MilitaryOneClick attended a Department of Defense blogger roundtable on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 discussing ‘Military Saves Week’ with guest speaker Sgt. Major Battaglia, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman.
Washington, DC – MilitaryOneClick attended a Department of Defense blogger roundtable on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 discussing ‘Military Saves Week’ with guest speakers Sgt. Major Battaglia, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, Mrs. Battaglia and Ms. Thompson, Director of the Office of Family Policy/Children & Youth at the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Military Saves is a national campaign to persuade, motivate, and encourage military families to save money every month, and to convince leaders and organizations to be aggressive in promoting automatic savings. Military Saves Week started February 25th and runs through March 2nd, which is the same week military families around the world are fearing sequestration and devastating budget cuts will take place within the Department of Defense.
Sgt. Major Battaglia addressed the questions of sequestration during the round table emphasizing, “The President has guaranteed through his testimony that our service members will be taken care of with regards to pay and compensation.” Jennifer Pilcher, founder of MilitaryOneClick asked the panel how sequestration and furloughs will affect family programs, like ‘Military Saves’, within the DoD. Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde, Department of Defense Spokesperson for the Office of the Secretary of Defense commented, “it’s too premature to talk specifics about what a possible furlough might look like…if it (furlough) does happen we are giving careful thought to how we approach this and we do expect some impact to everybody, not just civilians, but service members and their families.”
Sgt Major and Mrs. Battaglia have moved over 16 times in their 27 years of service and shared some of the small things they continue to do to save money along the way. Mrs. Battaglia commented that she “still makes Sgt. Major a packed lunch for work… and since he’s a Marine and needs his hair cut every week, he learned how to do it himself, saving them money.”
Military Saves is part of the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign for the past 7 years with resources available both virtually through Military OneSource and in person on installations across the world. Military OneSource is a DoD website providing 24/7 availability for service members and their families, to include 12 free sessions of financial counseling over the phone in the privacy of the service members home. Regarding tools available for financial readiness on installations, Ms. Thompson commented, “we have family service centers on all of our installations with certified financial managers providing education, budgeting and counseling for our service members and their families.” The DoD also utilizes their partnership with the defense credit unions and banks on bases to ensure the financial well-being of our service members and their families.
Pilcher also discussed with Sgt. Major the larger concerns about how financial problems can negatively impact military families. According to Sgt. Major Battaglia, who has been instrumental in the Total Force Fitness program, “financial instability brings tension within a relationship or a marriage, that may have some factors that play into marital tension that can lead to separation, which may lead to divorce or to other things that do not have good results.” During the roundtable Sgt. Major acknowledged, “financial fitness plays a big role in more ways than just being healthy in the wallet.” Military Saves is a part of America Saves, the larger nation-wide campaign for all Americans. Military Saves 2013 theme is “Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save automatically.” and encourages all service members, their families, and civilian employees to “Take the Military Saves Pledge” at http://www.militarysaves.org.
When MilitaryOneClick talked with Amy Meehan, Navy wife and mom of three young children, how she feels about financial fitness in the military, her concerns are first and foremost with the issue of sequestration. Meehan commented, “Our future is unknown…my husband will have been at sea, roughly 15 of the last 19 months, and he doesn’t know if and when he will get to return home. The lack of care, compassion and action on the part of Congress is very disappointing.” Meehan concluded, “we have our financial house in order so why can’t Congress?”
For more information and to take the pledge please visit: http://www.militarysaves.org
Hear the whole conversation: