"There are a lot of people in the military who joined to make it a career," she told FoxNews.com. "We understand that there needs to be cuts, but please don’t forget there are people's livelihoods behind all of these proposals. We're not okay with cuts that feel arbitrary and cuts that break promises that were made when we joined."Yeah, it's tough, but one thing that is a dead-certainty in the military is that one day, they'll tell you it's over. Whether you're enlisted or an officer, one day it's over. For some that comes with retirement, with others it comes at the end of enlistment, with yet another subset, it comes with a letter telling you that you won't be retained. Either way it comes, it comes.
I live through a RIF in 1976, during the Carter presidency. The Army decided that it didn't need a whole lot of helicopter pilots because we were no longer embroiled in a big war with lots of helicopters. Those guys who had joined up to fly, and had no interest in command, were left hanging. I lived through another RIF during the Clinton years, when the government decided that the Red Threat was no longer a threat and we could live with a smaller military.
In times where there is a perception that we don't need a large military (or when the needs of the services changes) normally under a Democratic president, the military shrinks. The hard part for many of us was that the criteria for retention was set by bureaucrats to meet the needs of bureaucrats and those service members who met the criteria are retained, while those who don't meet the criteria are released. Often, it seems that the bureaucrats stay in the service and the war-fighters are released. Such is the nature of a peace-time military.
It sucks, but it isn't anything new.