Senior Enlisted Testify Before MilCon/VA Appropriations Subcommittee

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett and his Army and Air Force counterparts summarized prepared testimony and ranked their respective quality-of-life concerns this week before the House Military Construction (MilCon), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

Sergeant Major Barrett emphasized the five pillars of readiness that include:

  • Recruiting and retaining high-quality people;
  • Maintaining high unit readiness;
  • Shaping the force to meet the needs of combat commanders;
  • Investing in infrastructure; and
  • Equipment modernization that supports our core competencies.

“The quality-of-life needs, ranging from family readiness and schools to improvements in transition assistance and suicide prevention, impact each of these five pillars,” said Barrett, who referenced the Corps’ 380 Family Readiness Officers who assist with the family readiness mission and the e-Marine program, the secure family readiness website that delivers strategic communications to Marines and their families. Children remain a high priority, with Marine school liaisons in more than 70 school districts providing faculty with information about the needs of Marine Corps families and plans to increase capacity at child development centers in FY 2014.   He also explained the new tailored approach to the Marine Transition Assistance Program (TAP) that allows Marines to choose one of four pathways (College, Employment, Vocational, or Entrepreneurship) and the success of the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment that is “keeping the faith” with the 1016 Marines and families in its ranks.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)Michael D. Stevens was also scheduled to testify, but was hospitalized and unable to attend the hearing. His written statement was entered into the record and members of the committee were asked to submit written questions for the record to MCPON.