Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, discusses how his committee is overseeing the Department of Defense’s request for more troops, and the impact of “deploy or get out” on service members.
As part of the increase in defense spending proposed by the 2019 budget request, the branches of the military will increase the amount of active duty personnel by several thousand troops. As the Pentagon is looking to add these additional soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, the Senate Armed Services Committee is exploring how the order will affect the military’s readiness and capability. “A lot of this is just backfilling what we think is a shortfall in capacity, to get us back to regular order,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “We’re deploying too quickly; the intervals are too great right now. The president’s proposal helps address some of that.” One idea that the White House has introduced is “deploy or get out.” In other words, if a soldier is unable to be sent overseas, they are to be discharged. “You’re always going to have some people who have a legitimate medical reason for not being able to do their job, but this is a very important job where the number of medically non-deployable has to be reduced,” Sen. Tillis told Government Matters. “The number in the National Guard and Reserves is slightly higher than the active military, but both of them need to be looked at.”