Bridging the
Sequestration Gap

America's Career Military Families Are Facing a New Set of Challenges

After years of managing multiple combat tours and lengthy separations during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America's military families are now facing a new set of challenges that are just beginning to emerge from the deep military budget cuts of defense downsizing and sequestration. To help put these challenges into their proper perspective, we've broken them down by branch in the articles below.

Army
Army
Army
Army
Army

What Military Families Are Thinking (And Doing) About Sequestration

Since 2011, First Command has been conducting regular surveys on how sequestration and defense downsizing is impacting the financial attitudes, intentions and behaviors of America's career military. Check here for monthly updates on how this critical issue is affecting the financial lives of servicemembers and their families.

  • ANXIETY ABOUT SEQUESTRATION
    • 68% of military families are at least somewhat anxious about cuts to defense spending
    • 74% of military households expect to be at least somewhat financially impacted by cuts
    • Military families' top concerns over the effects of sequestration:
      • Reduction in annual pay increase: 38%
      • Increased responsibility for healthcare costs: 33%
      • Reduction in education benefits: 30%
    • 52% of military families are concerned over their job security vs. 37% of general population
  • VIEWS ON CONGRESS
    • 56% of military families believe Congress will void sequestration vs. 30% of gen pop
    • 41% of military families believe Congress should repeal the caps on military and domestic spending vs. 22% of gen pop
  • ACTIONS TAKING TO DEAL WITH SEQUESTRATION
    • 84% of military families are taking precautionary measures to deal with cuts vs. 61% of gen pop
      • Increasing savings: 41%
      • Reducing everyday spending: 36%
      • Moving investments to cash: 22%

For more detailed information, visit the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® page.


First Command News & Media

First Command Reports: Cuts to compensation leave military families feeling financially stressed

First Command Reports: Cuts to compensation leave military families feeling financially stressed

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals two thirds of career service members feel financially stretched month to month

First Command Reports: Majority of Career Servicemembers Believe Sequestration Will End

First Command Reports: Majority of Career Servicemembers Believe Sequestration Will End

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® shows military families remain optimistic, while still taking steps to plan for defense budget cuts

First Command Reports: Military Families Spending More on Back-to-School Shopping

First Command Reports: Military Families Spending More on Back-to-School Shopping

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals top cost-savings efforts.

First Command Reports: Sequestration Driving Record Demand For Financial Advice In Military Families

First Command Reports: Sequestration Driving Record Demand For Financial Advice In Military Families

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals one in four career servicemember families have started working with a financial advisor as a result of sequestration.

Savings Drive Stays Strong Among Career Servicemembers, First Command Reports

Savings Drive Stays Strong Among Career Servicemembers, First Command Reports

America’s career servicemembers are continuing to sock away dollars for the future — and families who work with a financial advisor are leading the way.


In the News

New in 2017: Donald Trump vs. Sequestration

New in 2017: Donald Trump vs. Sequestration

Donald Trump has promised to do away with the federal spending caps known as sequestration, rollbacks that have hit the Defense Department particularly hard.

Graham: Defense Hike Under Trump 'Harder Than It Looks'

Graham: Defense Hike Under Trump 'Harder Than It Looks'

Despite President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to raise defense spending, Sen. Lindsey Graham expects a tough path ahead.

Trump's Promised Defense Buildup and Congress: Who Will Blink First?

Trump's Promised Defense Buildup and Congress: Who Will Blink First?

For President-elect Donald Trump to make good on a multibillion-dollar campaign promise to expand the military with more ships, jets and troops, something has got to give.

US Service Chiefs Lament Budget Squeeze

US Service Chiefs Lament Budget Squeeze

Top US military officials told lawmakers Thursday their services have been squeezed by budget instability and spending caps — and that under sequestration cuts, they would not have the resources to defend the country.

'We lied to the American people.' Congress laments failure to fix the military's budget mess

'We lied to the American people.' Congress laments failure to fix the military's budget mess

None of the four service chiefs testifying on Capitol Hill Thursday would answer the question, but they all paused uncomfortably before senators in the hearing laughed it off: “Are Congress and the president the biggest threats to the military today?”

To read more, visit the First Command News & Media page.


Listen to CEO Scott Spiker discuss the uncertainty military families are facing.

What is Sequestration?

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was designed to raise the country's borrowing limit, on the condition that Congress find $1.2 trillion in cuts. If the cuts were not found, automatic spending cuts would begin January 2013 and last through 2021, with approximately $500 billion coming out of the DoD budget. That's exactly what happenend.

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