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Budget: Doing more with less

Published: 02:39PM April 18th, 2013

I’m not sure when I first heard ‘do more with less’, but I expect that some derivative has been in the vernacular longer than any of us have been alive.

We’ve had plenty of warning that our budgets are tightening, yet I can’t recall any utterance of that adage. I have heard a few quips about doing ‘less with less’, but mostly our guidance has been to seek greater efficiency while maintaining effectiveness.

The Services are focused on clearing out white space, prioritizing readiness, and reducing our cost footprint to ensure we are ready to defend the nation. Our responsibility is to defend our nation with the resources we have.

This is a non-negotiable duty.

One might think that Service efficiency efforts are due to the ominous sequester, but patriots have been improving the defense cost/benefit ratio for a very, very long time.

We certainly use more expensive equipment and trained professionals today. But we possess a global strategic military influence that has thwarted or deterred major theater war for a long time. I think if we could place a dollar cost benefit on the lives and property protected by America’s defense investment we’d find the cost/benefit ratio has actually decreased.

We are the most capable and selfless military in the world. We’re ready to defend America and the benefits have been worth the cost. But how in the world are we going to continue improving, or even sustain, with budget reductions?

The answer lies in our selfless values and mission-first ethos. There are many more, yet to be discovered, innovative processes and cooperative means of reducing cost and sustaining, even improving readiness. If you are uncertain, just pull an iPhone from your pocket.

Think of what that capability costs today, compared to the real estate and human expertise it would have cost a decade ago to give you what it can 24 hours a day.

If you have kids, check out what an eighth grader is studying compared to your experience.

Human ingenuity and optimism has advanced our capability and knowledge at such a rapid pace that I am certain we can succeed in our mission and aid our nation’s debt crisis. This takes individual leadership and ingenuity in our workplace.

Here at JBLM we have great opportunity to work together and share the benefits of Army and Air Force capabilities. The joint base has made great strides to reduce duplication and successfully promote cooperation. Budget reductions don’t make me think of ‘more with less’ or ‘less with less’. Reducing budgets is a challenge which our team will adapt to while we remain ready. Our team is going to seek opportunity to improve our capabilities and reduce cost both for the sole purpose of defending our country.