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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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