House GOP Calls Out The Pentagon

David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) noted during a Subcommittee on Readiness meeting that the Pentagon needed to do more to fix the state of troop infrastructure and housing. In the House Armed Services subcommittee hearing, he started by exhibiting a number of photographs from the September 2023 review of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In those photos of the barracks, there is visible mold on the walls and brown residue that covers the restrooms. 

As Waltz pointed out the conditions were “disgusting” and questioned whether any of the leaders present would want any of their children to be living in such conditions where there is mold, feces, and a broken sewage line. 

Waltz also took the opportunity during the hearing to ask the military witnesses who had been “held accountable” or been fired over these conditions. As he said, one of the hallmarks of leadership was ensuring that there was accountability and consequences. 

The Defense for Installations, Energy and Environment Assistant Secretary Brendan Owens argued that he was unaware of anyone who had been fired over these conditions but argued that he understood how grave this issue is. He further pointed out that on many occasions the DOD has failed to ensure that the housing provided allows service members and their families to bring out their best selves during critical missions. 

In the past five years, the Pentagon has invested around $14.6 billion a year to create new facilities, while another $15.3 billion has been used for repairing existing infrastructure. However, as Owens pointed out there is still a $134 billion deferred maintenance backlog that the department still needs to handle. 

Copyright 2024,