The Army’s top leader, Army Sergeant Major Michael Grinston, is encouraging soldiers to apply for food stamps, among other measures, as they struggle to fight inflation under the Biden administration.
“With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some soldiers and their families are struggling to get by on the budgets they established and used before. Soldiers of all ranks can seek advice, assistance and guidance through the Army Financial Readiness Program,” Grinston said in a message to soldiers posted on Army websites at least. since last month.
In the post advising soldiers where they and their families can apply for financial assistance, he wrote: “SNAP is a U.S. government program that provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families through a transfer card. electronic benefit card that can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food at authorized retail food stores. Military personnel and their families may be eligible.
The United States is facing historic levels of inflation not seen since the 1980s. The cost of food has risen 13.5%, despite the Biden administration this week celebrating the so-called reducing inflation”.
Grinston’s advice to soldiers also comes as the Biden administration has sent billions in financial aid to Ukraine for its war with Russia and is preparing to ask for another $13.7 billion.
Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Germany was asked to explain to US taxpayers why Congress should approve more money for Ukraine given the country’s “precarious” economic situation.
Austin twice said he appreciated the wait for a vindication but didn’t answer the question directly.
Mackenzie Eaglen, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and John Ferrari, a retired U.S. Army major general, recently wrote in an op-ed in the the wall street journal:
The Department of Defense’s off-the-cuff response to inflation will result in a real and cumulative pay cut for the military. This will not ease the military recruiting crisis. The armed forces are likely to miss their recruiting targets again next year, and therefore contract at a time of heightened global risks.
Although the House and Senate added money to their defense bills, $7.1 billion and $21.2 billion respectively, runaway inflation means troops and their families will lose 8 .7 billion dollars in purchasing power this year. Since January 2021, service members will have received a 3% raise (2021), a 2.7% raise (2022) and a 4.6% raise (expected 2023) – but none of these will eliminate inflation. Uniformed personnel face an actual wage drop of 12.5% by our estimate.
Republican lawmakers blasted Grinston’s suggestion that soldiers use food stamps to survive inflation.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), an Army veteran and double amputee, tweeted Thursday, “This is absolutely pathetic. This administration runs our military and our country into the ground.
It’s absolutely pathetic. This administration runs our military and our country into the ground. https://t.co/EnkaAeL5ZJ
— Brian Mast (@BrianMastFL) September 15, 2022
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) blasted Grinston for advising soldiers to apply for food stamps, tweeting, “This is shameful and a direct result of Biden’s inflationary policies. Vaccination mandates have already shattered the careers of so many soldiers – how much more will Biden do to add insult to injury?
It’s shameful and a direct result of Biden’s inflationary policies.
Vaccination mandates have already ruined the careers of so many soldiers – how much more will Biden do to add insult to injury? https://t.co/YFdJw0i8nz
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) September 13, 2022
Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters (R-AZ) noted that while soldiers are encouraged to use food stamps, taxpayers are paying for illegal aliens to be transported to the United States to “huge cost to taxpayers”.
The US Army advises soldiers to use food stamps to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, I have personally witnessed dozens of illegal aliens entering our country today, boarding buses and planes which then ferry them inland – at huge taxpayer expense.
—Blake Masters (@bgmasters) September 15, 2022
Van Hipp, president of American Defense International, Inc. and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, tweeted, “This is real and sad.”
“The U.S. Army is asking soldiers to apply for food stamps to help cover rising costs due to #inflation. That should say everything you need to know about the real impact of inflation on the lives of the American people,” he tweeted.
It’s real and sad.
The U.S. Army is asking soldiers to apply for food stamps to help cover rising costs of #inflation.
—Van Hipp (@VanHipp) September 13, 2022
Jason Church, Afghanistan Veteran and President of Veterans on Duty, tweeted, “Inflation is so bad the US military is pushing food stamps for soldiers. Seriously. Why does the best-funded military on the planet need extra public funds to feed soldiers and their families? White House and Pentagon priorities are out of whack.
Inflation is so bad that the US military is pushing food stamps for soldiers.
Why does the best-funded military on the planet need extra public funds to feed soldiers and their families?
White House and Pentagon priorities are out of whack.
— Jason Church (@JasonChurchWI) September 13, 2022
Allen West, executive director of the American Constitutional Rights Union and a retired Army lieutenant colonel, tweeted that it was “disgusting and unconscionable”.
1/ I find it disgusting and unconscionable that the US military is recommending our soldiers apply for food stamps to survive Biden’s inflation catastrophe. https://t.co/hDX6OyeYlE
— Allen West (@AllenWest) September 15, 2022