Buyouts, early outs could be part of Army plan to cut 80,000 soldiers and officers

The Army could resort to buyouts and severance packages in its recently announced effort to eliminate 80,000 soldiers over the next six years, the National Journal has reported.

With Pentagon budget cuts of more than $487 billion during the next 10 years, the Obama administration is aiming to create a “leaner and meaner” military, in the words of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

To cut the necessary number of soldiers -- the largest force reduction since the late 1990s -- the Army is considering severance packages, buyouts and other personnel reduction measures, as reported (subscription required) by National Journal, Government Executive’s sister publication.

Provisions buried inside the latest Defense authorization bill create two possible early retirement programs for the Army to explore. One is voluntary retirement incentives, in which the Army would offer experienced officers 12 times their normal monthly pay to leave the force. A second grants temporary early retirement authority to officers and enlisted troops who retire after 15 years instead of 20.

“No decision has been made yet on whether or not the Army will utilize either of these programs,” human resources spokesman Lt. Col. Timothy Beninato told National Journal.

According to Reuters, ground forces numbers will fall from 570,000 in 2010 to 490,000 by 2017. The Marine Corps will be reduced from 202,000 to 182,000 during the same period.

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.