Gen. Cone: Many soldiers are doing 'double duty' - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Gen. Cone: Many soldiers are doing 'double duty'

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By Natalie Fultz

FORT BENNING, GA - The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters initially took a 20 percent cut due to sequestration effecting the men and women in uniform.

"A lot of people are doing a lot of double duty right now in terms of doing things that previously people have been hired for, but soldiers are doing. In some ways there's a risk threshold. When you have x number of drill sergeants supposed to be monitoring something, and the fact of the matter is you have them out doing other things because you've lost the contract on those things, we are accepting some degree of risk," Commanding General Robert W. Cone says.

Currently the sequestration effects the day to day activities in the military.

"We're obviously doing a lot more simulated activities. The bullet situation...we manage the bullets to where we think they're needed the most, and so there's a leveling affect. The problem is the risk to the force over time. When you tinker with training and education, you don't understand the impact until you need it the next time and someone says 'We did away with that course,' Cone says. 

And he says it will also effect the future of the military.    

"You're not going to see it today because it's contributing to a unit that goes to war at a later point in time. But I think these type of environments you really have to invest in the long term. If we don't send sergeants to school that has an impact over the next 10 or 20 years in terms of the professionalism of the force," Cone says.

General Cone wouldn't comment on Syria, but he did talk about the nation's aversion to boots on the ground.

"Frankly people after 12 years of war right now understand that cost. They are very concerned about doing that in the future. What we have to do is make sure that people have a sophisticated understanding and that there are times in our nation's interest where boots on the ground are absolutely essential to those outcomes," Cone says.

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