Written by Capt. Stuart Merrill.
The Constitution states “[n]o money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” For more than 220 years, the U.S. Coast Guard has executed its missions using the funds appropriated by Congress. Providing the funding necessary for the service to execute its missions safely and effectively today and into the future, is a dedicated team of resource professionals; one of these professionals is Lt. Cmdr. Scott Peterein.
Peterein, the fiscal year 2013 budget coordinator for the Coast Guard, spearheaded the formulation and production of the service’s $10 billion budget. Formulating the Coast Guard’s budget is a tall order in any fiscal environment, but especially challenging in times of fiscal constraint. The budget provides funding for the pay and benefits of approximately 50,000 military and civilian personnel; the operation and maintenance of hundreds of cutters, aircraft, boats and shore facilities; and the resources necessary to build new Coast Guard assets vital to the future safety and security of our nation. The fiscal year 2013 budget represents an expression of not only the Coast Guard’s highest resource priorities, but those of the department.
“The FY 2013 budget proposal reflects this Administration’s strong commitment to protecting the homeland and the American people through the effective and efficient use of DHS resources.” – Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
While perhaps not quite as visible as those who stand the watch on the front lines, the job of the fiscal year budget coordinator is demanding and requires exceptional attention to detail, collaboration and sacrifice to weather multiple stages of the budget process.
As a civil engineer by trade, Peterein is no stranger to complex problems or comprehensive projects and he worked tirelessly over the last eighteen months to garner support for Coast Guard funding priorities in an increasingly constrained fiscal environment.
“Lt. Cmdr. Scott Peterein showcased his abilities to develop a balanced budget given complex budget and fiscal constraints,” said Capt. Todd Sokalzuk, chief of the Office of Budget and Programs.
Demonstrating innovative thinking and unparalleled collaboration, he championed the commandant’s budget priorities to strike the optimal balance between funding for current operations and investment in future capabilities. This delicate balance is crucial to receive funding to both recapitalize aging assets and efficiently sustain front-line operations.
Even though the budget is submitted, the work on the budget does not end; Peterein is now charged with guiding the budget through congressional stage into enactment. This busy period includes even more collaboration through congressional staff briefings, budget hearings and congressional mark-up appropriations bills.
To learn more about the Coast Guard’s budget and the budget process, check out the service’s posture statement.