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NEWS | May 1, 2013

Diamond Tip: Good stewards of Uncle Sam's wallet

By Master Sgt. Jeremy Klemme 437th Aerial Port Squadron first sergeant

With all the constant talk of sequestration, furloughs and budget cuts, you may be wondering; how does this impact me? Will these cuts change the way we do things? How can I help soften the blow?

The first thing everyone should know is that sequestration will affect everyone, military and civilian, in the Department of Defense. The second thing we should understand is this situation should absolutely change the way every person in the Air Force currently does business, and if you keep an open mind, this can be a good thing.

When I first came into the Air Force, there was a movement underway to save money and be financially responsible as a service. Everyone worked together to help achieve this, but due to the September 11 , 2001, terrorist's attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the ensuing wars, fighting and defeating our enemies was paramount and Congress provided the money to accomplish our mission. Now that Congress is requiring the DOD to tighten our purse strings, we have to figure out ways to work smarter with a smaller amount of money and become even better stewards of the American taxpayer's money.

So, how can we help soften the blow? From May 1 through June 1, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer, will be pressing forward with the "Every Dollar Counts" initiative. This forum for ideas will give all Airmen with ideas on how to save money, the ability to submit their ideas in an effort to save.

If you have an idea or procedural change that you think will reduce costs, sound off and push your ideas directly to the top.

Smaller budgets are on the horizon, but let's not continue the "do more with less mentality." Instead, let's work towards a future of doing more in a smarter, more efficient manner and with a conscience eye on our budgetary constraints.