Chairman Wilson Statement on Passage of the Military Personnel Subcommittee Markup

Apr 30, 2014
Press Release

Chairman Joe Wilson of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel issued the following statement after the subcommittee passed its portion of the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Defense sequestration is threatening the wellbeing of our military families and jeopardizing our defense capabilities.  As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I am very pleased with the progress this bipartisan group has made to ensure our brave men and women in uniform, their families, and our veterans have the resources they need, deserve, and have earned.  We have also put key provisions in place to prevent our military from hollowing out so that those who answer the call of duty will remain safe while fighting for our freedoms.  Next week, when the House Armed Services Committee considers the National Defense Authorization Act, I look forward to ensuring additional measures are available to provide for those who risk their lives to protect us.”

Key provisions of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel mark:

·      Suicide Prevention – Our military families deserve all appropriate information surrounding the death of a loved one.  Although suicide rates as a whole have decreased within our Armed Forces, further action must be taken to address the increase in suicides among Special Operations Command.  This mark provides for additional reporting on suicide rates for immediate family members and requires an assessment by the Secretary of Defense on these increasing rates.

·      Sexual Assault Prevention – Over the years, the House Armed Services Committee has made substantial progress in addressing sexual assault within our military ranks.  This year, we suggest taking an additional step by making every commander’s performance appraisal assess how the officer handled sexual assault cases and how unit members treat those who make allegations. 

·      Protects End-Strength – The significant force reductions proposed by the Administration earlier this year threatens our national security.  This mark proposes smaller reductions that keep our safety in tact while America remains at war. 

·      Rejects Administration’s Proposals – This year, the Military Personnel Subcommittee was able to once again reject the Administration’s proposal to increase TRICARE enrollment fees.  Our military retirees have dutifully served this great Nation.  We must honor the commitments previously made to them.