Army, Air Force streamline leadership staffs

The Army and the Air Force on Tuesday announced plans to reorganize the services' civilian and military headquarters staffs to speed decision making, reduce management redundancy and improve operations. The Navy is expected to announce similar restructuring of Naval and Marine Corps staff in the coming weeks. Service officials said the reorganizations are intended to better align headquarters management activity with field operations, making the services more responsive to the nation's needs. The reorganizations will result in staff cuts to the headquarters offices, allowing the Army and Air Force to shift more personnel to field offices. "This is not a game to reduce the end-strength of the Army," said Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White. "This is about becoming more efficient and returning positions to the field." All cuts in headquarters positions held by uniformed personnel will be redistributed to units in the field. As for civilians whose positions are eliminated, the Army will make "every reasonable effort" to place them in other federal jobs, Army officials said. Air Force Secretary James G. Roche stressed that by cutting bureaucracy, the Air Force would improve overall management. Service leaders declined to speculate on how much money the reorganizations would save, or even how many positions ultimately may be eliminated. By law, the services' civilian leadership sets policy and provides oversight. The uniformed leadership executes policy and plans operations. Among the most significant changes for the Army:
  • The secretary, under secretary, chief of staff and vice chief of staff--the top two civilian and top two military service members, respectively--will form an Executive Office, intended to eliminate two separate decision-making channels, clearly delineate responsibility within headquarters, streamline the flow of information, and speed decision-making.
  • The Secretariat, which had grown considerably during the Clinton administration to assume operational functions traditionally performed by military personnel, will be cut and restructured to focus on formulating policy, providing strategic direction and overseeing Army planning and resource management.
  • Army staff will be realigned to more directly support the civilian assistant secretaries of the Army and the joint chiefs of staff.
  • The Army National Guard and Army Reserve will be more thoroughly integrated into headquarters staff, reflecting their critical role in military operations.
The Army Audit Agency will monitor the reorganization to account for all personnel and budget transfers and savings. Among the most significant changes for the Air Force:
  • A new position--Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration--will be created to better integrate capabilities across the service. The new position is a reflection of the growing importance of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in military operations. The new office will focus management attention on modernizing and integrating critical command and control, and intelligence gathering systems.
  • The undersecretary of the Air Force will oversee and manage space programs for the Defense Department and the National Reconnaissance Office.
Service leaders in both the Army and the Air Force said the reorganization will better match budget planning with program management, improving overall resource management across the services.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.