A new state law has created a position in the state government to lobby for the military in Missouri.
Co-sponsor, Representative Steven Lynch, said the advocate will push for maintaining or strengthening the military presence in the state. He said the needs of military personnel, bases and defense contractors in Missouri, will also be voiced to Congress and the Pentagon.
“At Fort Leonard Wood for example, which falls in my district, it fights its own battles. Whiteman Air Force Base fights its own battles. Everyone else has been fighting on their own. By doing this, we speak with a single voice for the state,” said Lynch.
He said military budget restraints make the position critical for Missouri.
“At a time when the military is downsizing from the two wars that we’ve been in, but even more critical has been the sequestration and budget downsizing by Congress,” said Lynch. “As a result of that downsizing, the competition for our military bases has really gotten extreme. Half the battle is not only the downsizing, but the battle is we need to remain strong. The U.S. needs to have a strong military so we can fight the conflicts we need to fight.”
Missouri’s military includes 275,000 direct and indirect jobs and is a $40 billion industry. The advocate will be appointed by the Governor.