RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
Staff Sgt. Joshua Menninger wins the 2013 RDECOM
Noncommissioned Ofcer of the Year competition.
(U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)
RDECOM recognizes2013 NCO of the Year
By Chuck HagelSecretary of Defense As you are fully aware, the Departmentof Defense is facing a historic shortfall in
our budget for the current scal year. This is
the result of current law that went into effectMarch 1. It imposes deep across-the-boardcuts on DoD and other federal agencies.Combined with higher than expectedwartime operating costs, we are now shortmore than $30 billion in our operation andmaintenance (O&M) accounts – which arethe funds that we use to pay most civilianemployees, maintain our military readiness,and respond to global contingencies.The Department has been doingeverything possible to reduce this shortfallwhile ensuring we can defend the nation,sustain wartime operations, and preserveDoD’s most critical asset – our world-classcivilian and military personnel. To thatend, we have cut back sharply on facilitiesmaintenance, worked to shift funds frominvestment to O&M accounts, and reducedmany other important but non-essentialprograms.Still, these steps have not been enoughto close the shortfall. Each of the militaryservices has begun to significantlyreduce training and maintenance of non-deployed operating forces – steps thatwill adversely impact military readiness. And even these reductions are notenough. Since deeper cuts to trainingand maintenance could leave our nationand our military exposed in the eventof an unforeseen crisis, we have beenforced to consider placing the majority of our civilian employees on administrativefurlough. After extensive review of all optionswith the DoD’s senior military and civilianleadership on how we address thisbudget crisis, today I am announcing thatI have decided to direct furloughs of upto 11 days for most of the Department’scivilian personnel. I have made thisdecision very reluctantly, because I knowthat the furloughs will disrupt lives andimpact DoD operations. I recognize thesignificant hardship this places on youand your families.
After required notications, we will
begin the furlough period on July 8 atthe rate of one furlough day per week for most personnel. We plan to continue thesefurloughs through the end of the current
scal year. If our budgetary situation
permits us to end furloughs early, I wouldstrongly prefer to do so. That is a decision Iwill make later in the year.Furloughs for 11 days represent abouthalf of the number we had originallyplanned, reflecting the Department’svigorous efforts to meet our budgetaryshortfalls through actions other thanfurlough. There will be exceptions drivenby law and by the need to minimize harmto the execution of our core missions.For example, all employees deployed or temporarily assigned to a combat zonewill be excepted from furloughs.Your managers have been givenauthority to develop specific furloughprocedures to minimize adverse missioneffects and also limit the harm to moraleand productivity. They will be in touch withyou to provide guidance and answers.The President and I are deeplyappreciative of your patience, your hard work, and your dedication andcontributions to the critical missionof helping protect America’s nationalsecurity. I am counting on all of you tostay focused on this vital mission in thedays ahead. As I said the day I assumedthe responsibilities of Secretary of Defense, I’m proud to be part of your team and I’m proud to serve with you.
Secretary Hagel: Message on Furloughs
Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense
By Dan LafontaineRDECOM Public Affairs
aBERDEEn pROvIng gROunD, md.
—Staff Sgt. Joshua Menninger captured tophonors May 23 after a week of competition
that tested four noncommissioned ofcers’
physical abilities, endurance and technicalexpertise.Menninger earned recognition as theU.S. Army Research, Development andEngineering Command’s NCO of the Year.RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormondand Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie,RDECOM’s senior enlisted advisor,congratulated Menninger and presented himwith momentos.“I commend you for being chosen byyour organizations to come,” Ormond said.“I appreciate you for stepping up. It’s atremendous honor for us to be able to honor you for taking on the challenges of the pastfew days.”Menninger, a counter-mine section leader assigned to Communications-ElectronicsResearch, Development and EngineeringCenter’s Night Vision and Electronic SensorsDirectorate at Fort Belvoir, Va., now advancesto the Army Materiel Command NCO of theYear competition. Also vying for the honors were: Staff Sgt.Joshua Hawes, Staff Sgt. Eric Linder and Sgt.Charles Andrzejewski.