Politics

Pentagon Receives Record $800+ Billion in Funding Yet Can’t Even Provide Uniforms or Maintain Dormitories


Year after year, the Department of Defense receives more and more billions of your taxpayer dollars, ostensibly to secure our military strength and dominance around the world. Yet, recent reports have shined a glaring light on the ineffectiveness of the Pentagon to use those dollars to take care of even the most basic functions.

As if it’s not alarming enough to hear reports of hundreds of millions of dollars going to waste on ineffectual weapons systems like the F-35 Lightning, it turns out soldiers are struggling to get the proper uniforms or even live in decent housing. The very threads that are meant to go on a Marines back, the first symbol of their pride in the Corps, is on back order.

Young service members are living in worse conditions than many of the illegal immigrants being housed in various Manhattan hotels – and yet we still argue the merits for America’s youth to raise their right hand and pledge their life to the armed services. Let’s dive deeper into what should cause lawmakers and our uniformed members endless embarrassment and shame.

No shirt, no shoes, no service?

This week Marine Corps Commandant General Eric Smith addressed his Marines in an Instagram video about the continued shortage of Marine Corps uniforms, telling them the problem isn’t going away anytime soon with the backlog lasting until the fall of 2024.

The General explained that:

“Until that time, local commanders, battalions and squadrons are authorized to use FROG (flame-resistant organizational gear) gear or (desert-colored) cammies to mitigate.”

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Essentially what the General is allowing is for Marine Corps units to wear older uniforms and those not normally authorized during various seasons or environments.

General Smith went on to say:

“What we cannot have is a situation where a Marine is wearing unserviceable cammies, because that looks bad for the Corps, and we can’t have a situation where that Marine is being given a hard time about those unserviceable cammies.”

What General Smith is referring to is the ongoing complaints from Marines that they’ve had to patch holes in their uniforms using old Marine Corps bandanas or scraps from old uniforms in order to stay in regulation within their units. At least our Devil Dogs are getting a fair amount of basic tailoring training under their belt.

Keep in mind – Congress gives the Pentagon over $800 billion per year. More than the next dozen or so countries combined.

Home sweet home?

To add insult to injury, it’s not just lacking the right clothes to wear that plagues our service members. According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, thousands of young military members are living in horrific conditions. The report which was released last month uncovered barracks across the services that are riddled with raw sewage, extensive mold, and broken HVAC and fire suppression and detection systems.

The photos are enough to turn your stomach. In many instances service members have had to buy their own individual air conditioning units and space heaters in order to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winters.

The safety concerns are beyond alarming as many of these same dormitories didn’t have secure windows or doors, which led to squatters showing up in these military member’s dorm rooms. Don’t even get me started on how squatters are able to get onto seemingly secure military installations, let alone crawl into a dormitory room and rest for the night.

But the absolute worst part of this report was the revelation that at one installation, servicemembers are responsible for cleaning up the biological waste that as the report describes:

“…may remain in a barracks room after a suicide.”

As someone who has had to enter barracks after suicides as a senior military leader, I can tell you the visual trauma and the smell is something you don’t ever forget regardless of the mode in which the poor soul has chosen to end their life. This is what our young men and women are subjected to.

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No clothes, no beds, no bullets?

So, at this point we are at uniformed members not having uniforms, living in dormitories that resemble something from a horror film, and now apparently, they also don’t have enough weapons.

The Pentagon this week has warned Congress that it is running low on money to replace the weapons that have been sent to Ukraine.

It’s gotten so bad allegedly that the five sided building has had to slow down resupplying troops. In a letter written to Congress, Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord wrote:

“We have already been forced to slow down the replenishment of our own forces to hedge against an uncertain funding future.”

RELATED: Pentagon Exempts Aid To Ukraine From Potential Government Shutdown, Sparking Outrage From People Who Put America First

Mr. McCord didn’t say slow down the replenishment of Ukrainian forces, he said our own forces.

He went on to point out the obvious:

“Failure to replenish our military services on a timely basis could harm our military’s readiness.”

The Pentagon and Congress sure like to drone on and on about military readiness, and yet from where I’m sitting, they haven’t done much in the way of securing military readiness in years.

Money in, money out?

When I am faced with a problem I don’t know how to fix on my own I tend to want to throw money at it, particularly if it has to do with home or car maintenance. I figure, surely if I pay enough money the problem will be fixed by some expert. And generally speaking, I’ve been right.

The same cannot be said when it comes to the problems plaguing the United States military.

The Pentagon will receive something on the order of some $820 billion in from Congress. We approve record levels of funding for the DOD and yet we can’t seem to get Marines the uniforms they need, service members the housing they deserve, or the weapons they require.

But we don’t seem to have a problem sending tens of billions in aid to Ukraine.

Where does all this money go? Don’t ask the Pentagon, doubtful they know given their dismal accounting track record.

This last year they failed their fifth consecutive audit, only being able to account for 39% of its $3.5 trillion worth of assets. And let’s not forget the accounting “error” they had to the tune of $6.2 billion to Ukraine due to “overvaluing” the weapons we’ve sent.

It seems the Pentagon has a valuation problem: they overvalue outgoing weapons and undervalue America’s service men and women. This year the Army is projected to come short on their recruitment goal by 10,000, the Navy by 6,000, and the Air Force by 10,000.

Who can blame America’s youth for not wanting to join the military when the Pentagon can’t provide basic necessities for this nation’s warfighters?

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