Marines Could Cut 8,000 Troops If Sequestration Sticks Around

A Marine trains in Hawaii in 2011. A Marine trains in Hawaii in 2011. Defense Department

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said Wednesday that continued budget cuts from sequestration could mean the loss of 8,000 troops from the service.

Defense Department managers know more precisely where the cuts would come, but Amos declined to provide specifics to reporters at the Defense Writers Group, The Hill reported.  The final decision remains with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s office, according to Amos,

The commandant said that he didn’t “want this to happen” and was working with leaders in the service and at Defense to ensure that the country had “the best Marine Corps it [could] afford,” according to the American Forces Press Service.

The announcement of possible cuts comes after Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno outlined an 80,000-troop force reduction.  He said Tuesday that the service was undertaking the cuts primarily because of the 2011 Budget Control Act, and that further reductions may be necessary should sequestration remain in place.

Though it’s unclear whether the cuts would affect civilian jobs in the Marine Corps, Odierno said Tuesday that the Army’s troop cuts would be “commensurate” with a drawdown in civilian personnel in the service. The Navy recently announced a reduction in force for 745 civilian positions, citing budget cuts. 

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