A soldier from Angel Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team 'Rakkasans,' 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) embraces his daughter while being recognized at a Welcome Home Ceremony. (Sgt. Alan Graziano/Army)
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WASHINGTON — In the face of tightening budgets and uncertainty, the Army is committed to making sure deploying soldiers are properly trained and equipped, senior leaders said Monday.
“Whatever else happens, we’re not going to send soldiers into harm’s way who don’t have everything they need, who don’t have the training,” Army Secretary John McHugh said Monday during a town hall with Army families at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting.
The service also is committed to Army families, McHugh said.
“We have a moral obligation to make sure we’re doing everything we can within our available means to provide for families,” he said.
Budget cuts may force the Army to reduce spending on family programs and potentially cut some programs, McHugh said.
“We need your input as to what works for you and what doesn’t,” he said. “Don’t let us do this in a vacuum in the Pentagon. We’re going to have to change, [and] we’re going to have to make decisions on resources, hard decisions.”
Army families strengthen soldiers, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.
“I know that for our soldiers to be able to do the things we need them to do … they need the full support of their families,” he said.
And after 12 years of war, Odierno said, family programs remain a top priority.
“We can not forget our families,” he said. “We’re going to have fewer resources, but I believe this is probably the most important time for us to touch our families as they have gone through 12 years of deployments. If our families grow, then we grow as an Army.”