During his Sea Services Panel remarks, Schultz noted
that the challenge for the Coast Guard right now “is really
to put the fine point on the pencil to tell our story. … We
think we’ve got a good story.”
Sequestration, he said, “is a fairly simple concept.
By the first of January 2013, every line item in every
one of our budgets sitting here will be reduced by X
percent. It’s unknown what that [percentage] is, but for
the DoD and DHS, it’ll be about a $600 billion cut
across 10 years.
“If the president exempts military personnel, which
he could do, 20 or 25 percent will be cut from every
single line item in every budget. You can’t build 75 percent of a ship, can’t buy 75 percent of a bullet, can’t pay
somebody 75 percent of their paycheck without renegotiating our contract with our troops, our civilian
employees, our weapons manufacturers.
“If sequestration occurs without relief, without
some sort of manner in which we’re able to take the
cuts as we see fit, it will definitely change the Navy that
we have. It will be a different Navy come Jan. 1 
than we have today. In force structure, in how we train,
how we deploy, where we deploy. It’s the thing that
scares us the most, across all services. We’re all very
concerned about the supercommittee not meeting
some sort of agreement on debt,” he said.
Copeman explained that while sequestration would
go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, the services would have
to begin cutting to get to that level sometime this
January, February, March and April.
“You can’t just have a party next New Year’s Eve and
then say, ‘Good knowing you.’ It’s got to start sooner than
that. So you don’t have a year, you’ve got a couple of
months. … When we say catastrophic, that’s what it is.”
He said the economic impact of sequestration could
mean the loss of more than a million jobs.
Hanifen echoed Copeman’s concerns.
“The next step would be, where do we go to fully
fund the programs that we decide to keep?” he said.
“What are the key capabilities for the U.S. Navy and
Marine Corps that we must protect to be able operate
the full spectrum naval forces readiness” that meets the
“We are naval brothers in arms,” Hanifen said.
“What we provide for the nation is going to be even
more critical as the budget cuts occur and the Army
and Air Force return from overseas and enter into
severe tiered readiness. That’s really what they’re fac-
ing. It will be an issue of capacity. There isn’t a single
mission going away, there isn’t a single capability we
don’t need. What’s going to be an issue is what is the
capacity of force size and construct for both the nation,
the joint force, the Navy and Marine Corps and the
Preparation for the looming budget cuts includes
“innumerable ready drills and what-ifs. We are burning
the midnight oil, but they’re all drills as a result, be-
cause we don’t know. It will depend on what the com-
mittee does and then what the services do in response.”
At the closing dinner, Dunmire, who was sworn in as
the new Navy League national president at the Annual
of Meeting of Members earlier that day, was joined by
Schultz to present the Coast Guard Distinguished Public
Service Award to Branch for his service as national pres-
ident the past two years. The citation noted Branch’s
“relentless enthusiasm and unwavering dedication in
supporting our nation’s sea services.”
Schultz then read a letter from Commandant Robert
J. Papp Jr., offering his thanks and congratulations.
Ferguson then joined Dunmire to present the Navy
Distinguished Public Service Award to Branch on
behalf of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
“Dan is capping over five decades of service to the
nation,” Ferguson said. “This award is not given very
frequently, but is given by the secretary of the Navy to
those individuals who truly demonstrate service to the