Army to cut civilian jobs

The Army is set to reduce its civilian workforce in the next year as part of onging budget-trimming efforts.

The Army will reduce its civilian workforce by more than 8,700 employees over the next year as part of a plan to reduce Defense Department spending, according to an Army report.

About 30 Army commands will lose some employees, but about 80 percent of the job cuts will be from four organizations: the Installation Management Command, the Army Materiel Command, the Training and Doctrine Command, and the Department of the Army headquarters, the report notes.

The reductions will affect more than 106,650 Army employees, according to a GovExec report.

The affected organizations have 30 days to come up with plans for achieving their reduction targets. 

“We are in a very challenging fiscal environment and understand the impact these cuts will have on our civilians and their families,” Thomas Lamont, assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, said in the Army release. “Tough choices have to be made, but we’ll make them in a thoughtful and deliberate manner that best supports the Army’s mission.”

The civilian job reductions are the product of at least three major efforts to streamline DOD and cut spending: one pushed by President Barack Obama, another from sweeping efficiency measures enacted by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates before he left office, and tough budget cuts made under the recent debt-ceiling agreement.

Gates’ successor, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, said Aug. 4 that defense cuts on the table under the debt-ceiling agreement are “within the ballpark” of achievable goals for DOD reducing spending.

“Over past couple years we have focused heavily on the efficiencies aspect, and that continues to be the case with the review going on right now ... it’s an iterative process to look at overhead. We fully recognize that at some level ... force structure comes into play very dramatically,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in the Aug. 4 Pentagon briefing alongside Panetta.

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