Army Denies It Will Lay Off 3,000 Officers to Meet Force Reduction Goals

US Army flight medic SPC. Daniel Miller, right, stands guard as United States Marines place a colleague wounded in an IED strike into a waiting U.S. Army medevac helicopter. US Army flight medic SPC. Daniel Miller, right, stands guard as United States Marines place a colleague wounded in an IED strike into a waiting U.S. Army medevac helicopter. Kevin Frayer/AP File Photo

The Army on Tuesday denied it will have to force anyone out of its service in the coming years, amidst reports it would have to issue reductions in force to thousands of officers.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday the Army will have to force out 3,000 officers to meet personnel goals set by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in his fiscal 2015 budget proposal. An Army spokesman, however, told Government Executive that the service has some flexibility with the cuts.

“There are no requirements,” said Troy Rolan, the Army spokesman. “Nothing is written in stone.”

Hagel’s budget proposal would reduce the size of the Army by 30,000 soldiers by October 2015, bringing it to 490,000 troops. It would cut an additional 40,000 by the end of fiscal 2017.

Even if the budget proposal becomes the law of the land, Rolan added, the Army could rely on natural separations -- such as retirements -- and fewer enlistments to reach its goals.

“I don’t see why we would have to force anybody out,” he said. “There’s so many ways we can reach any number, it’s almost impossible to describe them all.”

The Pentagon largely did not receive the same relief as the rest of the federal government in the 2014-2015 budget deal that rolled back many of the sequestration cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act, prompting Hagel to issue his blueprint to shrink the size of the military in the post-war era.

During a recent congressional hearing, Army Gen. John F. Campbell acknowledged many soldiers would be leaving the Army in the coming years, but fell short of predicting anyone being forced out.

“As we downsize, we are committed to taking care of those who have sacrificed so much for our nation over the past 12-plus years of war,” Campbell told members of the readiness subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee earlier this month.

AP originally reported the Army would target officers with “disciplinary or other problems in their annual evaluations,” as the first soldiers it would force out. Rolan said, however, there was nothing the Army had to do “aside from cutting down enlistments.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
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.

    View
  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

    View

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