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Army to slash thousands of civilian jobs in 2012

The cuts will affect 8,700 positions at 70 locations across 37 states, service says.

Army officials said Thursday they will cut 8,700 civilian positions next year at 70 locations across 37 states. The jobs will be eliminated by Sept. 30, 2012, to cope with anticipated budget cuts, according to a Pentagon announcement.

Ninety percent of the cuts will come from the Installation Management Command, the Army Materiel Command, and Training and Doctrine Command, although five other commands also will see reductions.

Although the job losses will be spread across dozens of states, those most affected will be states with the largest military populations, presumably Texas and Virginia, where the management and training commands, respectively, are headquartered.

"Army commands and agencies are continuing to take necessary actions to reduce their civilian onboard strength to meet funded targets established by the secretary of Defense and reflected in the president's budget," Thomas R. Lamont, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, said in a statement.

"To the maximum extent possible, the Army will rely on voluntary departures to achieve these manpower reductions," he said.

Commanders are likely to offer volunteer early retirement benefits and separation pay to meet the targets.