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Steven P.
Republican MS 4

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  • A Reduction of Military Forces

    by Representative Steven M. Palazzo

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    PALAZZO. I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania, as he is being called today, Colonel Perry, for yielding to me.



    Mr. Speaker, the recent comments by Army leadership are as ridiculous as anything I have seen in quite some time. In a transparent effort to protect their own, they have effectively thrown the men and women of the National Guard out with the bath water.

    It is a fact that the average National Guardsman costs one-third of what his Active Duty counterpart does.

    {time} 1245 Now, I ask the American people, what is the better investment here? Giving these brave citizens soldiers a pink slip is not only ridiculous from a readiness standpoint, but it amounts to throwing away billions of dollars and hours of training.

    Here is your pink slip. Thanks for all your hard work, but we won't be needing you anymore is basically what they are saying.

    Mr. Speaker, I believe that the men and women of our National Guard are not only the smarter financial decision, but they have also earned their stripes over the past 12 years at war.

    As a current member of the Mississippi National Guard, I know that the men and women I serve with and those who come from all over the United States and the territories to train at Camp Shelby before deployment are some of the most professional and most capable soldiers and airmen that our Nation has ever produced, regardless of what General Odierno has said. These men and women are the best-trained, most battle-hardened force that the Guard has seen in their 377-year history. These men and women have fought side by side for over 12 years with the men and women of our Active Duty. To put them back on the shelf will not only waste that experience, but it does nothing to deal with what many military leaders have said is the biggest threat to our national security, and that is our national debt.

    Meanwhile, some Members of this body are content to watch our national debt climb on the back of runaway entitlement spending that continues to suck away resources from every sector. We are cutting right to the bone from our best capabilities. I honestly have trouble believing that Army leadership truly thinks the best way to handle budget pressures is to gut our military capability, but that is exactly what they are doing.

    Mr. Speaker, I promise that if the Army and the President bring this half-baked idea to us here in Congress, I will do everything, along with my colleagues, in my power as a Member of this House and as a member of the House Armed Services Committee to ensure that it is soundly defeated.

    Congressman, thank you very much for putting on this Special Order.

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