Welcome to a meeting of the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel. Ladies and Gentlemen, the hearing will come to order. Today, the Subcommittee will examine the military resale programs within the Department of Defense, specifically how the military resale community will continue to provide appreciated benefits to service members, their families, and retirees in a fiscally constrained environment.
"The military exchanges, the commissary and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs are acknowledged as highly valuable and appreciated benefits that support active duty retention, the wellbeing of the military community, and the readiness of the force. The commissaries, exchanges and Morale Welfare and Recreation programs have long provide extraordinary savings to their patrons as well as job opportunities for military spouses and families, which I view as critical during the past years of economic challenges. The continued fiscal pressures on the Defense budget have caused the department and services to look at initiatives to reduce appropriated funding for these programs.
"As Congress debates the devastating reductions to Defense accounts that are associated with the sequestration, it is critical we hear from the department and the military resale community to reinforce the importance of these programs to the all volunteer force, but also how the resale community is working together to ensure this valuable benefit is maintained even in a fiscally constrained environment. I remain a strong supporter of military commissaries, exchanges, and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and will continue to work to ensure that these programs continue to provide the effective benefits our men and women in uniform deserve. I agree with President Obama who spoke at Camp Pendleton on August 7, 2013 where he said 'Hardworking folks are getting furloughed, families getting by on less, fewer ships available for your training exercises, the commissaries your families rely on closed a day a week. We can do better than that. That's not how a great nation should be treating its military and military families.