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. gung hoe

    To concerned vet flint mi its roofing

    September 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Now if I can afford to relocate. But I'm gratified to know there are still construction jobs out there. And thank you.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Army Mom

    Gen. Bostick – really??!! I have an idea. Why not get rid of the top brass with the big paychecks who sit at their desks all day. Why is the Army still out there recruiting when you're going to lay off. Why is the Army recruiting yet you're going to lay off the soldiers who have been on one or more deployments fighting for the security of our country??? So basically what you are saying is those soldiers who have fought for our country are not worth the Army holding on to. Those soldiers who left behind their families not once, but multiple times. The Army is throwing these soldiers away to make room for new, fresh blood is that it??? Explain because I for one would like to know.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      I have to agree with one point here. If you look at the military pay chart, the top officers make an insane amount of money. While an E-5 makes a decent paycheck when you include the monthly housing stipend, etc., any lower ratings don't get squat, relatively. Along with reducing gov't paychecks (politicians especially, but also overpaid workers' salaries), the officer cadre can take a hit for the good of the country and the economy.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      I couldn't have said this better. 🙂

      September 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Legalize Grenades

    I agree with Mark. No one is holding the gov accountable so just like innocent occupy wall street protestors get arrested we should make a pact with a fed funded prison-bust them free and start throwing politicians in there, let them see how proving innocence is behind bars and how allocating from people in need of it most feels. And any cops trying to stop this effort-we the people toss them in jail too. We have a right to bear arms.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kevin

    The first to go should be the musical instrument players that form the army band, JUst play a recording of music it serves the same pupose and saves money on salaries, medical care and benefits. Secondly should be the shoe clerk people especially the Older enlisted people. The ones who sit behind a finance desk and dont do really anythhing but screw up other peoples pay situation. That is the ugly truth!!!

    September 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      I'd have to agree. The military has been using recorded music in most situations for decades now. That rating can be eliminated entirely. Just as in previous reductions, the 300-pound pay clerk can be replaced with an E-4, who will screw things up equally well. But don't turn over the technical ratings and all shore jobs to the G-rating civilians, it would cost the taxpayers more that way.

      September 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tim

    Add a million people to the welfare roles by constantly replenishing their unemployment benefits and sure, it makes sense to cut troops volunteering their lives in defense of these crooked politicians. Sure it does.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WOT

    Civil War II !

    September 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. GTR5

    There was a serious drawdown under Clinton. I see the same thing happening again. Mostly junior enlisted got the axe. But the Generals, Admirals, Col's, etc. stayed in service and the services were top heavy. It's coming again under this administration, but now it is going to be a real economic mess.

    September 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. yathinkso

    to aaron:

    USDA is a waste of money?

    Don't say that with your mouth full, a$$wipe

    September 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    Ok they need to start at the top, and cut some Generals too, if were going to have 50,000 leass troops, we can do without a few Generals drawing huge checks! Almost a 1000 Generals at last count thats where the money goes! No to private John Doe!!

    September 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Byron

    So basically, people want to complain about government job cuts, then want to complain about their taxes not being low enough? Guess what, those people working in government get paid from the taxes we pay.... Laying off thousands of people who really aren't contributing to anything other than our national debit, is an obvious action (not to discredit those serving in the military of course, but we don't need as big of a force as we have). It gives the government a lot more money that it needs to help build up the economy, by making it easier for the private sector to grow, creating private sector jobs in the process. Plus, our government's military spending is ridiculous, and has gotten completely out of hand. It is about time they started trimming that budget.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan

    Start cutting the Generals first, we have way to many getting 6 figure salaries for sitting around watching power point slides! Useless dead weight!!

    September 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      You have no idea. The Air Force found 41 General positions that were created simply to employ 0-7's. One thing we miss however, is the amount of DOD civilians that were brought in during this surge. They cost less in short term but more in the long run, heftier salaries, private health care premiums, inflated housing allowances and scheduled raises and pensions, why don't we cut them. Riddle me this, how can an 0-4/E-8 make 80k/60k in the Military then for the government make 120k a year? What magically happened in a month's time that makes him/her so much more valuable?

      September 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dink


      Your high! PhD's and physicians do not make $120,000 annually for the federal government. Stop the lies!

      September 27, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • concerned vet

      Dink: a little research will show you that he isn't lying. In fact, some gov't contractors make much more.

      September 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      A white badge holder has to be GS-14 to make 120k/year

      September 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    Start by keeping National guardsmen in our home. :/

    September 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dan in AZ

    Drop in the bucket. Still a half million troops to serve the empire.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. M.kuck

    GREAT idea, Obama. Cut troop levels in the middle of a war. Even Bush wasn't THAT stupid. He just didn't add the troops we needed- now Obummer cuts the ones we DO have.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • thisgirlhere

      Did you miss the part where he said because the wars in Afganistan and Iraq were drawing down they don't need as many... Bush didn't cut troops because he had no intentions of ending battle in either country. Is it Obama's fault that you didn't pay attention to the article?

      September 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnharry22911

      guess you cant read the news for the last 3 years operations are winding down. little slow on the uptake.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Klaark

      You Republicans...war, war, war. You love it! You love death!

      September 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • over it

      You're right...Bush is just the one that got us into a recession in the first place. If he hadn't had a blank check, maybe we wouldn't be forced to cut our armed forces. Let's send jobs overseas AND give companies tax breaks for doing so, oh, yeah, & let's give tax breaks to my rich friends, too. That seems super-intelligent to me...
      Everyone should pay 33% across the board with no caps. Lol.
      Obama is not the problem here...If everyone would pull up their big boy/girl undies & make necessary compromises...we'd at least have a start & maybe wouldn't have to cut valuable positions.

      September 27, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      What war? There are no major wars, just a bunch of slow-burn conflicts that we can easily opt out of and nobody would notice.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matthew

    They said the 8.6% reduction would take place over the next five years. That means that they will just not have as strong of recruitment and higher promotion points. Not as though they are giving people opt out opportunities.

    Somebody else brought up a good point though. They also need to be winding down the civilian aspect of the war surge. Contractors and DoD civilian positions are going to become redundent.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
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