Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, is a word that brings out strong opinions and emotions in the defense community. BRAC is a hot topic of conversation at the moment, from the Pentagon to military installations across the globe.
BRAC has the potential to impact the jobs, and futures, of thousands of military and civilians, including defense contractors employed by the federal government.
Due to the $487 billion in budget cuts which will take place over the next decade as part of the Budget Control Act and Sequestration, the Department of Defense must find addition ways to cut costs, including the proposed force reduction plans which will drastically reduce the ranks of service members.
PREPARING FOR BRAC
The military continues to push for BRAC – Congress continues to balk. But with millions to be cut and relatively few options, expect another round of BRAC within the next five years.
How does someone employed by the Department of Defense prepare for BRAC? There are no easy answers, but some good tips include:
- Follow the latest news, and don’t listen to rumors. Follow reputable sources for information.
- Be realistic, but don’t panic. Downsizing and realigning is a now an inevitable reality and part of the cost-cutting process for DoD. Where or when any changes will happen is still undecided.
- Speak to others who have lived through a round of BRAC. They will be able to give first-hand experience and insight into the challenges they faced.
- Look for the positives. While BRAC may cause bases or installations to move or consolidate, there can be positive opportunities for growth and expansion. Many companies offer incentives for employees to move. BRAC doesn’t happen overnight. If your position or location is affected, you’ll have months to plan for a move, or consider new employment options.
BRAC has been, and will continue to be a controversial and divisive topic. The legacy of the changes and adjustments brought about by BRAC in the lives of those affected continues. Preparing for a new round of BRAC will certainly mean a need for awareness, flexibility, and many potentially life-changing decisions. Stay tuned for upcoming news and information on this topic.
Additional material on BRAC: