General Talks Budget Cuts, Soldier Suicides
FT. CAMPBELL, KY - The second-highest ranking officer in the Army was on post Thursday at Fort Campbell to announce a proposed $50 billion budget cut, and expressed frustration over soldier suicides.
A proposed cut within the armed forces in 2014 leaves top-ranking Army officials with tricky choices about how to balance manpower and modernization.
The reductions would come on top of a $487 billion reduction that President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to in August 2011.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell said military leaders are trying to juggle personnel requirements with the ability to keep equipment and training up to date.
Failing to make those choices correctly, Campbell said, runs the risk of leaving "a hollow force."
Campbell continued, saying how frustrating it is that the number of soldiers taking their own lives continues to rise despite concerted efforts to offer assistance.
The general said the military is now trying a campaign to reach soldiers in distress before the problems reach a crisis level.
Suicides by service members have gone up since 2008, and reached 350 in 2012.
Campbell said bringing down the number of suicides will require soldiers at all levels to recognize when others are having trouble.
The stop at the Ft. Campbell post is one of several for the general. He'll speak Friday at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.