Home : Media : Speeches

Gen. Dempsey's Remarks During the First Week of Civilian Furloughs

By As Delivered by General Martin E. Dempsey, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Hi, I’m General Marty Dempsey, 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. About 90 days ago, I sent a short video out to the field as the reality of sequestration came upon us—the day it was signed into law. And I asked you at that time to help us lead our way through this period of uncertainty, and you have.

I also want to come you today because it’s the day after some of our civilian teammates began furloughs, an outcome that I find both discouraging and disappointing. But again, I look around and I see that you are leading your way through this.

My commitment to you is that we’ll do the same here in the Pentagon. I also want to point out that as we predicted, we’re beginning to see some effects on our readiness. Those effects will deepen, and they’ll be difficult to overcome. Once again though, it’ll take solid leadership and communications as we try to understand what we can accomplish and what we cannot.

You know that sequestration—as I know—is illogical, but it is the law. We’ll follow it, and we’ll do the best we can with it. We’ll articulate the consequences and we’ll work our way, hopefully, toward a better outcome. I thank you for your leadership and I commit to you that we will continue to work this together. Thank you.

Watch the video here.