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. Cerealbowl221

    Well so what happens when there is another war??? I think ill wait for my 30k bonus for signing up

    September 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ted Ryder

    Yayy!! More people to hit the unemployment lines!

    September 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    I'm not saying that enlisted personnel don't take their jobs seriously or that civilians would do better, I'm speaking towards a cost cutting measure and steering more Army MOSs towards actual combat and combat support. Food service, journalism, band, etc. are utterly worthless MOSs and I see it as a waste of funds to have enlisted and O's serving in these jobs.

    However, I totally understand the job market sucks, so I concede that its a slippery slope.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dickin Yermouth

      I know you're kidding about food service. I can just see private sector food service people working with bullets flying past their heads. I think you may want to take that one off the list.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Having servicemembers doing these jobs would be many times less expensive than using civilian G-ratings. I'd rather see the military keep those MOS's/ratings open and have more places for recruits to have skill-building career paths, than spend more money on civilians to do the same job.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Capitan

    Oldman100, why are you so afraid of 'gays?' Are you afraid of wearing sky blue v-neck sweaters from J-Crew? Or *GASP* flat-fronted chinos?!?!?! No, I see your logic, people who take entirely too long deciding which vegetarian wrap they want from the local non-Subway Deli are definitely the reason for all of our problems facing our country right now. Yeah, totally their fault. And don't forget the chicks! It's all because of the Indigo Girls that unemployment is going to be over 10% soon.... Hey oldman, go to and look up the term "feltch." You're welcome.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dickin Yermouth

    I don't know if we're going to solve unemployment with more unemployed people.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. M. Edward

    Mind? What mind?

    September 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Davethecanuck

    How is it... after all these years... that people still don't know what a troll is?

    September 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ken

    Now this becomes an interesting problem for Obama. Unemployment will go up with the reduction of military people. He promised the reduction of war personnel and the military. He has to do it and it will have a negative impact on jobs! He knew this all along. He just did tell the people the facts. Of course, this is still good as it reduces US costs (debt won't increase more). But it does mean that Obama will further have to prod the public sector which he has been destroying with regulations and health care. Or else, Obama will be ousted!

    September 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBoy

      In the last years of his Presidency George W Bush and the Republicans basically set up Obama to fail. They saw the writing on the wall, they saw that the Democrats would take power, easily done when you consider what a mess they made, and they knew that the American public would soon forget who is really to blame for the mess we're all in and turn the blame on Obama. How could any President fix the mess GWB made in just 2 or 3 short years? It took him 8-years to totally screw up the country!

      September 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BBoy

    Oh great! So 50,000 more unemployed on the streets of America and that's just the start of it! I can imagine the US Senate hiring these young highly trained soldiers as their "Praetorian Guard" to protect them from the masses when things in the USA really go to hell in the next couple of years! If you think it's bad now just wait!!

    September 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Another blow to the economy and increased unemployment. Military intelligence the ultimate oxymoron.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dinak

    Obama hired a record number of public workers (that means tax-payer funded jobs) in the last two years. How about reducing that work force by the same number you are reducing the military? How many red-tape rollers do we need in the gov't anyway?

    September 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • aaron

      Yeah because agencies like the USDA are a waste of money.............

      September 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      You do know the military and homeland security have the vast majority of government jobs, right? Much of that "record number of workers" you speak of IS the result of growth in military employment.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ken

    Wow - Times are really tough. Even the Army is now laying off people. 50,000 more for the unemployment line.

    You think I'm joking? The Army hopes to achieve the cuts through retirements, buyouts and voluntary and involuntary separations. SO where are these folks who get a buyout or seperation (either type) going to work when they leave? And the retirements means they are not hiring in some young person off the street.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonCNN

      "You think I'm joking?"

      Why would anyone think you were joking? Everyone here is commenting on the short article that says exactly that.
      It's not like you were making some profound statement there. You were literally repeating what was already reported on.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evn

      It will mean more unemployed (and less opportunity to join the military as an answer to what job can someone get). As things stand, there are already a large number of ex-military who become homeless upon discharge, and this will undoubtedly add to the numbers.. I'm not advocating keeping a larger than necessary military, but with 1,500,000 in military employment, and an even larger number of civilians providing direct support for the military, the spending cuts for military personnel are going to have a serious impact on worsening the overall employment situation.

      We are in a mess, and the worst part of it all is that nothing coming out of Washington is reallly doing much of anything to address the fundamental problem of a lack of living wage jobs in this country. Each new unemployed person is going to mean that much less to spend, and therefore support, other sectors of the economy, and the domino effect of it all may well end up overwhleming the country and it's resources. Meanwhile the N.Y. police are busy busting heads and making arrests in response to the protesters on Wall Street trying to focus attention on the fact that Wall Street and the banks are not being held responsible for their rolls in the mess we are in.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • FatSean

      Good! Our enormous standing army needs to be trimmed down. It is too expensive and the size allows politicians to start useless wars without actually requiring the country to sacrifice. The war hawks for Afghanistan's occupation and the whole Iraq thing would not have been so insulting and barbaric had they a chance to be drafted 😀

      September 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. keith

    we can afford things if we would just cut the salaries of Congress....they really DO NOT need to be paid the assanine amounts they are being paid, not to mention being allowed to vote themselves a COLA raise whenever they want, yet give approval for scant raises for the military and retired military – my dad retired as an officer and his pension sucked....he'd get maybe a 1 or 2% COLA raise when congress gave themselves double or triple that – what has congress truly done to deserve that? NOTHING

    September 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      A decade or so ago, congress let the public know it was looking at approving a 50% pay raise for themselves. Their main argument was "they had to maintain two households, on in DC and one in their home state. There was a public uproar. Congress dropped it. A few weeks later, with no notice to the public, they put it on the table, voted, and approved it.

      I served in the military 26 yrs. I maintained "two house holds" for many years. I never got a 50% pay raise. Heck, many of my "pay raises" were in fact a cost of living raise, so I got more money, but it bought the exact same amount as it had the year before.

      Our politicians are a monopoly with no one governing the ... government.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Mark: I can't thank you enough for putting forth the numbers I didn't have at hand myself. How did we allow Congress the power to govern their own pay? Now, does anyone know the statistics for their annula income, not to mention what they receive after they leave, and what it costs to have the Secret Service protect them when they do? How about the annual income of the President, who is in the simplest terms a PUBLIC SERVANT?!!!

      September 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Sure let's just pay them nothing so that only millionaires and billionaires can afford to be in elected positions.

      Because we need MORE plutocracy in this country.

      September 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. choppertrash

    Lots of dead wood in the military, officer and enlisted. The trick will be to seperate the non performers from the productive troops. Getting rid of 50K Army personnel should be easy, but they will surely make a mess of it...

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

      Yep. They'll target a (number of) year (in) group, a MOS, deny so many first termers re-enlistment... those retirement eligible won't vol to go already because getting TO 20 is the hard part – that is when you get a 50% retirement. Then you get 2.5% more each year thereafter, so it adds up.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Our son is active duty army and he was told that he needed to be an E-5 and have changed his MOS before his first enlistment is up. He wanted to make a career of the military. He loves this country and like so many others is willing to die for what it stands for. Now he is being told that it won't happen unless he does the above. He like so many others will be coming home to no jobs available, the cost of living so high that they can't afford a roof over their heads. Him and his wife will always be welcome to live with us (guess many families are going back to the days of the Walton's) as long as we are able. I agree that congress needs to take a major pay cut and that the person who suggested that they share homes with other "Elected Officials" be mandatory. I believe they get paid 173K a yr., with excellent health benefits.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Legalize Grenades

    Gays are proudly wanting back in the service-let them in. Bring hetero men and women home and lets get back to some real core values like respect and raising kids at home instead of headstart and other daycare fed funded programs. Yeah i'm a woman hear me roar-there's a fine line between equality and stupidity.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
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