Carter: DOD Must Address Morale Issues to Retain Troops

Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a crowd of airmen this week he is worried about those who choose to leave the service because of morale issues, compensation, family life, and dignity. Carter, who visited Nellis AFB, Nev., on Aug. 26 to view the Red Flag exercise, held a meeting with airmen in a hangar off the Nellis flightline. After being asked how he would address issues of morale in the service, Carter said DOD needs to retain its people, and not take lingering quality of life issues for granted if the services want to keep troops in their ranks. Carter said he does “worry about people who leave because they find the conditions of service are not ones that are compatible with what they want to do.” Carter’s visit was a part of a multiple-spot tour across the West, which will include an Aug. 28 speech in Mountain View, Calif., where he will address plans to increase a partnership with the Pentagon, academia, and the private sector. (Watch video of the meeting.)