Desperate times: Marines told to 'save every round'
March 11th, 2013
02:01 PM ET
1 year ago

Desperate times: Marines told to 'save every round'

(CNN) – United States Marines are being told to preserve ammunition and gasoline as a deal softening the impact of automatic spending cuts continues to elude leaders in Washington.

Marine Corps Commandant James Amos urged personnel in a video posted online Friday to "save every round, every gallon of gas," and to "take every single aspect or opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck," a reminder of the cuts' immediate effect on the U.S. military.

The Marine Corps and other branches are being forced to cut billions from their budgets as the result of the spending cuts, which were triggered March 1 when Congress and the White House failed to strike a deal reducing the federal debt. In a letter to all Marines dated March 2, Amos said his branch would cut $1.4 billion in 2013 and $2 billion in every ensuing year for nearly a decade.

State-by-state reports produced by the White House indicated the military slashes would be seen in delayed maintenance for military equipment and canceled air shows, along with furloughs for civilian defense personnel. Salaries for enlisted personnel are exempt from the budget cuts.

"This is no time to do business as usual," Amos said in the video. "Things have changed. The landscape's changed. We need you to be conservative in the way you do business, I need you to think about conserving our assets, and I need you to become part of the solution as it relates to sacrifice."

The primary goal of the Marines going forward will be to preserve the corps' readiness, Amos said, including initiatives to "recapitalize" and "modernize" the institution. But for now, Amos indicated Marine leaders will be focused on "moving money around" and looking at more ways to reduce spending.

READ MORE: Republicans, while skeptical, welcome Obama outreach

"This is going to require all of us to take a different perspective on your piece of the Marine Corps, and it's going to require all of us to take a look at how we sacrifice for the good of the institution," he said.

And despite the cuts originating from a stalemate between the White House and lawmakers, Amos described Congress as "our best friends."

"The Marine Corps exists today because of Congress," he said, saying in discussions with congressmen and senators it's clear that lawmakers want to help counteract the automatic spending cuts.

"Everybody's on this, everybody's pulling together," he said.

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.


Filed under: Pentagon
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Tea Party Thomas

    Don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes. Worked in 1776 should work today.

    March 11, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. California Gary

    The Marines will perservere and continue to be known as the best fighting force in the world. The world's most feared weapon is still a U.S. Marine and his rifle. OoooooRah!

    March 11, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. 82ndABNVET

    This is just non sense. So, we are asking the Marines, whom are fighting in Afghanistan to save thier rounds, but at the same time the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is ordering 1.6 BILLION rounds? Not to mention the orders for more "assualt rifles" and now MRAPs?

    I think we as a nation can find other things to cut than the tools the Marines, Soldiers, and Airmen are using to fight the enemy with. I think we can start at the DHS and work our way around the government to find fraud, waste and abuse.

    March 11, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Pat

    Maybe our President can spare a few rounds of golf to help get them some more rounds of ammo...but I doubt it.

    March 11, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Not_an_Idiot

    Semper Fi!

    March 11, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    What happened? Does DHS have them all?

    March 11, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. ytman

    Seriously?

    The guns today are way more accurate then back in 1776. You can't risk the bad guys to get the first shots.

    March 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Beez

    Why post the video online? Sounds like he is trying to get across a political message rather than actually communicate with troops

    March 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Michigan Mike

    You can tell the people who choose the photos for articles are not "shooters". No Marine is Ever going to fire their weapon, looking into the site, Without the rifle butt lodged firmly against their shoulder.

    March 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. jboHDrider

    82nd AB is the most feared military weapon in the world.

    March 11, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. DustyOnes

    Maybe the HHS can loan them a couple million rounds of ammo.

    March 11, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Sly

    Ho ho ho ... gotta love this story.
    Our US Military spending totals more than the entire rest of the world put together.

    Military contractors like McDonald-Douglas have been charging taxpayers for $5000 toilet seats.

    But ... we reduce the annual military INCREASE by 3% and they are whining about bullets.

    We should sequestor not a 3% military increase reduction, but a 10% military spending DECREASE.

    Come on Tea Party – this is one liberal who is on your side regarding reducing government spending. Get it done!

    March 11, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. David

    Uh, shouldn't they be, "taking every single aspect or opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck," as a principle anyway?

    Too much government waste, even in the military.

    March 11, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. helodrone

    Marine Corps Commandant James Amos urged personnel in a video posted online Friday to "save every round, every gallon of gas," and to "take every single aspect or opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck," a reminder of the cuts' immediate effect on the U.S. military.
    "This is no time to do business as usual," Amos said in the video.

    "Business as usual" for the USMC seems to mean wasting a few rounds here and there, along with a somewhat haphazard approach to training.
    As a taxpayer, I sincerely wish thay all of the military ALWAYS operated on the premise of 1) never wate ammunition 2) conserve every gallon of gas 3) get the most out of every training opportunity.
    In my opinion, the mindset that announces that now is the time for conservation and saving is a mindset past due for deep cuts.

    March 11, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Clive Roberts

    Hilarious that Americans still think they are regarded as a fine fighting force... classic rose-colored glasses view of the world that has changed so much in the last 20 years.

    March 11, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Wes

    Maybe our President can spare a few rounds of golf to help get them some more rounds of ammo...but I doubt it.

    ----------------------------------------------
    Pat, you made my day.

    March 11, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Tony Bartlett

    Not much different than the Carter years. I went to Navy bootcamp in 1981 and we didn't have bullets for our guns. We learned how to clean the guns but not shoot them!

    March 11, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. TAK

    Maybe if the NRA nutters, who have spent the last few months hoarding ammo, were half the patriots they claim to be they'd consider donating that ammo to our warfighters.

    March 11, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. Kandric

    Don't spend $50 billion on jets that wont even make you happy...

    March 11, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Rickapolis

    My Lord, haven't the politicians learned anything YET? You put an army in the field then refuse to arm it properly? What a bloody disgrace.

    March 11, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. tony

    My memory lasts longer than the time between elections. I know who is responsible for this mess. Rrrrrrrrrrr.......

    March 11, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Vera Waitress

    The US spent $700 BILLION on defense last year alone! This article's premise is preposterous.

    March 11, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Michigan Mike

    You can tell the people who choose the photos for articles are not "shooters". No Marine is Ever going to fire their weapon, looking into the site, Without the rifle butt lodged firmly against their shoulder.
    -----------------
    I tried to point that out a couple of weeks ago, back when Obama admitted to skeet shooting. Firing that weapon like that has the potential to remove some of your teeth and break bones. But, the "gun lubbers" shouted me down.

    March 11, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. K from AZ

    America, BORN: July 04, 1776 DIED as AmeriKA: November 06, 2012
    The United States of America passed away on November 6, 2012 with an almost silent whimper. She was 236 years old. The grand old lady died of neglect, stupidity, arrogance and pure abuse at the hands of both her leaders and its ignorant populace. She will be survived by the Socialist Democratic Republic of Obamerica or SDRO.

    Also killed in this same massive, catastrophic, progressive wreck were personal freedoms, American values, exceptionalism, The Constitution, economic growth, conservatism, fiscal sanity, American unity, free markets, life's sanctity, marriage between man and woman, Republicanism, free will, self-reliance and many more are so mutilated as to be unrecognizable any longer.

    March 11, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The gop is puting our troops at risk ,time to throw out these gop economic disasters freaks out in 2014 mid terms for good!!!!

    March 11, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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