Desperate times: Marines told to 'save every round'
March 11th, 2013
02:01 PM ET
10 years 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. laslos

    I figured they would use that 21.6 millions rounds they bout a month ago!

    March 11, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Sly

    Ho ho ho ... nothing makes a white boy more angry than seeing a black man who is allowed into Golf Courses.

    No wonder all the major golf courses refuse to admit blacks – they are still being run by the KKK.

    And boy do white boys get upset when a black man is allowed to golf.

    Ha ha ha ... it was worth electing President Obama twice JUST to see the white people squirm and whine and cry in their panties.

    March 11, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Dave

    Thank you, Republcans for helping to preserve our national defense.

    March 11, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. aa

    what about seal team 6. those guys use more bullets then the entire marine core. dulling the tip of the spear eh??

    March 11, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Matt

    ZOMG! The Armed Services need to cut $1.5 billion dollars! How will we as Americans survive if our armed services are forced to only have a military budget equal to MOST of the industrialized world's military budgets put together rather than all of them? Dark times my friends. Dark times. (/insertobligatoryeyeroll)

    March 11, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. David Hume

    In the past decade, at times, we have spent $2 Billion a day at war in the middle east. Now an $86 Billion dollar budget cut is causing us to horde bullets? I got news for you, America. The Republicans, and the Democrats, are lying to you and getting fat off your tax dollars.

    March 11, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. JAy

    They why is the US military still buying up all the ammunition.. Try going into any store and ask for 556 or 9mm ammo.. More than likely they are out and if they are not they will limit you to a box or two. Guns store owners are telling me they can only get so much because they military is buying up large amounts.

    March 11, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Craven Cates

    Why don't we give them the ammo that was bought for the Homeland security target practice

    March 11, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. CB

    This is ridiculous.... There are MULTI-BILLION dollar wasteful projects in the military budgets and they are trying to tell soldiers that the only way to shore up the budget is to same ammo?

    The reason they are doing this is to get the public upset at the administration, etc.

    Too bad reports don't do investigative reporting anywhere or offer point/counterpoint in these types of articles, etc.

    It sucks that the guys on the front lines are once again used as pawns....

    March 11, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. 1stSgt-TopKick

    Finally an order to cease "spray and pray" and make every Marine a sniper. Get rid of the F-35, the LCV's, and the new subs and the military budget will be balanced. None of those systems are needed.

    March 11, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Saboth

    The rest of America has heard "No more coffee in the break room, no raises this year, and no bonuses either, and your health insurance is going up again this year" since 2007. It's about time the joy ride was over for the government and military too. We already spend more on defense than the next 10 nations combined. The gravy train is over for rich defense contractors.

    March 11, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Soldier

    We spend more on our military than the NEXT 11 COUNTRIES COMBINED.

    If we cut that in HALF we still spend more than any country in the world.

    Sounds to me like James Amos is the Military Industrial Complex's little B itch.

    March 11, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Skip

    You keep voting these people back into office. You get the government you deserve!

    March 11, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. The Elephant in the Room

    Mitt Romney and his compatriots pay a tax rate of 13% versus around 35% for most upper middle income citizens. Yet these highly affluent / rich people crow about their patrotism and deride that of Democrats.

    Romney, pay your fair share of taxes so the Marines can have some damn bullets!

    There is no justification for capital gains being taxed at rates LOWER than income resulting FROM WORK. And that "carried interest" loophole that Romney & Buffet exploit HAS TO BE CLOSED!

    March 11, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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