AUSA Boss Says ‘No’ to Army Commission

NGAUS Washington Report

(Feb. 18, 2014) The head of the Association of the United States Army says a commission to study the structure is a bad idea that might hurt readiness.

Retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, a former Army chief of staff, made his feelings known in a letter last week to Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the speaker of the House.

“Such a commission is unnecessary, could damage Army readiness, and would impede the Army’s ability to implement spending reductions required by the 2011 Budget Control Act,” he wrote, according to an article in Army Times.

Sullivan is referring to legislation introduced by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., that would, among other things, create a panel to review the proper structure for the Army to meet future security needs. The commission would be similar to one that spent a year studying the Air Force structure and released its report last month.

Wilson’s bill, H.R. 3930, would also not allow the retirement or transfer of Army National Guard helicopters, which is part of another Army plan. It would also put a halt to the Army’s desire to cut the Army Guard to 315,000 soldiers.

Sullivan wrote, “There is no need to empower a committee to redesign the Army. The Army components’ senior leaders are best qualified to organize, train and equip a total force that will reflect the Army’s role in deterrence, meeting treat obligations, supporting domestic crises and disaster relief, and, ultimately, fighting and winning the nation’s conflicts.”

Both the National Guard Bureau and the adjutants general believe they largely have been shut out of the conversation.

NGAUS supports the legislation, which has attracted more than 90 cosponsors, and has distributed a Legislative Alert to association members. Retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the NGAUS president, addresses the issue in a video found on www.ngaus.org.