Pentagon may force troops out to meet reduction quotas

| February 14, 2012

Zero and Old Trooper sent us a link to Bloomberg which says that, in order to reduce the Army’s ranks by 67,000 warm bodies in the next five years, they may force people out.

The military will first try buying out contracts or offering bonuses for people to leave, while working to keep those with valuable specialties such as cyber warfare and acquisitions, according to Travis Sharp, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington policy group, who attended a Pentagon briefing for analysts last month.

“I was surprised that they were going to complete the reductions to the Army and the Marine Corps in just five years,” Sharp said in an interview before the budget was released. “What they told us is that they will try to use those types of positive incentives to the greatest extent possible, but that involuntary separations would probably still be necessary.”

Yeah, I remember the early 90s when they tried the same thing, then a few years later, they were begging us to come back, because the mission wasn’t getting completed with a force that was depleted of the experience.

And you can be sure that they’ll be forcing out the trigger pullers and not the paper shufflers.

Category: Military issues

Comments (7)

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  1. Just A Grunt says:

    From the article: Army forces would be reduced by less than 1 percent to 1,115,300 in 2013 and then drop to 1,048,200 in 2017. That’s still far greater troop strength than in February 2002, a year before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when the Army numbered about 480,000 on active duty.

    Pretty sneaky. I had to slow down when reading it to realize what they did. The first part addresses Army forces which implies The Total Force (Active, Reserve, Guard) while the closing sentence says Active Duty.

    I went through that drawdown in the 90’s and it was goddamn bloody with many a good soldier getting shown the door for nothing more then a bad check in their past or any sort of Article 15 regardless of the fact that it occurred when he was a PFC and he was now a SSG or SFC.

  2. jordan says:

    It may end up at a level higher than the 2002 force, but this is a different world, with 2012 requirements, dangers and instabilities. I’m wondering why we’re in such a damn hurry to do this, all of a sudden. Can’t be fiscal pressures; no other program or sector of government appears moved by fiscal urgency. Why is DoD?

    You start with the potential threat level through the next 10-20 years. Then, you figure out what forces you need to meet and overcome that threat. You don’t start with a bean count, and then say, well, we’ll just adjust our strategy to that number. It doesn’t work that way. This whole “agile, nimbler smaller units” idea is wonderful, until a threat emerges where it is inadequate to defend the country. Then what?

    Many of us recalled the euphoria with which budget slashers gleefully chopped up Pentagon spending when, ten years later, people had to spend 15 months in theater, or do back-to-back deployments. You cannot always rely on the excellence and willingness to sacrifice of the American soldier to make up for your stupid policy and budget decisions. Yet we keep doing it. I’m very surprised, after all his outreach to the military, Obama is doing this.

  3. NHSparky says:

    Jordan–it’s not like the politicians in power now have to live with the consequences of their actions.

    But those in uniform have to live–and die–with them. Absolutely unconscionable.

    And also saw in the budget where HHS budget is 50 percent larger than DoD, and INTEREST ON THE DEBT is almost the same size as the DoD budget–and will be larger in about 3 years. Next time I see one of those douchebag liberals with the bumper sticker that says, “It will be a great day when schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber,” I’m gonna shove every budget that shows we spend nearly $3 on education for every $1 on defense down their smug fucking throats.

  4. Hondo says:

    DoD is projected to take a $50 billion/year reduction over the next 10 years. That’s the primary reason why DoD is looking to reduce troop strength.

    Not sure we shouldn’t get rid of the JSF instead – it REALLY looks like it’s turning out to be the proverbial white elephant at this point – but that’s a different discussion.

  5. The Army did something like this after the Gulf War… we ended up with a real Gomer in our Nat Guard unit who’d been RIF’ed out of the Army and got a going away bounus…but he was allowed to join the Guard. In his case, I could see why the Army wanted him out- he’d been in over 10 years and had already made Spec 4.

  6. DaveO says:

    If past is prologue, after the Gulf War in 1991 we got rid of the capability of doing long-term aerial surveillance: systems, MOS, people.

    In 2006, thank to Rep Duncan Hunter’s initiative, and about 3000 dead servicemembers we spent tens of millions regaining that capability.

    What will be cut now, and how many thousands of bodies does that savings equate to in the next war?

  7. Flagwaver says:

    You know, people used to scoff when I told them to watch Star Wars to understand what is happening. Supreme Chancellor must get those who protect and defend the Republic out of service any way he can before he can put forward his bid for complete power. With the Inquisitors he is sending out, I mean Truth Teams, to turn the opinion of the Citizens of the Republic, all it will take is Senator Jar-Jar Jackson to propose giving the Supreme Chancelor special powers to combat the financial crisis that is looming over us. And, of course, he will give up those powers when the crisis is abated… right?