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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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The Armed Forces: A New Era of Strength

In the last 15 years, America’s military infrastructure has changed enormously. The Cunningham Administration backs an even broader modernization of the American Military and is firmly committed to ensuring the preparedness and excellence of our military posture and personnel. By focusing on providing cutting edge technology, better pay, incentives for service, and advanced technological training support, we will reinforce governmental support for the American military.

Proud to Serve: Recruitment and Retention

The Cunningham Administration will set the bar for recruitment by offering educational, financial and citizenship-based incentives to inspire a greater sense of pride and accomplishment in enlisting in the United States Armed Services.

Greater recruitment efforts must be made to enlist quality personnel. In order to recruit the best candidates, the military pay structure must be updated. To entice more college graduates to enlist, the quality of life and financial incentives should evolve with the background of the military’s recruits; sign-on and reenlistment bonus increases for all ranks must be implemented and a broader array of military occupational specialties have to be offered.

The Cunningham Administration would also grant automatic citizenship to combat veterans and soldiers who serve four years or more with an honorable discharge. We will also implement a program in which enlistment options are available to undocumented immigrants. Overall, the administration will revolutionize armed forces recruitment and increase retention rates of service personnel.

Broader Medical Support for Our Wounded Warriors

As a country, we must do better for the men and women who have served and protected us. We must authorize more funding for treatment programs, priority placement for organ transplants, investigations into alternative medicine for combat injuries, and implement progressive addiction treatment programs. Only once we dedicate significant resources toward treating our troops for the inevitable mental, physical and psychological injuries they will incur, will we truly be offering adequate medical support for our brave warriors.

First, we must place an immediate ban on medical testing on U.S. soldiers (i.e., pharmaceutical grade antipsychotics, depressants, etc.). Second, we will reconsider the military’s tattoo policy and offer medical removal support. Third, active duty and reserve military will receive priority for organ transplants. Fourth, we will increase funding for research on combat continuity following an injury. Cunningham is a proponent of high-tech and cutting edge medical technology, and will ensure the availability of these medical advancements to the military as they become available. Fifth, we will review and fund PTSD support, and provide a robust reentry program. Finally, Cunningham will embrace the excellent work already accomplished by military support groups, such as the Wounded Warrior Project [1], to help them achieve their goals in the assistance of our military men and women after they have served. And while all the aforementioned medical initiatives are imperative for the physical and mental wellbeing of service members, the Cunningham Administration will prioritize addiction treatment in the armed services.

We all know the stories of veterans returning home only to die from excessive drug or alcohol use — soldiers who are, or were, engaged in active missions or ground combat have a higher chance of developing mental health issues, and consequently addiction issues. The Cunningham Administration will investigate alternative therapies and stress-reducing options to combat addiction.

We find it imperative that we offer assistance to service members struggling with addiction while they are still on active duty. In-service drug use programs that offer medical care and treatment will be integral to addressing addiction in the military. In addition, this administration will change its policy of administrative separation for drug or alcohol offenses to treatment and retention. Addiction to drugs or alcohol does not disappear unless treated. Sending a freshly discharged veteran with a drug or alcohol problem back to civilian life is not responsible leadership.

Overall, Cunningham pledges his support for innovative medical  and therapeutic programs and research. Veterans have been in dire need of an administration that recognizes their right to elevated treatment; and the Cunningham Administration is just that administration.

Support for the Military Family

Cunningham stands with military service members and their families, and realizes the dire need for increased support. Military families often have to resort to food banks, churches and nonprofits for food support, and familial and spousal support programs are suffering now more than ever. Already unacceptable, these kinds of gaps in assistance are just the tip of the iceberg. This is absolutely unacceptable. The better pay, living standards and benefit packages the Cunningham Administration will provide won’t just build an unrivaled military force, these initiatives will support the service members’ foundations: their families.

Cunningham will wholeheartedly support the causes of the National Military Family Association (NMFA) and authorize a special task force aimed at addressing and resolving issues brought forth by the association. We will bring our administration’s officials and members of Congress together with our new Military Family Task Force to elevate and support our military families. Military families [2] have a voice in the Cunningham Administration: We are listening. No one serving our great nation should feel the pangs of hunger or strife, and neither should their families.

Women Serving Will Be Heard

“The defense of our nation is a shared responsibility. Women had served in defense of this land for years before our United States was born. They have contributed their talents, skills, and courage to this endeavor for more than two centuries with an astounding record of achievement that stretches from Lexington and Concord to the Persian Gulf and beyond.” [3]

Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, Chief of Staff of the Army, 1991-1995

The most overlooked warrior is our female officer and soldier, serving silently and with honor. Today, there are nearly 2.5 million servicewomen in the U.S.; the highest number in history. These brave women have a voice in the Cunningham Administration. Cunningham will have an open door policy and consult closely with the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) [4]. Claims of sexual harassment will be handled by third-party judicial courts, and not by the immediate command element in which the claims originate, ensuring judicial fairness.

Additionally, we will democratize all combat roles for females and FTM/transgender people. This democratization will apply to all special forces teams in all military branches. On-base childcare and other family friendly opportunities for single mothers will also be a priority for this administration.

Governance and Oversight

Governance of the military and its civilian employees is a topic of great importance for the Cunningham Administration. The administration will be utilizing the talents of lawmakers, academics and military veterans to re-draft the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). We will also revise the oversight protocols employed for private military contractors engaging in combat operations in support of the military, including regulations that draw from the UCMJ, the Just War Theory [5], and The Geneva Convention.

The administration will be stringent in its judicial oversight of the military. Any improprieties or illegal activities will be punished accordingly; offenders will risk dishonorable discharge or jail time.

Due to the inherent bias of having a commander investigate his own troops, the Cunningham Administration will abolish command-led investigations of serious incidents and introduce a policy that will allow military police units serving on the base or AO jurisdiction to take on the responsibility of conducting a fair investigation.

Diplomacy & Statecraft: Preventative Measures

Cunningham believes that sound statecraft and diplomacy are the keys to lasting peace. In pursuit of this strategy, The Cunningham Administration will foster America’s relationships with its allies (particularly NATO members) in order to ensure stability and order. However, if combat operations become the only option to resolve a conflict, the administration believes that a preexisting regional multinational force should spearhead the wartime effort. As Head of State, Cunningham will always employ statecraft first in any conflict, but will also act swiftly and decisively in the event that all diplomatic avenues have been exhausted.

Acquisitions and Small Business

There will be a complete overhaul of military contracting processes and small business incentives. Military contracting will be overseen by a special task force in order to review the validity of bidding practices. We will also make small business advancement easier within the Defense and Aerospace Community as a whole in terms of participation in the bidding process. This inclusion will help advance the competitiveness of the contracting industry, and provide a wider range of vendors to choose from for our government contracts. We will rely much less on industry leaders, and more on small to medium size businesses with American roots. We will also reduce wasteful government spending on redundant programs (not people) in the defense sector.

In Summary

The Cunningham Administration supports the brave men and women who courageously protect our nation at home and abroad. We will invest in the future of our nation by revolutionizing our approach to the funding, training and support of our armed forces. We will incentivize enlistment, encourage technological advancement, implement support programs addressing addiction and assault, modernize our infrastructure, streamline our acquisitions process, and ensure the wellbeing of our military families. The Cunningham Administration will usher in a new era of American security by supporting the U.S. Military in the manner that it deserves.

[1] reasonandmeaning.com

[2] militaryfamily.org

[3] woundedwarriorproject.org

[4] army.mil/women

[5] defensenews.com

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