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.


 
 

 
Stephanie Caffall

Women’s history showcased during special event Wednesday

Stephanie Caffall Fort Huachuca’s Thunder Mountain Activity Centre was the site of an event titled, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” Wednesday in celebration for National Women’s History Month. After the reading...
 
 
DoD

DOD warns troops, families to be cyber crime smart

WASHINGTON — Defense Department employees and their families should be vigilant when guarding personal and work information from expanding cyber-criminal activity, and to know how to recognize scammer tactics, according to DOD’s chief information officer. Terry Halvorsen issued a DOD-wide memorandum March 18 about the growing threat of cybercrime “phishing” and “spear phishing” in e...
 
 

Army health leaders advocate for importance of nutrition

WASHINGTON — During National Nutrition Month in March, “we encourage each of you to renew a commitment to achieving your personal Performance Triad goals,” said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” she said. The Performance Triad focuses on the importance of sleep, activity and nutrition...
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Convoy exercise helps ready 111th MI Bde. for emergencies

Natalie Lakosil Soldiers from the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade take a short rest in lower Garden Canyon before returning to the motor pool as part of a convoy training exercise Wednesday. The exercise helps the brigade s...
 
 

Fort Huachuca Criminal Punishment Bulletin – February

For the month of February, in addition to Court-Martial and U.S. Federal Court Proceedings, 31 Soldiers were disciplined under Article 15, UCMJ; and 25 Soldiers were administratively separated, including 2 for misconduct. The following are notable recent criminal proceedings: A specialist assigned to the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion was tried at a General Court-Martial. The...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

111th MI Bde. NCO, Soldier, Platoon Sgt. of Quarter winners selected

Natalie Lakosil Sgt. Jason Grider, Alpha Company, 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, inspects uniforms during the in-ranks inspection portion of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade Non-commissioned Officer of the Quarte...
 




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