The United States always has and needs to continue be an all-volunteer force that is highly funded and has access to some of the most up to date and technologically advanced equipment in the world. This requires a massive budget, which many view as being excessive. I do not believe that the military is over funded but that the funding is misappropriated and there is little to no oversight on where funds go.

I believe that our military needs to have more stringent enlistment guidelines and more in-depth screening; psychological, medical, and criminal. During the enlistment process, recruiters will no longer ask the recruit for medical information and it will instead be pulled from the recruit’s primary care provider via their medical records, dental and vision.

Military pay needs to be at the forefront of budgetary needs. To many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardians are living at a standard that is unacceptable for the cause they defend. Additionally, the military “blended retirement program” needs to be looked at as it does not benefit those who chose to make the military a career. Upon retirement from the military, those servicemembers should be able to claim retirement pay at the point they retire, not at the age of retirement when they can pull their 401K.

The military should offer a program offering a path to citizenship for potential servicemembers who are non-citizens. Upon completion of a term of service, those joining for citizenship would have their citizenship automatically granted; the citizenship application process will be completed as part of their enlistment process. As part of this program, spouses, underage dependents, or disabled persons who the servicemember is guardian over can also apply for citizenship.

The military should offer an “up and out” program where recruits have the opportunity to move out of any given area under an agreement that upon completion of a term or terms of service will be able to relocate to anywhere within the nation or territories.

The military legal system and UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) needs to be controlled by a 3rd party outside of the military unless the crime or incident is specifically unique to the military. Administrative punishment in the military is subject to the Commander that is overseeing the Article 15 (AR-15) hearing; proof is not required to administer punishment; all that is needed is for the overseeing Commander to believe that the subject of the AR-15 is guilty or to have a prejudice against the Soldier in question.

The military needs to hold 3rd party manufactures and entities responsible for their products or services, such as military housing being unhealthy and substandard or 3M providing faulty ear protection, just to name a few.

Veterans and their families, especially Gold Star families deserve our respect and utmost support. When Soldiers return from warzones and transition out of the military they are left to their own devices and many times slip into some of the worst situations imaginable. We need to protect and help anyone who has put their life on the line in defense of our freedoms. Those who have paid the ultimate price leave behind a void that cannot ever be filled and families are left to fend for themselves with little or no support. Gold Star families need to be given priority treatment within the VA system and not pushed to the wayside.

The interpreters that we have employed to help us in our mission against terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan need to be granted immunity and brought to the United States or one of our Allies. If they are applying for citizenship, their applications should be priority. These men and women put their lives and the lives of their families in danger just by associating with us. If their identity were ever uncovered the enemy would kill them and their entire family; it is the least we can do for their service.