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.

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Filed under: Military • U.S. Army
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. banasyc

    People who are unemployed right now aren't going to have a job stolen by vets when the vets get just shows they weren't qualified for the job in the first place.
    C'mon, people...these men and women were serving our country, how ungrateful can you be?

    September 26, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • rustyangler

      Capitalism doesn't care about its defenders.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Starstuff

      Vets are no different than no-vets.

      People that PAY large amounts in taxes (American work force) are serving our country too. I don't see how knowing how to fire a m16 or kill people will get you ahead in a retail sales position.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Sounds as if it's the contractors who are the real culprits here, not our soldiers.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      It's easy to make an on-th-spot opinion about who's to blame. But if you want to boil it down to any one group, how about the corrupt politicians, continually screwing over this country for their own greed and ambitions. How about the big labor unions, who in the last half-century made it too expensive to manufacture in this country through their own greed?

      September 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Spark

    Coincidentally enough, that's the exact same percentage of troops that have come out since DADT was repealed...

    September 26, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin dickinson

      lmao, dude as a hornable discharged vet from twenty years ago, when i saw that figure that was the first thing that came to mind. the armed services are just going to pay you to go away, and if you refused you will find yourself in a leaning rest on someones front line. be careful of what you ask for.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. junior

    No, we need to send all the garbage that is clogging our prison systems to Somalia. That would benefit us all.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • OMG


      No, we need to send all the garbage that is clogging our prison systems to Somalia. That would benefit us all.

      Yeah that's a great idea then they could start fighting for the enemy too.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • StinkyStu

      We made most of them the enemy by locking them up for non violent drug charges. Wouldn't you fight against a country that took your freedom over something as silly as getting high.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      No just send them back to Mexico where they came from!!

      September 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. concerned vet

    I agree largely with allawash. I entered for the MGIB, mostly, and turned it into an A.A.S. but now finding myself in security and can't afford to support my family. We're going under. Not only was I told I'd have transferrable skills, but I'd be given the chance to earn an Associates in my first four-year enlistment (I had to fight to earn 7 credit hours in six years active duty). Parents need to make their children understand that recruiters lie routinely, and need to research the facts for themselves. The article states that they hope to achieve this reduction in force through voluntary retirement and buyouts – I desperately hope those vets have a solid plan before their last day.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Active Vet

      It depends what branch of service you or your child signs up for. I know the Navy and Air Force do a heck of job promoting and allowing Sailors/Airmen to get college education. It should not be that way, but it is.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • richp

      Good lord man, didn't you clep any of those courses ? I did, I only had to attend 3 semesters for my BS in computer science, granted two of those semesters were b all breakers but it is do able.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      I don't believe it does depend on the branch. I was Navy. My first PCS was the Stennis (CVN-74). They made it extremely hard to take any college classes. I got two credit classes after I went to shore duty, but it was very difficult there, as well.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      richb: you're absolutely right, a servicemember should CLEP everything possible, and I could've been able to grab maybe a couple more classes that way. The GenEd stuff, at least, for a hands-on degree in Industrial or Automotive Technology doesn't have any CLEP courses. Of course, 12-15 hour days aboard an aircraft carrier isn't conducive to the educational experience either, but... The point I was going for is that the same person who signed me up for my rate also told me I'd have an Associate's in four years. There's just no way, with CLEP and the other options, that I could've gotten all the GenEd stuff done, let alone...

      September 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • richp

      Yea, true, I was a bubble head so we took our courses with us on patrols, luckily we had two good engineering officers that taught the math courses [finally a nuke that was good for something other than keeping the tea pot working 🙂 ] and I needed them, I sure avoided them in HS.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. surfzup209

    I think an even better idea would be to let the jazzman and those who agree with his suggestion lead the way... As people who are just using up the air and space a returning veteran would need, their useless lives and stupid comments are no longer needed. I would even send the jazzman before those who are clogging our prison system... Sorry Junior...

    September 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jazzman

    oh yeah. well i bet you eat doodoo.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leeintulsa

    What they should do is stop recruiting, instead of asking trained, experienced soldiers to leave..

    September 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slavetousa

      No, they should stop spending money on nation building and overseas military installations.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • richp

      The problem with that is you end up with too many chiefs and not enough indians. What you will see is many more retiring from the guard and reserve then those coming off active duty moving into those slots which is a good thing as they will still be drilling and will have a small monthly income and life insurance. Thats what i did when I got out the navy, stayed in the guard for 19 years.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

      That would make too much sense, and be too efficient by Army standards (I'm a vet, so I know firsthand).

      September 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. concerned vet

    leeintulsa: they will, it goes hand in hand with any reduction. The military will reduce its recruiting quotas across the board. But it isn't enough when the gov't tries to save money on military spending. To all those vets getting out: You'd better have a plan before your last day. Transition is every bit as tough and culturally shocking as they tell you in TAPS class.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Slavetousa

    During a job crisis, human resources are cut but not the budget for new planes, missiles, foreign bases, nation building, and the list goes on and on. Amazing how little this administration actually cares about the people of this country. Cut people instead of new "toys." Baffles the mind doesn't it?

    September 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Don't you remember all those base closings of the 90's? But you're right, people are the most expendable tools of the military.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. brown

    We need to cut the Congress!

    September 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alabama Man

    Im a vet. Been one for purt near 7 years now. Been tough on me an my fambly. I gots that PTSD stuff. Didnt know I had it until I got back an herd I can get government checks if i got it. My wife gonna cook me up some bacon for luntch. mmmm.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JOE

    What the Army should do is replace them with members of the GOPand Tea bags and their families. Send them all out on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan, that is unarmed and send them out on foot to look for land mines. Teach these unpatriotic Americans a lesson.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TheFatherofLies

    Recruiters were committing suicide when they couldn't convince people to join the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, now we're drawing down with involuntary separations... Odd. Republicans like to change policy an awful lot. "Let's hit the sand and go to war, we need to spend money to create puppet nations, pillage oil, and GLOBALIZE" Rallying cry: FREEDOM FRIES!!!!!!!!! ... Now their tune is: "Cut back spending omg! we're beyond broke how did this happen??!?!?" Hmmm, unregulated wall street, and housing markets, tax breaks for the rich and wars are expensive.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Active Vet

      It has nothing to do with Republican, Democrats etc...The problem is NO commons sense and everything done at the last minute when this has been known for years and this is the samething for the economy. We knew and still can't get along. Common Sense...

      September 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Common Sense died in this country in the last century, not so long after he lost his children Responsiblity and Forthrightness, and his wife Mutual Cooperation, in a tragic industrial accident.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gung hoe

    Any vet has a good paying haRd working job with me if they want it

    September 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      When and where? No stranger to honest, hard work, and still can't support my family.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
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