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Odierno holds 1st Facebook ‘town hall’

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno held his first-ever virtual “town hall” on Facebook Tuesday. Such Q&As are commonly held in person by base commanders, who field questions about whatever is on the minds of servicemembers.

Here’s a sampling of what online posters asked:

Q: When can we expect to know if/when sequestration will trigger the additional personnel reductions? Reports indicate we could go down to as few as 420K if sequestration is not lifted.

Odierno: We are still working the specifics of what the final Active Component end strength will be. But, if full sequestration is implemented, there’s a good chance that the Army Component might have to go as low 420K. We have to do this in order to properly balance our readiness, and our modernization with our force structure.

Q: When will the Army officially announce the new camouflage uniforms?

Odierno: We are looking at the viability of the uniforms that we’re currently wearing in Afghanistan. They appear to be the most effective uniforms that protect our Soldiers and are most effective in a variety of scenarios that we’ve looked at. We expect that we’ll make a decision soon on whether we go to this uniform or not.

Q: I wanted to thank you for the opportunities recently provided to females. It is exciting to watch our new female 13M and 13P excel in their positions. When might the cannon world be opening to female 13A?

Odierno: Secretary of Defense directed that all positions be opened to women. We have just requested to Congress to open 13A. It will be another 120 days before we will know if we can open it.

Q: What is the Pentagon doing about the four states that have refused to comply with the Defense Department directive to treat same-sex spouses equally and are refusing to enroll them in DEERS or give them many of the benefits to which they are entitled?

Odierno: We are encouraging individuals who are in these states to go to the nearest federal installation for support.

And here are a couple of the many questions on Facebook that didn’t get answered:

Q: Why is Military pay always on the hit list when the government is thinking about going without a budget? Seems they should get paid and maybe Congress and the Prez should go without out theirs.

Q: Sir, I am sure you have been asked this question before in order to gain the position you currently hold and pardon me for seeming a bit redundant but I must ask you myself, “would you order your troops to fire on American citizens under a so called civil disturbance?”

olson.wyatt@stripes.com
Twitter: @WyattwOlson

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