File photo taken of an abandoned housing area at Ft. Bliss.
THE PENTAGON — The U.S. Army announced it had filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court Friday, sources confirmed. This long anticipated move follows a decade of borrowing against supplemental congressional funding to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a generous retiree pension plan and decaying on-post infrastructure.
“We have attempted to negotiate with our three largest retiree unions, The Association of the United States Army, The American Legion and The Military Order of the Purple Heart. They were not willing to accept any concessions on retiree pay and benefits, therefore we have no choice but to take this extraordinary step.” said Gen. Ray Ordierno, Secretary of the Army.
The Army has faced a steady decline in on-post housing residents due to a phenomena known as “Officer Flight”. Fear of gangs, drugs and non-existent public services have driven the Army’s highest wage earners off base, replacing them with lower enlisted soldiers.
“They used to have three clubs and two golf courses on-post,” said Capt. Gary Krogh “They tore up one golf course to make enlisted housing and turned two clubs into spouse support centers. Plus, do you know how many sexual assaults happen? I can't endanger my family by having them live near General Officers.”
The twelve combat brigades scheduled for deactivation will see their buildings razed, creating green spaces in the middle of many Army bases. “We are not abandoning these areas. We hope that by removing Vietnam-era blight, we can spur investors to come on base and revitalize these spaces,” said Ordierno. “We already have interest from multiple windshield-repair vendors, the guy who sells nerdy dragon-killing swords at the PX, and Korea’s largest manufacturer of fake purses.”
“We are looking at all Army museums, displays and memorials to determine what assets can be sold to generate capital. The Army owns many works of fine art, useless nostalgia, and historical enemy paraphernalia that will appeal to many militias and crazy people. We will also scour unit headquarters for any trophies, punch bowls or ceremonial items that can be melted for scrap.”
“We also have a lot of surplus 7.62mm ammunition and a few hundred thousand captured AK-47s. We are placing these on Ebay and will ship worldwide or have them available for local pick up in Afghanistan.”
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that while the Army was in receivership, Ordierno would be replaced with Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III., the current Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
“We need objective, outside leadership to negotiate with the Army’s creditors and make painful decisions. The Navy has proven its ability to be irrelevant yet remain funded. It is my hope that Adm. Ferguson can bring that mentality to the negotiation table.”