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. hugo

    if you run out of bullets, pick up a rock.

    March 11, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. larry wilson

    the first thing they need to do is stop sponsoring sporting events as well as nascar races

    March 11, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. RoyGBiv

    "Marines are like America's pitbull, they like to stave us, beat us and mistreat us., but every once in a while they let us out to attack somebody."

    March 11, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Jeremiah

    Maybe they shouldn't pick on the branch with the best recruitment program and the smallest budget. If you want the toys, go Army. If you want the "Label" go Marines. Infantry is Infantry regardless.

    March 11, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Burrito23

    Didn't the US government just purchase 1.6 billion rounds?

    March 11, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. alex

    As much as I am against the war and guns, This measure or proposal is asinine, it is contradictory and an insult to the troops. We put these men in a place where they have to fight for their lives, then we ask them to conserve their only lifelines. FUBAR usa

    March 11, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I would suspect that the problem is less one of procuring ammunition, but rather more one of actually delivering them.

    March 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Djg

    The us should stop dumping billions of dollars of aid into foreign countries and start thinking about itself for once

    March 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Alex

    Michigan Mike: So true lol. I was thinking the same thing... that's not how you hold your weapon. Though is a good way to get a black eye haha.

    March 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. SSgt USMC

    I find it insulting that no MSM outlet has picked up the fact that these people cut Tuition Assistance to the military. Started with the Marine Corps not the Army has cut TA. This is a travesty, the promise of education is all we have left after we spent years fighting these wars, and they take it at the first chance they get.

    March 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. john locke

    "Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way."

    March 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. CD

    You can tell he isn't trying to shoot the weapon, he's just looking through the sight, his finger is well off the trigger guard.

    March 11, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Rich

    upsetting...... especially when you here the Marine Corps cut tuition assistance. ????

    March 11, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. OldJoe

    Get rid of the latest, greatest, useless Fighter Jet.
    That program alone will take care of all the supposed cuts.

    March 11, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. snowtrails

    82ndABNVET,.. I was JUST GOING TO SAY THAT!!! Isnt this country screwed up?? I heard somewhere on the net (not sure if its fact er fiction) that obama said "make the sequester hurt as much as it can, even if it doesnt have to".. Who my god elected these IDIOTS??

    March 11, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. SSgt USMC

    I wish some media would report on the fact that they cut Tuition Assistance to the Marine Corps and Army. The bullets will keep coming regardless, don't let them fool you. When they cut DoD, its the programs that affect the families and service members...not the billion dollar contracts.

    March 11, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Unfortunately...

    Good to see the government having to resort to the cuts. My household had to resort to tough cost cutting decisions in 2008. Glad to see them finally doing the same.

    March 11, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. OldJoe

    Get rid of the latest, greatest, use_less Fighter Jet.
    That program alone will take care of all the supposed cuts.

    AWAITING MODERATION?

    March 11, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. NorCalMojo

    More of Obama's maximize the pain strategy.

    I bet he had the release sent to reporters before the generals.

    March 11, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Didn't the US government just purchase 1.6 billion rounds?"

    Yes, and you should expect the black UN helicopters to land in your back yards around 3:15 p.m. EST tomorrow, demanding you swear allegiance to the new world order and disavow all sense of self in favor of the collective.

    That's 3:15 sharp...so don't miss it or you'll be thrown in one of the deprogramming camps and forced to read The Communist Manifesto and Mao's Little Red Book in between waterboardings and then pass an assimilation exam in order to receive your papers and work assignments.

    yawn.

    March 11, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. John Blackadder

    Hey, Big Sis over at Homeland Security just bought a billion rounds of ammo. Maybe she can loan some to the marines!

    March 11, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. snowtrails

    Burrito23,.. yes indeed they did,.. but for Homeland security,.. a NON military force,.. enough bullets to kill every US citizen 4-5 times... Im sure they have a logical explanation... they just wont say what it is.. might have something to do with all the drones that are spying on us now. 1984.

    March 11, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Steve

    I live in a Navy town, and own a business in that same town. We get UPS and FedEx shipments several days per week. I was talking to a Fed Ex driver last fall when the end of the fiscal year was approaching. He was complaining of the heavy work load put on the shipper by the base because they were ordering more products like computers , paper and everything you can think of because if they had extra money in there accounts they would lose funding the next year if they didn't spend it all . There's room to cut believe me.

    March 11, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Lost Keys

    Sly knows what's up. This sequester is a reduction in the overall increase in spending, not a cut in funds. It's shameful that this is the direction that reporting on this issue has taken. The military will still have an increase in funding with the sequester.

    March 11, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. USVET

    Perhaps Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration can give the Marines all the millions of rounds of ammunition they purchased for "training" by their enforcement officers.

    March 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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