LET THAT SINK IN
imagine if we allocated just one year of our military budget to
improving our nations infrastructure
our education system
THE NATIONAL DEBT.
As someone who was in the military I can say its not so much allocating the military budget somewhere else but controlling how the budget is used withing the military. That budget would never need to be so high if it was not for some of the ridiculous junk it is spent on.
I worked in logs and records for F18’s and as a legacy squadron, ie one that has existed longer than intended, it was expected that getting new parts for our jets was a work of gawd. Let me add to that by saying these jets were on average as old as me and well past the recommended mileage for retirement. Which hey if it still works and we can fix it why not, right? That was never the issue. Sure it made requesting parts harder and put us out aircraft every now and again due to short supply or simply because we were in a down period to preform heavy maintenance and structural overhauls so the number of ready for tasking aircraft needed was at a minimum. It was those down periods where I saw how ridiculous military spending could be.
I mean in or out we have all heard the stories about stuff like the warehouse full of brand new tanks for the army (see more on that here) but what you don’t hear about is the special pen owned by corrosion control for marking defects on metal surfaces that costs upwards $1000 a pen. Yep that’s right, one thousand dollars a pen, now don’t ask me the name of this special pen because honestly I don’t know it I never saw it. So how do I know of this pen? Ask anyone in the Navy who works Aviation Maintenance Administration and there it what we called AZ ears, which mean we hear everything so picture my surprise to hear the head petty officer of corrosion getting his balls busted for losing this magic pen and requesting a new one through supply. This “pen” literally did the same job a ten cent grease marker could do, chalk, chalk was also commonly used on the aircraft to write about defects and parts needed repair, but for some gawd awful reason we paid $1000 for a pen just for corrosion control.
More personal a story is about the flight books we put work orders (MAFS) in for each aircraft so pilots could quickly look at discrepancies and recent repairs before hoping in a jet and hoping the thing didn’t blow up on them. These “books” were specialized binders that zipped closed so if they for any reason needed to be ran out to the flight line for a pilot the contents wouldn’t create any FOD and in turn risk downing a jet. We had on average 11 jets at my command with each jet having one of these books. The cost? $700 a book. SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS A BOOK FOR WHAT IS EXACTLY THIS. Not even joking. I even tried to convince my command to let me go to Walmart and buy the things myself just to save us money but it was required that they be special ordered in colors, and with the logo, of my command on them.
And we wont even talk about the money spent to replace perfectly well functioning desks simply because all the desks were “not uniform in appearance”. But then there was stuff like the historical records books falling apart at the seems and supply handing you a roll of duct tape because they couldn’t afford to get just one new one due to overspending. On what? I have no idea! Half the supply shop was a stock pile of junk never needed in such quantities simply because people would throw items that could be reused (like the paper folders for routing private information though the chain of command or f***ing paper clips) because gawd forbid the item not meet some silly standard. And recycle? HECK NO! That’s considered double dipping you can’t buy something and then recycle it for cash, even if it helps the environment, naw you want to recycle it better be something like pop taps for charity but you leave that can of soda alone because it’s going to be disposed of like any other trash. Don’t worry we will just burn all the paper too not just classified information but no that flyer about the bbq fundraiser gets burnt too.
That shit and a thousand storied more on outrageous spending is why the military budget is so high. And that’s not even looking at the other end of the coin where the budget should be being used to improve things like living and working conditions of military personnel. Regulate the spending if you want to regulate the budget don’t just look at it as something that needs to be nixed to help something else.
Oh and please don’t take me as an expert on this stuff. I just wanted to add my two cents on some utter junk I heard of and saw while serving concerning spending. Ask anyone who is military I am sure they have their own and 100s more on any topic you could think of.