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Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum (PDF)

DCPAS Message 2021091 (PDF)

2021 Spirit of Democracy informion and booking

Support Stars and Stripes

March 14, 2020

Dear Stars and Stripes Alumni Members, Publisher Max Lederer and other members of the management team at Stars and Stripes are in a battle to save the newspaper, which has been left out of the DOD budget currently before Congress. DOD wants to cut all financing (currently about $15 million annually) to the newspaper. Without the funds Stripes will be virtually put out of business.

Linked below is an argument prepared by Stripes Ombudsman Ernie Gates to counter arguments that other existing media is all that is needed to fulfill the role Stripes currently provides to the men and women in our armed forces. Please consider forwarding the presentation to our respective Senators and Representatives, along with a letter asking them to continue funding the newspaper.

This is a chance for all of us to throw our support behind Stripes. I ask that you take the time to help Stars and Stripes mission and save this great and historic publication. Thank you.

Sincerely, Mike Mealey, President

Provision for Stripes

Letter to Congress

Friends of Stripes

Linda Grist Cunningham

WASHINGTON – Recognizing the devastating effects of a $15.5 million cut to Stars and Stripes’ operating funds, the news organization’s Publisher’s Advisory Board has launched an informational advocacy campaign to ensure Congress restores the reductions proposed by the Department of Defense.

“The Publisher’s Advisory Board is committed to the restoration of that funding in specific appropriations bills,” said Reid MacCluggage, chair of the board and former editor and publisher of The Day in New London, CT. “To that end we will provide news and information about the funding status; engage members of Congress who share Stars and Stripes’ values and support its mission; and raise additional private funding to help offset the potential budget cuts.”

"The cuts would mean,” MacCluggage said, “curtailing of Star and Stripes' historic role -- serving troops in war zones. Troops now in harm's way in the Middle East, with few other forms of outside information, would be deprived of the paper."

A week after the Department of Defense announced its cuts in early February, the board launched its advocacy campaign that includes an informational website and social media, as well as contacts with key Congressional leaders involved in the appropriations bills for the Department of Defense.

If Congress follows through with the $15.5 million in annual funding cuts, Stripes will have to curtail its mission, especially in the Pacific and Middle East.

“Without future funding Stars and Stripes must make operational changes and in some cases those changes are not reversible,” said Max Lederer, Stripes’ publisher. “If organizational changes, such as elimination of frequency of delivery, service to deployed personnel, and closing of facilities, are not taken, non-appropriated funds will be insufficient to sustain operations beyond the 1st quarter of FY 2021.”

“It’s challenging,” said MacCluggage, “to advocate for the restoration of funds, even for this exceptional news organization, during the COVID-19 crises. And, yet, this is a time when our armed services need the news and information only Stripes can provide. There are hundreds of stories published by Stripes over the past two months that no other news organizations can or will do. Stripes knows its audience better than anyone else.”

Since the U.S. Civil War, Stars and Stripes has been an advocate for first-hand reporting from bases around the world and for unbiased, credible news to America’s military. Stripes reaches more than 1.4 million people daily. Mandated as an independent news organization within the Department of Defense, Stripes receives about half its annual funding from the DoD. The remainder comes from advertising, special publications, fund-raising and digital subscriptions.

The Stars and Stripes’ Publisher’s Advisory Board is an independent board of seven current and former journalists and publishers appointed by the Stars and Stripes’ publisher. Because Stars and Stripes cannot approach members of Congress directly about its funding, the Publisher’s Advisory Board does so on its behalf.

Individuals can support the advocacy mission by contributing financially to Stripes, subscribing digitally and independently contacting Congress. Details can be found at the advisory board’s website, Friends of Stripes; and on its Facebook Page.

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Vietnam50 is in the second year of publishing the Vietnam@50 reflections The content is updated each year featuring the significant events that occurred during the year of that conflict.

One of the sections is “my experience.” This is designed to allow veterans the opportunity to express their experience, how it change their lives and other reflections. Terry Leonard the Editor and Max Lederer the Publisher believe that the experiences of former Stripes’ staff from the Vietnam era would enrich this section .

Also the six word project in the voices of Vietnam section is another location former Stripes Vietnam era staff can express their impressions

Please be a Stripes contributor again.

Visit the Stars and Stripes Museum website.