- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2013

The Marine Corps commandant took to YouTube to ask Marines and civilians to sacrifice under defense cuts known as sequestration and to conserve as much as they can.

“If you understand what’s going on, and if you understand all that we’re trying to do to maintain the very essence of why America has a Marine Corps, then you’re more apt to understand when I ask you to save every round [of ammunition], every gallon of gas. That you take every single … opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck,” Gen. James F. Amos said in a video published Friday.

“I need you to become part of the solution as it relates to sacrifice,” he said.

The Corps announced last week it is suspending tuition assistance to Marines taking classes off-duty, drawing criticism from Marines and their families on the Internet. There is an online petition to the White House protesting the move.

In the video, Gen. Amos said the Marine Corps has a $1.4 billion dollar shortfall through the next seven months and a $2 billion shortfall over the next nine years.

“We’re going to have to figure out how we’re going to pay for that,” he said.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Barrett, who spoke in the video alongside Gen. Amos, added, “We must be focused on readiness.”

“You may see hour changes in certain facilities around the installation,” he said. “Across our bases and stations, you will begin to see a decrease in facilities maintenance and sustainment.”

Gen. Amos tried to assure Marines, their families and civilians that military leaders and lawmakers are working together to limit the damage from the defense cuts.

“Everybody is on this. Everybody is pulling together,” he said in the 10-minute video. “I want you to know we’re paying very close attention.”

“This is no time to do business as usual,” he warned. “Things have changed. The landscape has changed.”