General: Army to cut 8.6% of troops
Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick says the troop cuts will take place over five years.
September 26th, 2011
09:24 AM ET

General: Army to cut 8.6% of troops

The U.S. Army in March will embark on a plan to cut 50,000 troops, or 8.6% of its soldiers, over five years, the service's personnel chief tells Army Times.

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick said the cuts will bring the Army's total force to 520,400 active-duty soldiers by October 2016, according to the Army Times report.

“We feel that with the demand going down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the time to conduct a reasonable drawdown, we can manage (the force reduction) just as we have managed drawdowns in the past,” Army Times quotes Bostick as saying.

The troop cuts will come in two phases, Bostick told the newspaper, with the first covering the 22,000 troops added to the service three years ago to support the troop surge in Afghanistan. A second phase will cover 27,000 slots added in the Grow the Army program, begun in 2007, he said.

The Army hopes to achieve the cuts through retirements, buyouts and voluntary and involuntary separations, Bostick told Army Times.

Post by:
Filed under: Military • U.S. Army
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Lol

    Wow... you guys act like our troops aren't American citizens, that they don't have families and houses and lives to come back to... All I hear is, "They're going to come and take the benefits I'm already NOT working for and getting!" Do kindly GTFO of America, please?

    September 26, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • TAJ


      September 26, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. prof

    Following the Vietnam Conflict many vets were given government jobs with the post office. It is now about to go out of business. Plus you always hear about the vets turning to crime. What are we going to do with this batch of them?

    September 26, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • SGT Bell

      Vets turning to crime? What statistics back up this claim?

      September 26, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. prof

    Many vets come back to the US with th condition known as The Vet Complex. Although they volunteered to be part of the armed services, many believe they are then deserve or are owend preferential treatment by society. As the try to reenter the workforce mayy find they are qualified only to work bagging groceries or in the custodial industry. The vet often goes into a state of denial about his true worth and turns to substance abuse and then crime. Journal of American Psychiatry. 2008.
    re owe

    September 26, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • allawash

      Maybe this is because my fellow soldiers/sailors/airmen and I were told upon entering the service that the "skills" we learn in the military will transfer over to employment in the civilian world, which is almost an outright lie. At best, the training and skills learned transfer over to a partial completion of an Associates degree at a community college. And yes, the MOS I had in the military was a highly technical one. So unless you were a mechanic or medical personnel, your job possibilities are severly limited upon exit from the military.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • VET

      If you plan on having any ounce of credibility, at least attempt to spell check you work. Also, you fail to realize that veterans DO get preferential treatment due to EEO regulations, this is also not limited to the veterans who under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act are placed in a protected state of employment during their service whether it be four years or twenty.

      That being said, I have seen soldiers get out of the army after six years of service who have accepted jobs paying $100k and more. Check your sources, because a minority “opinion” CAN NOT speak for the majority. This is America; it just doesn't work that way.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TB80

      As an Army vet, your comments seem unsubstantiated and/or grossly over-exaggerated. I do have that 214 that shows honorable discharge, a college degree in finance and econ, and have struggled to find suitable employment. I dont blame this on the Army or my lack of training. Its the stagnant economy, high unemployment, and this current recession that just never ends. I do have a job, so for that I am grateful.

      As far as a vet expecting favorable treatment, why not? They have volunteered their time from their lives, to defend what so many take for granted, freedom and liberty. They have placed their minds and bodies in harms way-possibly getting brainwashed in the process, to do exactly what they raised their right hand for so many years ago. If there are government jobs available, why not give special treatment to those that understand a good honest days work, without crying about the pay-which is horrible by any economists standard, and have already been processed and screened by the government. Anyway, enough talk of the vets and their problems. I wouldnt expect you to understand.

      hang in there VETS, keep your chins up and be proud of yourselves!

      September 26, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Narba

      Wow – a "2008" article. And today is September 2011. I guess you haven't read any current articles about how the vets are coming home with PTSD and having a hard time dealing with family and life because they have nightmares about picking up body pieces of their "brothers and sisters" being blown to pieces by IEDs? Or what about the stories of Vets sleeping with, crapping with, walking with their rifle? Don't leave home without it. You are a LITTLE out of touch with reality on your articles. Try the human factor. Go out there and talk to vets. Volunteer to help a vet out. See if "Vet factor" is more evident than the PTSD factor.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. gordon atl

    Lots of vets were addicted to cocaine and were involved in crime. But that isn't the point, these guys make a legitimate concern. But if you want to keep these men and women from getting jobs that's messed up. They've earned their money more than you have. This is coming from a non-military civilian. Thank you troops!

    September 26, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    Um, no. Adding 50,000 smart, motivated people back into our economy will not increase unemployment.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • smartamerican

      Its a slow attrition of the force spread out over 5 yrs and by then our economy will b stronger to absorb the eligible workers.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Yes, I wasn't being sarcastic.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. infantryvet82

    For those comments that are saying that our troops shouldn't come home, or all we will do is collect unemployment and mooch off the government, what the hell do you do that puts you so high up on a pedestal, obviously your ignorance and lack of morality has turned you bitter. These are men and women that have VOLUNTARILY put their lives on hold to make sure you can still live yours, and you have the nerve to open your mouth to demean them. I hope you fall off your high horse, cause guess who will be there to pull you up and give you aid...that's right, soldiers.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. monkey

    YEAH ! If you are a smart professor why cant you type or spell? I think you just smell you anti american smellyhead !

    September 26, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. infantryvet82

    And not to discredit anyone, cause yes there are stats, studies, and such. But there is a difference in knowing veterans in real-life vs periodical studies. I didn't go over with the intent of losing my legs, but I also didn't cone back feeling owed anything, I just want to live my life and continue earning a living.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scott

    This makes sense. There are far too many POG (piece of garbage) jobs in the military that should be contracted to civilians. Joining the army and choose "food service" as your MOS? Give me a break. Talk about a waste of tax dollars.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • infantryvet82

      Scott, the government actually spends more paying contractors to do military jobs than they pay soldiers. I know of contractors that make 5x more for the same job done by their military counterpart. Not saying you're completely wrong, but just a little off.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • heyZeus

      I have to disagree with you Scott. I have seen time and again where Military members are proud to do their jobs, most take them on in a professional manner, and give long hour ensuring that things are right 100% of the time. Where contractors are on at 8:30 off by 4 and could care less if the outcome is satisfactory.

      The worst thing that can happen for the Military is to have contractors taking over the support jobs. It will cost a lot more lives due to crap job completion.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Have to disagree with you, Zeus. The civvies do a good job. But they make an enormous amount of money doing the same thing a servicemember used to do, and yes they do it in a standard workweek. Servicemembers also have a standard workweek (most of the time), except when deployed, when the hours and working conditions are typically deplorable. Better to keep those skill-building jobs and in the service whenever possible, instead of paying the civvies 5 times as much.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. George

    So....we're going to downsize the military and send them into a failing job market! I am a veteran and hopefully they are setting these guys and girls up for success. When I was in they bought them off by paying them a $5,000 to $10,000 – take the money and run incentive. If we do that again, we'll only be crippling them. How about shifting them into an active reserve status, educate them or train them in a tech job and then let them go? Teach them to be entrepreneurs so that they can attribute to kick starting this economy and not add to the burden of it. These guys and girls are tired of being sent to combat for the fourth and fifth time in 3-4 years. It's understandable that they'll want to get out and do something else for a change, but don't send them out with just a check. Train them and educate them and you'll get a lot more out of them.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. mlg

    Letting, 50,000 go is a mistake. I returned in 2007 from iraq and still don't have work. And take into consideration that if they are maried and releid on the military pay then you have 2 for 1 situation. So it could be 100,000 entering the job market. As far as edeucation goes, you can forget it it is backlogged. The most viable solution is to deploy on the border with mexico, it keeps jobs, and improves security.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. mlg

    When I was in iraq contractors employees were making 40,000 to 250,000 a month tax free. I made a little over 2000 a month in the army and doing the same thing. Confused? That's why the wars cost so much.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Proud of ourTroops

    I'm disgusted by much of the idiotic nonsense some of your readers have posted here. Only God can judge them, and I respect that, for was it up to me, I'd condemn them to hell for their disrespectful behavior!

    September 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. 8153

    Thank you troops and your families for all you sacrifice!

    September 26, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. mlg

    If the army is going to cut there going to cut support jobs, carpenters, electricians, plumbers. Contractors don't care, we had soldiers get electricuted in showers due to crappy work. Replacing cheap labor, dedication, service, for a contractor is unacceptable. Redeploy the soldiers, mexican border, disater releif.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7