WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the Subcommittee's joint hearing titled “Military Personnel Posture: FY 2019.” For testimony and to watch the hearing click here.
"I want to welcome everyone to the Military Personnel Subcommittee’s hearing on the current, and future state, of the military personnel enterprise as we continue to build the fiscal year 2019 NDAA. Our panel, of the Service Personnel Chiefs, is here to address each of the services’ personnel requirements including personnel policies for recruiting and retention, family programs and to address other budget and legislative requests for fiscal year 2019. Today’s focus is on the requests for manpower increases from the armed services and the requirements that went into building the specific increases, as well as how the personnel policies currently in place will support and sustain these increases. With the difficult recruiting and retention environment driven by a lessened overall propensity to serve, reduced pool of qualified candidates and a robust economy, the competition for recruits will be difficult and you will all be competing for the same pool. As you reference in your written testimony General Seamands; 'today only one in four 17-24 year-olds in the U.S. is eligible to serve in the Army, and only one in eight has a propensity to enlist in the military, making Army accessions a challenging and resource-intensive activity.'
The subcommittee also remains concerned about the ability of all the services to maintain their high quality standards and still meet their recruiting goals. Also, I’m especially interested in your plans for retention of the right service members that are central to your mission and specifically what additional steps the Air Force is taking to fully address their pilot crisis."