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Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

Around the Army

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Budget challenges loom in the Army’s future. In fact, just about any portion of the federal budget could be cut to help the United States reduce its yearly deficit.

In fiscal year 2011, the government spent an estimated $1.6 trillion more than it collected in revenue. In fiscal year 2012, it’s estimated the government will spend about $1.1 trillion more than it takes in.

The Department of Defense, and all services, including the Army, are potential targets for deficit reduction.

“We understand that our nation’s in a critical time and economic capacity is the basis of strength of a nation,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno. “We understand the military has to be part of this, and that we have to be part of the solution as we move forward. And we are prepared to do that. But we must do it in a reasonable smart and well thought out way.”

Odierno, the 38th chief of staff of the Army, spoke Wednesday before a House Army Caucus breakfast attended by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as Army general officers and senior Army civilians. He told lawmakers budget reductions must be made in both DoD and the Army, but said those cuts must be done in a way that allows the Army to continue to be an elite fighting force.

He said today the Army is the best in the word, and he hopes that after budget cuts, the Army will continue to be the best. “It’s up to us to work together,” he said. “... We have to preserve the all-volunteer force.”

Congressional gold medal to be awarded

More than 1,500 Japanese-Americans, including Soldiers, widows and family members associated with the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service, collectively known as “Go for Broke,” will descend upon the nation’s capital in November to receive the congressional gold medal.

The three-day event, with speeches and presentations at the World War II Memorial, U.S. Capitol Emancipation Hall and the Washington Hilton, will recognize many whose families spent years in prison as a result of political persecution.

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