by Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
3/15/2013 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A senior Air Force leader testified in front of Congress Mar. 13 on the impact sequestration has had on Airmen and family programs, to include military tuition assistance.
Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, informed members of the House Armed Service Subcommittee on Military Personnel that the March 1-triggered sequestration and lingering continuing resolution, will undermined the Air Force's ability to train and equip Airmen, he said.
A continuing resolution funds the service at 2012 levels.
We may not be able to fully fund vital developmental programs for our Airmen as we have in the past," he said. "This action will impact our ability to harness the full potential of our Airmen, as they continue to operate in increasingly complex environments."
Most notably as of late, the Air Force officially suspended military tuition assistance Mar. 11.
Tuition assistance has been an important part of force development for many years, Jones said, and the importance of education is instilled in Airmen from their first day in the Air Force.
"We're going to re-evaluate it for FY14," he said. "We're going to do everything we can to offer a program in FY14, but realistically, we're going to have to reduce the parameters of the program to lessen the budgetary impact on our Air Force."
Jones foot-stomped that TA is suspended for the rest of the fiscal year -- not canceled altogether. He reflected optimism the Air Force will offer a TA program for fiscal year 2014, but it will be different than what many Airmen are accustomed to.
Programs for families in the Air Force could be impacted as well, Jones stated.
Sequestration "may force us to make hard decisions to determine what support services we can afford to provide under sequestration versus what our Airmen deserve."
3/20/2013 10:27:25 AM ET I was offended SAS by your comment about older and retired who don't care and are scolding younger Airmen who are upset about losing thier benefits. I'm sorry that you have experienced this. I am a retiree who is quite concerned about the lose of TA who has and will continue to listen to any Airmen who is affected by this event and has supported those Airmen by helping them find other resources. Please don't lump us all together and say that we don't care. I was an Airman for 25 years and I will always be this retire does care and hopes for a resolution as do many others.
3/19/2013 4:02:01 PM ET Have you even read your post Janna Tax payer should not have to carry the burden of TA Well should the service member have to carry the burden of putting his life on the line for the country Is not the service member a tax payer also How about you get rid of a true entitlement program that people receive when they do absolutely nothing to deserve it except for live in this country. I hate entitlement programs but I believe when someone is putting their life on the line on call 24x7 and basicaly owned by the governemnt even though it is voluntary to join they do deserve to have additional assistance programs. If you are so concerned about the country being financially stressed and want to cut programs that are a burden on tax payers why dont you vote out the people trying to expand them. You can also go lobby about Medicare Medicaid Social Security the upcoming Obama Care Welfare Food Stamps Unemployment etc... Taking programs away from the troops is a good way to en
Richard Garrison, JBLM
3/19/2013 10:12:25 AM ET The one thing I have certainly seen too much of in all of this is the older and retired that havent cared or have already used these benefits scolding the younger Airmen for being upset about losing this benefit. I guess if your retired then you are done caring about the Airmen. You are terrible for this We should always look after our Airmen and care about them. Why not focus the energy instead of telling the Airmen to quit crying towards the politicians that pay for absolutely nothing and should give up a few benefits themselves Just a thought I would rather my tax dollars pay for an Airmen to take a college class then to pay over a thousand dollars a month for some politicians Lexus
SAS, Seymour Johnson
3/18/2013 2:35:18 PM ET Personally I am fine with the military branches taking away TA for the rest of the year. Tax payers should not have to carry this burden when our country is so financially stressed. HOWEVER the military needs to remove the degree requirements for promotion. Some military members simply cannot afford a college degree without TA and should not have their careers held back because of money.