Good evening folks - 

Eliminating wasteful spending and inefficiency throughout the federal government has continued to be one of my top priorities in the Senate. Every day, our country takes one step closer to being $20 trillion in debt, meaning each Iowan shoulders more than $61,000 of that burden. We can’t afford to bankroll Washington’s irresponsible spending habits. That’s why each month, I identify areas of waste, abuse, and inefficiency and give out the Squeal Award.

Squeal Award: Overpriced & Under-vetted Uniforms

For a soldier, a properly camouflaged uniform is critical to their safety. The ability to blend into one’s surroundings in uniform can be the difference between  life or death. 

However, it appears the Department of Defense (DOD) failed to do their homework when choosing a newand pricey - camouflage pattern for the Afghan National Army.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released a report this week detailing the DODs decision to purchase camouflage uniforms with a forest” green color scheme. Unfortunately, only 2.1 percent of the total land area in Afghanistan is covered by forests.

Additionally, due to proprietary fees, the new camouflage pattern costs up to 43 percent more than similar alternatives already in use by the Afghan National PoliceThis decision added approximately $28 million to the cost of the Afghan National Army uniform purchase. By simply choosing a similar, non-proprietary camouflage pattern, the DOD could save taxpayers anywhere between $68 to $72 million over the next ten years.

This poorly vetted use of taxpayer dollars is not only wasteful, but dangerous to the members of the Afghan National Army serving their country and protecting U.S. interests in the region. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I believe this is completely unacceptable and will continue working tirelessly to protect taxpayer dollars. 

Therefore, I present this month’s Squeal Award to the Department of Defense for the Afghan National Army’s overpriced and under-vetted uniforms. 

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!