Army

August 1, 2014

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Tags:
David Vergun
Army News Service

No commander is happy when notified that a Soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program.

WASHINGTON — The drawdown, particularly involuntary separations, is a huge issue for the Army, officials said, especially since the strength of the Army is its people and the trust they have in each other.

Currently, about 1,100 captains have been identified for involuntary separation, and about 550 majors will be notified during the first week in August. Already notified were 103 colonels and 136 lieutenant colonels.

No commander is happy when notified that a Soldier from his or her command has been identified to leave. It’s never a good story, said senior leaders, speaking on background during a blogger’s roundtable at the Pentagon, July 26.

Once a commander has been told that a Soldier will be asked to separate, he or she will personally notify that Soldier, explain the process and give a range of options for transitioning. The notification is done on a personal basis because it’s about putting a premium on the chain of command. It’s about caring.

One of the big tools the Army uses for transitioning is the Soldier For Life Transition Assistance Program. The program connects transitioning Soldiers with the communities they plan to live in, they can start to build relationships early with local businesses and organizations so their reintegration into Civilian life is successful.

In return, those communities are gaining highly motivated Soldiers, leaders and experts in their occupational specialties. As the title of the program suggests, the Army wants them to be Soldiers for life.

Another possible option for some leaving the service is the Reserve Component.

Enlisted who are separated involuntarily get 12 months to prepare and officers, nine. By law, officers who were involuntarily separated receive seven months from notice to leaving the service but a two-month waiver was granted.

It’s hard to find much good news about the drawdown, but if there is any, it’s that only about one percent of the total force is being looked at for involuntary separations.

But the numbers could climb, officials said, without action from Congress to restore funding that would balance readiness and modernization with current force structure.

The active Army is going from 513,800 Soldiers to about 510,000 this year. Next year, it will drop to 490,000, and should nothing change legislation-wise, the active force will be anywhere from 440,000 to 450,000 by 2019.

The drawdown has to take place because without it, there would be no money for training and equipment costs and Soldiers put in harm’s way would be at greater risk, officials said. Also, the separations primarily affect noncommissioned officers and officers because without that, there would be no incentive for people coming into the Army because promotions would stagnate.

Given a choice, the Army prefers drawing down through natural attrition such as retirements and voluntary separations which occur in any given year. The Army has already lowered the number of people being recruited to help get the numbers down.

Should involuntary separations be needed — and they increasingly will be, due to the sheer size of the drawdown — the Army will pay an early retirement annuity, separation pay or early retirement beginning at 15 years, to as many who are eligible.

Separation for a captain with about eight years of service might be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, for instance.

The NCO separations are less predictable than those for officers, and will fluctuate from year to year and be based a lot on military occupational specialty, or MOS needs, officials said. For instance, if specific MOS is over-strength, more separations will occur there than from one that’s balanced or under-strength.

Selection boards will then look at the records and evaluations of Soldiers to determine who stays and who goes, based on performance and potential for future service. Derogatory actions, such as an Article 15 or driving under the influence, are just two of many variables that the board would weigh.

Each year, the Selective Early Retirement Boards will continue to meet and the process will continue until 2019, absent new legislation.

It’s a big challenge for the Army and especially for the Soldiers and Family members who are and will be affected, but officials said the service is trying to go about the process in the most humane way possible.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Maci Hidalgo

Army makes significant strides in energy programs

Maci Hidalgo Steven Lyman, a worker with Triad, a company working on the utility-owned solar array at Fort Huachuca, welds a part onto a support shaft for a solar panel at the 68-acre solar array park adjacent to the Thunder Mo...
 
 

Fort Huachuca showcases energy audit program

October is Energy Awareness Month and it is an appropriate time to describe the programs and services available to those responsible for managing Fort Huachuca’s various facilities. As part of the Army’s Net Zero Program, Fort Huachuca personnel are working to both reduce its energy consumption and to produce more of what people do use...
 
 

Ebola Virus Disease outbreak — know the facts

Ebola Virus Disease, previously known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, was originally discovered in 1976 in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and since its first discovery has appeared sporadically through Africa. It is still unknown how the first human became infected; but, it is suspected the first person was infected...
 

 
Dr. Randal Schoepp

Dempsey says combating Ebola a national security priority

Dr. Randal Schoepp Soldiers working at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 1st Area Medical Laboratory, prepare to leave to set up laboratories to support Operation United Assistance, the U.S. response to the Ebola outb...
 
 

Nominations sought — Lt. Gen. Sidney T. Weinstein Award for excellence In Military Intelligence

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Weinstein Award through March 4, 2015. To be eligible, a candidate must be a Military Intelligence officer of the rank of captain in the Active Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. He or she must have performed actions which positively promote, impact, advance and bring honor to...
 
 
Maci Hidalgo

Six retirees honored Oct. 17 during ceremony on Brown Parade Field

Maci Hidalgo Members of the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion deliver flowers to spouses and Family members during the Fort Huachuca installation retirement ceremony on Brown Parade Field Oct. 17. Flowers were given in recogn...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin