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Fort Bliss: Military budget cuts should not cause panic

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POSTED: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 11:51pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 11:54pm

The Department of Defense outlined some big cuts that could impact not only people at Fort Bliss, but soldiers across the country.
Kevin Efram's gets his hair cut once a week on post, but that might have to change if the military makes cuts of their own budget cuts.

"This is not a game. This is reality,” said Secretary of Defense Leona Panetta.

Panetta today outlined what could happen to the military if Congress and the White House don't meet a fiscal agreement by March 1st.

Some of those changes could include furloughs for as many as 800,000 Department of Defense civilians for up to 22 days, limiting military pay raises to just 1% and certain trainings and operations will have to be put on the back burner.

But at Fort Bliss, leaders say there's no reason to panic.

"Without impacting quality of life, without impacting the great care that we provide to our families and without impacting combat readiness, but everybody's gotta tighten their belts,” said Fort Bliss Spokesman Joseph Buccino.

Some of those plans could be to cut operation hours for certain facilities, hold off on training for some organizations if their deployment is not in the near future and combined trainings for others.

Reaction from soldiers is mixed.

"I don't feel like any soldier will take this as a reason to not continue their mission, not to do their duty,” said SGT Benjamin Kullman.

Another soldier said he trusts the government's decision.

"I mean whatever helps the government out if they found a better way for us to prevail and make the country better I'm all with it," said SPC Tony Thomas.

He says he'll make those hair cuts last as long as possible.

"Personally speaking if its the right decision which I think there's better ways of doing it and if there's easier ways I can balance my budget why can't everyone else. It will have some type of implications, whatever they may be obviously cutting back is nothing detrimental but it is a lifestyle change for everybody," said SSG Kevin Efram.

A lifestyle change that Kevin Efram says is doable. It's important to note that any soldiers preparing to deploy are going to continue with their training schedule. And of course these cuts will happen only if Congress and the White House do not reach an agreement by March 1st.

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