Washington D.C.: The U.S. Army recently announced a recommendation to provide servicemembers with EBT debit cards, also known as the modern-day food stamps, to help combat skyrocketing inflation.
Military officials recognize some of the financial hardships servicemembers already face and how that contributes to food insecurities.
In a plan that is a first of its kind, eligible servicemembers will be issued financial aid in the form of debit cards. The cards will be limited to food and other basic survivability items like diapers, cleaning products and so on.
Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston provided written guidance and stated:
“With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some Soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets they’ve set and used before. Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance, and advice through the Army’s Financial Readiness Program.”
The official program is known as SNAP, or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The official government website for the welfare program is provided to servicemembers.
According to the U.S. Army official guidance that states:
“SNAP is a U.S. government program that provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an electronic benefits transfer card that can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores. Service members and their families may be eligible,” the Army guidance reads. “To determine qualification, visit the SNAP website or call the SNAP information line at 800-221-5689.”
Servicemembers experiencing financial hardships is hardly a recent issue. However, this troubling dynamic is further deepening with the sky rocketing inflation thanks to the Biden administration.
But financial experts believe the worsening problem is an indicator of much deeper issues:
Mackenzie Eaglan, who works with the American Enterprise Institute recently stated in an Epoch Times column:
“Based on the Pentagon’s own data, 24 percent of enlisted personnel are food insecure,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. “While food stamps are a Band-Aid, they’re also an admission that basic pay for enlisted troops and their families is too low—further exacerbated by unyielding inflation causing paychecks to shrink more.”
Military recruitment has been suffering lately and they have been lowering standards across all branches to attract more recruits.
But if the pay is insufficient and the cost of food continues to rise, recruiters will have a difficult time trying to convince civilians to enlist.
The sharp rise in everyday grocery items has increased in dramatic numbers not seen since the 1970’s.
According to a Fox Business column about food prices, it states:
“The food at home category, which tracks the cost of groceries, surged 13.1% over the last year, the most significant increase since March 1979. On a monthly basis, prices jumped 1.4%.”
The column continues:
“Americans are paying more at the grocery store for a number of items that have climbed considerably in price over the past year. That includes staples like eggs (38%), chicken (16.6%), milk (15.6%), potatoes (13.3%), rice (12.7%) and fresh fruits and vegetables (8.2%).”
Mackenzie Eagle feels the solution to the rising servicemember financial epidemic is to increase basic pay for enlisted soldiers.
No one in uniform should struggle to survive. Our troops deserve much better considering we are the world’s strongest military superpower.
Another potential solution is to provide mandatory financial training for servicemembers, particularly for the younger soldiers.
Many young soldiers have lifelong ambitions to serve in the beloved U.S Army, and the moment they reach the legal age they place their hand in the air and take an oath to protect the country.
Many of these same young recruits come from low-income backgrounds and have limited financial knowledge. Recruits with low-income backgrounds suddenly receive steady paychecks and get caught in a difficult cycle.
They are famous for splurging on brand new cars, trucks, motorcycles, high end clothing and the like. In every base across the country, pay day loan centers with shockingly high interest rates are littered along the entrance to every base. These pay day centers are familiar with recruits spending habits and take full advantage.
Military officials need to mandate financial training courses to help recruits understand just how much they are wasting in interest rates and how much they will spend over the course of their careers.
Combine this training with an increase in basic pay is the solution. Our warriors deserve that and more if we want to maintain our freedom.
This is also why recruiting is suffering.___
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.