Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is seeking feedback from service members on the Fiscal 2015 budget proposal, which he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined on Monday, according to a YouTube video posted on his Facebook account. Specifically, Dempsey wants to hear from troops on proposed compensation changes and healthcare changes, though he set aside any discussion regarding retirement pending the results of a review board. “We have to make some changes in order to keep the force balanced,” said Dempsey. He added, “Our commitment is if we do this, we’ll stay in touch with you and listen to what you have to say.” Although the two-year budget deal has temporarily mitigated the impacts of sequestration, it is still law so change is inevitable, he cautioned. “You can’t just dig in and say, ‘No change,’” said Dempsey. However, “We want to make sure we’re making the right changes, and we only want to do it once.” (AFPS report)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.