At the very end of the Viet Nam conflict, it was apparent that the Military was going to take a big budget hit. I was a GMG1 on a Know Class Frigate and I knew that meant the money we got to run the ship would be cut. So, I used my quarterly expendable funding to go to Servmart and purchase every thing I would need to keep things running. Oils, bails of rags, dry cleaning solvent, greases, small arms cleaning supplies, and toilet paper! I squirreled all that "Booty" away in the Landing Force Locker.
The ship did not get underway for over nine months! Fuel was all but nonexistent. And our OPTAR funding was cut by two thirds! It was a terribly austere time. There was little or no training funds, greatly reduced reenlistment bonuses, and low morale. Even repair parts for our systems were difficult to get. And for the first time, repair parts were charged to the ship! Before that time, repair parts were "no cost" to the ship. That policy encouraged us to always keep our systems "Up". But the end of the Viet Nam conflict changed that.
But, I has the things I needed to keep Mount 51 clean and lubricated. I even had some common repair parts squirreled away! And that is my tip to each of you on active duty. Now is the time, or it may even be past time, to get those things you will need over the next year or so to keep your systems running! Your budgets will shrink even more, but your operational commitments may not. You have to look out for yourself and your system. That's your responsibility as the work center supervisor, Leading Petty Officer, or teh Division Chief. Leadership now will pay big dividends later.
The past does predict the future, sometimes.