As Congress inches closer to the March 1 deadline for sequestration, many of the military’s top officials are warning lawmakers of the potential impact the across-the-board budget cuts could have. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno recently told legislators that the spending cuts could extend deployments to Afghanistan, according to

Sequestration would require the Pentagon to cut about $46 billion from its 2013 budget, and doing so may require troops stationed overseas to serve longer than originally planned. Odierno says that not having enough money would reduce the Army’s ability to send replacement soldiers, something that could weigh heavily on troops and their families.

“We cannot fund the group that comes after them,” he told Congress earlier this week. “So what that means is the initial replacements that go in at the beginning of 2014 are funded – those that would come in later in the year are not.”

Sequestration would not only hurt deployed troops, it could also drastically impact the National Guard as well, the Army reports. Gen. Frank Grass recently told the Senate Armed Service Committee that the cuts would reduce the Guard’s ability to respond to natural disasters and other domestic emergencies.