USA — Official Equates Financial, Military Readiness

WASHINGTON — Through out­reach and a robust sys­tem of edu­cat­ing ser­vice­mem­bers, Defense Depart­ment offi­cials are work­ing to keep troops finan­cial­ly fit to fight and pro­tect­ed from preda­to­ry lenders, a Pen­ta­gon offi­cial said today.

Since the down­ward turn of the cred­it mar­ket in recent years, Defense Depart­ment offi­cials and law­mak­ers have grown more con­cerned with ser­vice­mem­bers falling into bad finan­cial stand­ing, said Mar­cus Beau­re­gard, a senior pro­gram ana­lyst for the Pentagon’s mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty and fam­i­ly pol­i­cy office said. 

Offi­cials hope Con­gress soon will pass leg­is­la­tion that puts auto deal­ers under the scruti­ny of a pro­posed watch­dog agency that also would over­see banks and lend­ing insti­tu­tions, Beau­re­gard said. 

Poor finan­cial sit­u­a­tions among troops can great­ly affect mil­i­tary readi­ness and the abil­i­ty of ser­vice­mem­bers to accom­plish their mis­sion, he noted. 

“Finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty helps ser­vice­mem­bers [and the Defense Depart­ment],” he said. “If they’re pay­ing more atten­tion to their finan­cial con­cerns, they’re pay­ing atten­tion less to their pri­ma­ry mis­sion and their pri­ma­ry jobs.” 

Com­man­ders have voiced con­cerns to defense pol­i­cy mak­ers, mak­ing them more aware of issues troops have had in buy­ing auto­mo­biles and repay­ing short-term loans, Beau­re­gard said. Lead­ers also have learned cer­tain prod­ucts per­pet­u­al­ly have caused prob­lems for their ser­vice­mem­bers, he added, and they hope to pre­vent issues from becom­ing prob­lems, he added. 

A Defense Depart­ment study showed that finances are behind only career and mis­sion issues as the top stres­sors among ser­vice­mem­bers, Beau­re­gard said. Not­ing the busy tem­po and numer­ous require­ments placed on the lives of troops today, he said it’s impor­tant to the depart­ment that troops sus­tain good finan­cial stand­ing and learn how to avoid being bur­dened by oblig­a­tions they may not be able to handle. 

Edu­cat­ing troops is the best way to ensure their readi­ness and finan­cial sit­u­a­tion remain intact, Beau­re­gard said. The Mil­i­tary One­Source web­site, unit advi­sors, instal­la­tion finan­cial coun­selors and legal assis­tance advi­sors are great sources of infor­ma­tion, he said. 

“[The Defense Depart­ment] is look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties and pro­tec­tion that will sup­port our ser­vice­mem­bers,” he said. “Any­thing that will help a ser­vice­mem­ber to do their job bet­ter and feel more pre­pared for their duty in tak­ing care of their finances is cer­tain­ly beneficial.” 

Beau­re­gard urged troops to be wary of com­pa­nies and busi­ness­es that claim to be mil­i­tary-friend­ly. He also stressed that they should­n’t sign doc­u­ments unless they com­plete­ly under­stand the con­tract, and that they avoid short-term loans. 

“The most impor­tant thing we can do is to edu­cate ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies, make them aware of things they may be a prob­lem, [and] make them aware of how to deal with trans­ac­tions,” he said. “That’s cer­tain­ly their body armor that’s going to keep them in good standing.” 

Defense offi­cials work close­ly with finan­cial reg­u­la­tors at the local, state and fed­er­al lev­els to ensure those insti­tu­tions are aware of the needs of ser­vice­mem­bers and what’s going in the mar­ket­place, he said. 

“It’s that com­mu­ni­ca­tion, that abil­i­ty to let [reg­u­la­tors] know that ser­vice­mem­bers need to be looked after as part of their com­mu­ni­ty,” he said. “There’s now a greater aware­ness with­in the gen­er­al com­mu­ni­ty that finances are an impor­tant part of the servicemember’s life and can impact that ser­vice­mem­ber in terms of the pre­pared­ness and readi­ness to do their job.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →