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. Blaze

    He isn't trying to fire his weapon. He is looking at something in the distance. His finger is straight and off the trigger.

    March 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "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."

    I see my satire wasn't necessary since we can has teh real thing.

    March 11, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Don

    Bullets? Aren't these Marines? That's why they have bayonets.

    March 11, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Jesse from KC

    @Burrito – More than that, but it was hollow-point ammunition for small-arms (for the Homeland Defense Department). Not applicable to Marines. Hollow-points aren't allowed on the battlefield per the Geneva Convention.

    March 11, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "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".. "

    NEWSFLASH: Reading World Net Daily and paranoid delusional comment-thread ramblings from people who have a "manifesto" in the top drawer of the their bedside table is generally not going to result in you being even remotely informed.

    March 11, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Teddyg

    The people of the Republic are tired of having our military tell us what to do and what to spend, rather than the other way around.

    March 11, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Tony

    @michigan mike and alex
    I am quite sure that, that marine knows how to position a gun if you the two you want to find out just test him. That devil dog seem like he was looking at something rather than aiming at some thing. can the two of you just stfu.

    March 11, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. John C

    How about they use golf balls instead? The White House seems to have an endless supply of them.

    March 11, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    John Blackadder

    Hey, Big Sis over at Homeland Security just bought a billion rounds of ammo. Maybe she can loan some to the marines!
    I think the real issue is the cost of *delivering* the bullets to the active duty personnel. They may have had to cut back on flights to the middle east because of cuts fuel budgets or other extenuating factors.

    March 11, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Greg in Arkansas

    People that are commenting on the way the Marine is holding his weapon in the photo have never used "that" one in combat.....virtually no recoil....and BTW....the general that said "save every round, every gallon of gas," is talking pure B/S. That is the same SOP we followed in Viet Nam, the same SOP my uncle followed on the "Canal" and if he is worried about "shortages" cut back on the steak and lobster every Friday in the DFAC....been there, done that, maybe Hallibutron could cut come costs and save the "dimes" for more ammo...

    March 11, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. LouAZ

    Since ammunition has long been produced for the US military by the lowest bidder, shouldn't we allow the Branches, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, to compete for wars and activities ? You know,Blow UP Iraq for $700 billion over 11 years. Protect Germany from ??? for the next 5 years for $$$. Secure Formosa for $$$/year. Lets get some "free market principles" in play here ! Ooops, sorry, US Govt can't compete against Civilain Business, Blackwater/Xe/Haliburton already got the Iraq Contract.

    March 11, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Dogfaced Soldier

    @ CD: I normally take fun at picking on the marines too, but in this case you are right and wrong. You can tell he' s not really shooting as the butt of the rifle is on top of his shoulder, but his finger is actually directly over the trigger guard. The one you are refering to at the front is for the grenade launcher mounted under the barrel. Just in case you didn't know that.

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

    Limiting our military capacity is putting Americans in harm's way, and is an impeachable offense for the president.

    March 11, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Follow the Money

    Money talks and bu11sh1t walks off into the sunset. Two suns in the son set.

    March 11, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. sencit

    Idiots!!! this is where you start to control guns on our streets, stop making the guns for their use in this arena.

    March 11, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. An Opinion

    If someone is going to do something positive it will most likely be a member of the USMC.

    If only the members of the administration and Congress could demonstrate as much leadership as a USMC non-com we wouldn't be in this mess!

    March 11, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Slavetrade

    Oh yea! If I've got some other person coming at me with a gun blazing, first thing I'm going to take into consideration is the cost of that bullet, about to be expended from the barrel of my rifle. I wouldn't want the tax payers to have to pay a little more, I'd rather die in the heat of battle. Damn. Give me a break.

    March 11, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Rosslaw

    Speaker of the House, Tan Man, has a plant in his district that manufactures a jet engine for the F-35, the costliest and problematic weapons system in the history of mankind. Only problem is that Tan Man's jet engine will not be used in the F-35 which already has another in production. That's right. A completely unnecessary jet engine which has cost $3 billion to date and a total of $6 before the project is "finished?" is being made today in Tan Man Land against the Pentagon's protests. How much .223 ammo will $6 billion buy?

    March 11, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. blaze562

    Keep a sling shot as a back up because your ammo is being sequestered

    March 11, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Vietvet1968

    In Vietnam the Marines saved losts of money by giving the grunts C-rations that were left over from World War II and Korea.As for ammo, I would take Ak-47's and the ammo pouches off of dead VC or NVA soldiers instead of the M-16. Oh Yes! I was a Navy Hospital Cospsman and was given a 1911A1 45 hadndgun. I needed more firepower. I saved the government lots of money and gave the enemy back their lead!

    March 11, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. J Mac

    Finally a department of government that gets it. This is no different than the business world, instead of whining and complaining, look for ways to improve operations and be more efficient. There is always room for improving and being more efficient, just ask UPS and Fedex, they look for savings every day and find it. No reason our government can't learn from them.

    March 11, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Sly

    Fat, bloated, overfunded Military. Cut it finally. Sequestor cut $0 from the military, not one penny.

    It is time to end the military spending fraud and actually REDUCE military spending for the first time ever.

    March 11, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Dean

    Maybe the military could do away with some of their Overseas Housing Allowances that could be has high as $7,000.00 a month for an E-5.

    March 11, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Terry

    Being a Marine I can tell you they do get their bang for the buck but got fat and happy with the bloated budgets of the past few years. They will make due and so will the rest of the services they all see dollar signs and are making any points they can to get it changed. Its the nature of the beast of budgets. In the mid 90's, long story short, we were on special assignment when told with 4 days left to go that we had 35K in admin funds to spend and I was told in no uncertain terms it would be spent. Do you know how much pen and paper 35K buys? But that is the way the budget bounces, or was, now its tighten the belt as it should have been from the beginning!

    March 11, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. lake dougie

    How many bullets would the 250 million we just gave to Egypt buy us? Just curious!

    March 11, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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