The military heads of the four largest service branches were on Capitol Hill to discuss how their readiness and ability to fight could be affected by potential automatic cuts to their budgets.
The House Armed Services Committee held the hearing as the bipartisan "super committee" works to cut the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion by the end of this year. If they don't hit that target, automatic cuts ("sequestration") will occur, split 50-50 between defense and non-defense spending. Defense Secretary Panetta has called sequestration a "doomsday mechanism."
Testifying at today's hearing were: Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno; Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of Naval operations; Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff; and Gen. James F. Amos, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps.