about a time when there were kitchens with cooks and an on post bakery. Now food is mostly heat and serve. DH said the food was pretty good 35 yrs ago and not like the mystery stuff we were served! DH is familiar with government contracting and says the low bid gets the contract!
     
  10. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    126
    My cadet says often there is not enough food to go around the table and requests for extras go ignored. No, he is not looking for pizza and ice cream, just enough food so everyone gets to eat. He gets tired of having to spend money on meals.

    I thought the food at Plebe Parent Weekend several years ago was lousy. I wasn't expecting 5-star food, and yes, I realize they are cooking for 4000+, but it was overcooked and tasteless.

    In contrast, a WP exchange student to AFA reports the food is fabulous!
     
  11. sprtzm

    sprtzm Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed, Most of my cadets pay is used for food. Even for "big" meals, like Thanksgiving, not enough tables set up nor would they set them up. He took several plebes into Grant for food for dinner (plebes not being able to eat in there). It is outrageous that these young men and women have to spend money on food on a regular basis. I realize some will say that they are too picky, the truth is most meals there is not enough for the numbers to be served.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    And yet, I haven't heard any cadets complain here (unless I missed it, which is a very real possibility).
     
  13. sprtzm

    sprtzm Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, it has become the new normal......no point in complaining. They know that so there isn't much point.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Cadets and midshipmen have a knack for complaining. If they're not complaining, their parents probably don't need to either. (of course, I wouldn't also say, if they ARE complaining, the parent's still don't need to).
     
  15. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    126
    Uhhh, LITS, as forum members, sprtzm and I were contributing to the discussion about Defense Department Budget Cuts and so there is no need for you to wag your finger at us and characterize our comments as "complaining."
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    No no, I say "complain away," as many parents on SAF do, but I doubt "quality of food" has anything to do will billions in cuts, especially if this is something that has gone on for awhile.

    On the other hand, I remember complaining as a cadet about food (except on Wednesdays for "Alpine Grill" and chicken nuggets), but when I got to my first unit the food wasn't much better.

    Good gets old, same time and place for four years.

    But "our darling children are so miserable because they have to spend money (that they receive for going to school) on food instead of eating their free food provided to them at the same place, and at the same time, each day."

    I'll admit cuts will be painful, and I'll even admit they're needed, but I can't really feel that bad for cadets or midshipmen meal options.
     
  17. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    I had a chance to eat a meal at West Point cadet mess hall recently. I do agree that just the meal sucked in comparison to back in 1990-94. I didn't mind it back than and still had cadets spend money on food.

    My impression was it was more about providing healthy meals, not cost related. Not sure if cadets still get regular beacon or pork sauages as a part of the breakfast. We used to joke about eating the bread used to soak up What I distinctly remember from the recent meal was that the hash brown - lacked "fat"
     
  18. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    I'd be very interested at how this could be. Are you saying your cadet spends his free income on "extra" food at Grant hall or PX? Or that somehow they are being charged more for food than books, uniform, etc in the cadet pay deductions?

    My understanding is that the cadet meal budget is not deducted from cadet pay. (See the cadet tax letter. )

    Not to defend DCA, but they have some pretty big challenges:
    - Must meet Army dietary guidelines which are now much stricter
    - Must maintain the capability to serve 4000+ people in a single sitting
    - Must deal with a highly variable attendance
    - Must minimize waste (previous years they spent tens of thousands of $$ disposing of uneaten salads & vegetables)

    Not calling you out, just pointing out there is much misinformation on this subject, and often the cadets are the last ones to know the real situation.

    I used to be critical of Grant Hall until the head of DCA did a comparison of their sandwich costs & ingredients with similar offerings on post and surrounding towns/malls. Same for Pizza's, etc. And any income from DCA restaurants & shops goes back to the cadet activity budget.

    Comparisons to some of the regular army posts (even overseas) are not realistic.... they do not have to get the volume of people in and out in under an hour like USMA has to with cadet meals. Without changing some of the USMA traditions it will be very difficult to use the of the approaches large mil bases use. (Food courts, etc)

    DS put things this way: "It's institutional food. Not the best, not the worst I've had. Some stuff is really good, other I don't care for. But I never go hungry. My biggest request is that they'd start serving Jelly the same meal they serve the biscuits & butter."

    It's the Army, parents. It's not a fine restaurant.... having eaten in roughly two dozen college food courts/dining halls in the last couple of years, including USMA... it's not that bad.
     
  19. sprtzm

    sprtzm Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not talking about the quality of food, I am talking about many cadets arriving for meals to find that there are not enough tables setup, and you can't stay to eat or that at a table of 10 there are 8 entrees. Many of these cadets then go to Grant to purchase a sandwich for dinner.....this is a pervasive problem as far as I am concerned. I found out over the holidays when we were discussing finances etc and he mentioned that he wasn't able to save as much as he would like because he was using the cash for food. Yes I know that cadets complain, however these are young women and men who, for the most part expend an enormous number of calories in any given day and in order to feed their bodies properly.
     
  20. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,275
    Likes Received:
    606
    This has always been the case. Nothing new here.

    It's not your concern.

    So he's not saving as much of the paycheck he receives for pursuing his fully-funded education as he would like? Say it ain't so...

    Not true at all. Most cadets do not expend anywhere close to an "enormous number of calories" in a given day. Most of any academic day is spent sitting. Those involved in intensive daily activity are a minority. One of the reasons behind the shift in mess hall fare over the past decade was the expanding waistline of cadets.
     

Share This Page