Foreign and Defense Policy, Defense

More military pink slips to troops in the field

Image Credit: The US Army (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

Image Credit: The US Army (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

The Obama administration recently came under criticism for sending pink slips to 1,200 Army captains, including 48 who were on the front lines in Afghanistan. Now they are at it again.

Stars and Stripes reports:

About 550 Army majors, including some serving in Afghanistan, will soon be told they have to leave the service by next spring as part of a budget-driven downsizing of the service….

The Army declined to say how many majors will be notified while they are at the battlefront.

“The ones that are deployed are certainly the hardest,” [Gen. John] Campbell told reporters. “What we try to do there is, working through the chain of command, minimize the impact to that unit and then maximize the time to provide to that officer to come back and do the proper transition, to take care of himself or herself, and the family.”

Campbell said it’s difficult to avoid cutting deployed soldiers because of the timing schedules…

Those who are cut have nine months to leave the Army. And the soldiers who are deployed, including those in Afghanistan, will generally have about a month to move out of that job and go home to begin to transition out of the service.

The cuts have been difficult for many young officers, particularly captains, who tend not to have enough years in service to retire.

This is no way to treat the brave young men and women who have risked their lives to defend our country. And it is strategically insane to push out these battle-hardened officers, whose skills cannot be replaced once they are lost. It is easy to replace a weapons system. But you cannot replace combat experience. In the private sector, businesses go to great lengths to retain talent and experience. When it comes to our military, the Obama administration pushes both out the door.

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3 thoughts on “More military pink slips to troops in the field

  1. I could have sworn it was Congress that had the final say on the budget, and it was the Republicans who were crying, “Cut! Cut! Cut!”. Of course, they could keep all those officers if they would eliminate some other part of the military budget, such as the F-35. But that system actually has its own caucus in Congress.

  2. This post is topsy -turvy. In the private sector no one retires after 20 years of service with full pension and health benefits, as they do from the federal armed forces, and in the private sector force reductions are commonplace.
    In truth, a mercenary professional military may be too expensive to maintain, and perhaps we should consider return to a draft and true volunteer military with a Spartan professional officer corps.

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