Army Hit Hard Under Post Shutdown Funding Cloud

Army Hit Hard Under Post Shutdown Funding Cloud

The entire Defense Department faces a post-shutdown era of “uncertainty” on budgets, pay, force size, and modernization, but the coming changes are expected to hit hardest on the Army, defense officials said.

It’s not just a period of uncertainty for the Army — it’s a period of “dynamic uncertainty,” Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of Staff, said in an e-mail to the entire force Wednesday as the government shutdown was ending.

“We are making changes to our institutions and processes to ensure that we are maximizing the limited resources available to the Army,” Odierno said.


First, the Army will have to gauge the impact of the shutdown on its budget and planning. Pentagon Comptroller Bob Hale on Thursday gave an initial estimate that the shutdown cost the Defense Department at least $600 million.

Army officials Friday were still compiling their own estimate, but the cost to the Army Reserve alone was about $46 million, according to Reserve officials.

Nearly 500,000 Army Reserve and Guard members were affected when the Defense Department went into shutdown mode on Oct. 1. Across the U.S., more than 400,000 Guardsmen and more than 75,000 Reserve soldiers lost drill and training hours and the money that went with it.

In a notice issued Friday, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service said that the continuing resolution on the budget passed by Congress and signed by President Obama to end the shutdown would allow all Reserve and Guard members to receive back pay entitlements to include bonuses in the next pay period.

The Army also incurred major costs during the shutdown from ordering thousands of personnel to return to base from travel duty, including those in schools and training programs. The Human Resources Command was still in the process of re-authorizing the travel and school assignments.

The Army has already commited to a major reduction in force size from 570,000 to 490,000, but Odierno has warned that the force could get even smaller, given the uncertainty of future funding levels.

Under the sequestration process of the Budget Control Act, the Defense budget would be cut another $52 billion next year, which would come on top of a projected decline in the overall Defense budget to $475 billion, about 10 percent below the White House request for $527 billion for Fiscal 2014.

Although there was no guarantee that Congress would end or alter the sequestration process to boost funding levels, the Army was going ahead with a plan that Gen. Robert Cone, head of the Training and Doctrine Command, has called a “fundamental re-design of the Army.”

In addition, the Army has also committed to re-shaping its Brigade Combat Team structure. Under the plan, the number of BCTs in the Army would be reduced from 45 to 33 by 2017.

The remaining BCTs would grow in strength to about 4,500 troops.

“We will reinvest some of the Soldiers, equipment and support personnel into the remaining BCTs,” Odierno said in announcing the plan last summer.

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Now would be a good time to trim the army (and the rest of the military by about a third. Move most of the service out of Europe (unless they want to pay for it) and just keep a small force to keep things in a working order so that the bases could be reactivated quickly. Keep most of the forces in South East Europe and the Indian Ocean and around South East Asia. We really don’t have to fear China any more so stay away from that area. At this time it would do no good to reach out South America the US is dead there. So pull back to Fort USA to rebuild. Then after 2016 election the situation may change.

First, the Army “reorganized” its BCTs using its war budget. What a taxpayer rip off! Now they are saying they’re “cutting” force structure but moving some of those forces to “biggy” their existing BCTs. They really need to stop their denial strategy and move forward. For example, if a 10% funding cut is coming, they should cut 20% from all their current force structure (personnel). Then add back the second 10% into R&D, advanced technology, electronics, airlift, etc. Key enablers, supporting a smaller, but highly effective force. In not, it will the generals who hollow out the force, not the lack of cash. The need to have the “intestinal fortitude” to tell the president he can’t have a BIG army, just an effective one.

Sad fact is the never should have removed that third battalion from the BCTs to begin with. The theory was more toys would negate the need for troops which of course was crap, and they were also looking for more units to deploy rather than effective units. When we got to Iraq or Afghanistan we’d task organize and end up increasing the size of some of the BCTs anyways without any problems.

The US needs this going forward in the 21st century: 400.000 ARMY personnell (ground wars, despite what some might think are NOT feasable anymore and will NOT happen anymore) Even the most suicidal tea party loon won’t convince the good people of the US to go for it (apart from perhaps small skirmishes, blitz actions). I’m talking large occupational wars a la Iraq and Afgh. Even if somebody nuked the US (tom clancy) you won’t do it.
150.000 Marines. Plenty for expeditionary short term actions. They have their fleet and air wing and choppers. Enough, no need for 202.000 (that was the bloated number because of the I and A wars, Marines are NEVER intended to OCCUPY, just to drive a lightning bolt through the heart of the enemy.
Navy: cut it to 300k from 330k (achieve this through one less CARRIER and supplemental ships/forces) Keep it large though as is except for that one carrier.
Air force: cut to 280-300k. Cut CAS planes (no more ground wars), cut large transports (c-5 in half, c17 can cut a couple dozen, c-130 perhaps about 100 less, replace less tankers with the kc-46 (about 350 total instead of 450), more drones and perhaps a cut of about 200–300 in the f-35 order)

That’s about 70-100bn a year in cuts and perfect fighting force going forward with a new mission statement. You can still fight at warp speed in any inch of the globe, without the idiotic occupations. Strike and let the population take car of it.

And remove your troops from Europe with the exception of one or two strategic bases. Despite the so called ‘special relationship’ you need those bases in the UK like you need a third nipple. There is no STRATEGIC goal in the UK. Italy, sure (middle east is near, as is north africa). Germany, okay, as a refuelling station to the middle east, eastern europe to tighten the NOOSE around Russia’s neck. Go from Korea, no strategic objective there. NK will never do anything, it’s just an insurance policy of the Chinese. If ever a crazy US president tries something, they have a million North Koreans willing to jihad themselves. Go from there. Keep only troops in Japan and Guam/Australia etc. The pacific needs your presence (you need a presence there), the middle east is yesterday’s news, and Europe is yesterYEAR’s news:)

PS, why don’t you Americans start a Union with the entire American continent? Like we did in Europe? You’ll always be the big dog like Germany is in ours, and your trade/friendship/economic clout would only INCREASE. The biggest player in the biggest union is always the most powerful. Would Germany ever have the economic clout it has now as a stand alone country? No, but it arguably is at it’s most powerful now within the EU. The boss of a large powerful continent if you will. (don’t argue hitler, that was in the end a paper tiger). The only way he could project power was through starting a war he knew he would lose.

“We really don’t have to fear China any more?” Curly, did u switch psychotropic‎ medications recently?

Thanks for the advice Concerned European, now where’s my paper-shredder.….…

Oh, that Rumsfeld and Units of Action stuff. Thank goodness it’s reverted.

And also Sue When everyone has health ins.everyone will to fit and blind to the real take over !!! ?? Buget cuts are a fact after anytime there is a draw down . They beg kid’s to come in telling about retairing after 20 yrs. and all the other perks .But as soon as it slows down they start canning everyone they can get away with . Alot of lifes are screwed over , but to the gov. its just a numbers game always has been and always will be !!!

So funny, you think the paramilitary apparatus kicked in on January 20, 2008?

Radley Balko would like to give you a good schooling.

Sue. Homeland Security was created by Bush to appease his MIC donors. Make a large group of non-synergetic agencies into one HUGE beaurocratic nightmare. Obama should break it up again and disband a large group of those agencies.

Everyone, everyone knows the Army downsizing will not stop at a dreamy 490,000 active troops. Yet for the past two years the Army has been recruiting and reenlisted first termers as though this is reality. Just criminally poor leadership.

“The entire Defense Department faces a post-shutdown era of ‘uncertainty’ on budgets, pay, force size, and modernization, but the coming changes are expected to hit hardest on the Army, defense officials said.”

For those who have been paying attention, there is no “uncertainty” at all.

What are coming are huge cuts. To all of the services. They will all complain about being “hit hardest”, of course, but the reality is that they will all be hit hard.

That is what an Obama political operative admitted in a national television interview when Hagel was nominated by Obama for SECDEF: that the administration intend “huge cuts” to defense spending, in those precise words. And that the Obama White House specifically chose Hagel instead of a Democratic SECDEF, because they needed a compliant Republican from across the aisle to shield Obama from criticism for imposing those huge cuts.

Simple as that.

Why don’t we just get rid of the Army and Marines and use the homeland security people to protect the country
China is no problem at all, they are building air craft carriers to just show off. The Russians are building a larger surface fleet for tours of the Med, and the middle east is no problem, the muslims have no boats big enough to get here with alot of people. With opinions like yours, I will recommend to my kids and grandkids to earn Chinese or become muslims which ever works, cause you have just destroyed America and the American people, but you kept all the social programs that give all the leaches their daily blood so they do not have to work or out out any efforts on their own. One you tear it all down, it will never be rebuilt, America will be dead, regardless if that ass Obama is still around.

Congress ought to let DOD close a bunch of bases that are no longer required! If congress wants to keep blocking this move, then the military ought to keep some of them open with just a care-taker force! Congress and the prez want to cut DOD’s spending, AND THEN tell them how to spend what’s left. THAT“S WRONG! Hagel and the JCS chairman need to get some B***S!

Totally agree, though I cannot help put in this dig — the FCS BCT structure had 3 CABs with two MCS and two mech infantry companies apiece, plus a RSTA squadron, so we weren’t guilty of the fallacy tmb claims.

Exactly what has happened to make ground wars “infeasible”. Absolutely nothing. Irrespective of the US strategy and structure for force projection, the idea that conventional war — or for that matter tactical nuclear war just won’t happen is a very dangerous one. Fact: we can not “fight at warp speed” anywhere. The laws of physics still constrain us everywhere. Long range strike certainly has its place, but the idea that we can hide behind two oceans and hit the enemy at long distance (and not get hit back) is irresponsible and dangerous.

Noted. Moving Perscom from Alexandria to Fort Knox did not make its policies any more humane or soldier-friendly.

Another Hitler analogy? Puh-leese! I wish the conspiracy theorists, Obama-haters, et. al. would spend a fraction of the time they devote to coming up with imaginary threats on reading actual history and real analyses. I’m no fan of BHO but I am a fan of rational thnking and discussion. Don’t like BHO or Democrats , then get out and convince people your candidates are preferable. But one word of warning — the Hitler, Muslim, Communist, etc. comparisons are not going to achieve that and if you persist — post 2014 & 2016 elections you’re going to once again wonder “Wha happened?”

Cut CAS???? OK armchair, you’ve obviously never been in a situation where an A-10 saves your bacon.…..

Never ceases to amaze me at how shortsighted our leadership is. The services alomost always get the shaft under Democration administrations. Then, when they really need us, we end up with more TF Smiths.….

It’s true that the FCS vision did not make the mistake tbm2 was talking about. It made its own unique and even more egregious mistakes. Dumping $30B down that sewer is part of why the Army is in such a budget fix today.

1) “The Russians are building a larger surface fleet for tours of the Med, and the middle east is no problem” =u have no clue of the Russian Federations’ Naval Shipbuilding Plans
2) “the muslims have no boats big enough to get here with alot of people”= “grouping “Muslims” into one ” Homogenous cultral mixture of peoples” exhibits a total lack of ignorance on your part of the History of Islam= you need some education
3) Your rather vulgar assessment of our social welfare morass, is rather some what accurate, but doesn’t reflect the REAL problem, fiscal sustainability, lack of jobs, lackluster economic growth, poor fed policy ..ad naseum.…..
4) I wouldn’t earn (sic) each of my grown three kids Chinese or have them convert to Islam because their American
5) For future posts “bulldurham48” when you reference the American President, the C in C of the American Military, show some respect, like usin’ Pres. or POTUS, you punk. Work on your grammer & spelling as well ignat P.O.S!

Think its good news to cut the Army funds. They wasted billions for weapons we don’t need. ICC MHS and GCV are billion dollar Boone doggles. We need new ships and some new planes a lot more then guns and APCs that shot the same darn calibers and APCs which we already have to do a good job. AUSA is less of a trade show than it is the Army’s brass’s greed and lust for pet projects.

You’re using the MTOE of a unit that never existed to refute my argument about an MTOE that is Army-wide? Even if the FCS brigade went forward it was never going to replace the whole Army, just 15 brigades.

Musical chairs is more vicious when there’s lots of people and only a few chairs.

Curious who is going to be getting chairs at the end of this. Will the officer/enlisted ratio skew a little bit more?

Yes, and I was also confused how one would execute a war at “warp speed” across the globe after all those proposed cuts in transport aircraft. They don’t have enough of these as it is. Maybe C.E. has invented a transporter.

Tim, not sure what you mean by this? The quota for brand new troops has plummeted. Many recruiters I’ve worked with are downright bored these days. The options for reenlistment has dropped to the point where units are holding boards to dish out the few reenlistments they were authorized to give. I’ll give you that we’re still programmed for a drawdown to 490K even though we’ll probably drop an additional 50K below that, but it’s not like we’re letting everyone stay in. I’m seeing perfectly good soldiers shown the door because of the drawdown. There’s rumor going around of almost an entire year-group of Captains to be RIFed in the next year.

Woah, options in the military are getting to be just like the civilian world they will be discharged into.

Feels like the ‘30s again.

I suppose if it were based on European “expeditionary warfare” ante 20th century, where it was 100 guys and the machinegun mowing down waves of savages and taking over the country for King/Queen and country, winning wars with very small armed forces would be possible.

Nowadays we’re a little closer to parity with the locals. Everyone has AK’s; and body armor weighs you down, and the enemy has RPGs, IEDs, and may even have ATGM’s depending on where you go. There are more of “them” and the natives are more resistant to divide and conquer than ever before.

Possibly in the short term. HRC has been holding boards to forcibly retire or simply force out NCOs and placing quotas on reenlistment while they’re mostly counting on reduced promotion rates to attrit the officers. This winter there will be a board to forcibly retire several hundred LTCs/COLs who have been hanging around too long, but any forced reductions to junior officers is RUMINT at this point.

Transport aircraft, your own government and Air Force brass says you have a surpluss. Let’s be honest , in a protracted war, supplies are brought in by ship, not plane. Plane is used just for beachheads (first troops/cars) etc. Warp speed I meant the navy to put people and machines anywhere you want. I meant expeditionary capabilities. What other nation can disembark 100k troops anywhere besides it’s OWN BORDER?

Society has made wars with FIRST WORLD nations NOT feasable. That doesn’t mean two Syrian factions, or 2 african nations fighting. It means a WESTERN nation doing a large scale invasion and occupation any more. Let’s see how a President’s poll numbers will PLUMMET if he does. Guys, you couldn’t even get Congress to BOMB syria for a day!!!! That’s just a TINY military action, let alone an ENTIRE WAR. Let me tell you, Americans, well after Europeans, are also finally TIRED of war. After Astan and Iraq, it’s DONE. So no more reason to have all those capabilities. Your post is like the guys who think having 500 nukes isn’t enough, you need at least quadruple your enemies put together. Thats silly.

PS: Read some geopolitical history. America’s safety was always by and large it’s location! You are lucky Hitler wasn’t your neighbor sir, otherwise you’d have the same HELL to go through like Russia did. That means tens of millions of casualties, instead of 400 THOUSAND. See? You have 2 friendly and MUCH weaker neighbor countries, MEX and CAN, and no country in the world can dream of assembling an armada to sail towards the US. So as for safety, you’re about as set as you can get.

I had a SGT try to play hardball during his reenlistment window back in early 2011. Earlier in the war he could dictate what assignment he wanted and be guaranteed a pot of gold to go with it which he got a couple times. This late in the game the career counselor pretty much told him he could reenlist for whatever the Army was kind enough to give him or he could take his chances in the nonexistent job market. It took some head thumping by me and the First Sergeant to make him realize the Army was shrinking and to be happy he’d still have a job.

The strawman is that you could do aggressive manpower cuts by replacing more of them with civilian contractors. Of course, there is a markup associated with that. On the plus side, those civilians don’t get military benefits, so the cost might work out if someone actually bothers to see what they are paying for.

whew…CE where does your genius emanate from??? Lets see.…maybe ICE, USCG, FBI, USMS, FEMA.… keep the original ideas coming our way CE!!!!!

well torque.…if I’m not mistaken..the man said “I will fundamentally change America”.… The chickens are coming home to roost! I hate to say it, I don’t like what I see happening but 2014 is right around the corner.….

“Society has made wars with FIRST WORLD nations NOT feasable (sic)” — wasn’t WWI called the “War to end all wars”?

“Guys, you couldn’t even get Congress to BOMB syria for a day!” — it isn’t just about scale, but about objective. Many Americans were uncomfortable helping al-Qaeda affiliated Sunni factions fight a sectarian civil war against Shiites — it doesn’t seem to involve the USA, and could even help America’s enemies.

“America’s safety was always by and large it’s location!” — fair enough. However, in the modern era of ICBM’s, long-range stealth bombers, cyberwarfare and terrorism, location is not as important as it used to be. Of course, this does support your point that “War ain’t what it used to be” and that US intelligence services and armed forces need to properly assess priorities and adapt to the current situation. I just get the feeling that you want the US to step back from the world stage and let Europe (an economically stagnant shadow of its former self with 25% youth unemployment that has to bail out its members left and right just to stay afloat) along with China and Russia (authoritarian, corrupt states) take over — this I do not agree with. And, certainly, for the US to maintain its leadership in the world, it isn’t just about the military — we need to get our own house in order.

FWIW — I like to keep the embers of FCS smoldering for all the grunt losers out there who cannot get their heads out of the past, much less pursue a vision for the Army of the future. There was a better way to go.

Well, we partly agree then. Europe won’t be calling any shots far outside our region. Our people are too much pacificts, and our democracy is much more transparent, meaning that the will of the people doesn’t have to penetrate 200 layers of plutocracy to get things done. But if you read geopolitical history, we are part of what is called ‘eurasia’, the biggest part of the prehistoric MEGACONTINENT (which included the Americas, Africa, Eurasia etc). It’s 4 billion people, and has always been the supercontinent (not as a single unit, but trade/economy wise). See it this way: Eurasia is the mainland, and the rest of the continents are huge islands.
Anyway, the US needs to realing it’s military footprint with it’s economic footprint. Regardless of deficits etc, you guys are much LESS important economically than you were a few decades ago. As such, you’re at risk of becoming a paper tiger (Soviet Union) by having a small/bad economy and huge military. That’s right now only sustainable because you’ve been able to sustain the petrodollar. when that falls, you’re in for a huge shock. And it will fall, there is no reasonable reason for the USD to be the world’s main currency. As such, you should prepare for that moment, and start acting like a country that needs a basis for it’s spending (no printing allowed anymore by that time).

You don’t get it do you? The ARMY is the least ‘expeditionary’ of all branches. The US won’t invade and OCCUPY large scale anymore, we can bet on that (silly internet bet). The Air Force and Navy and even Marines are much more suited for such roles. Quick painful punitive strikes (for countries that for example want to sell oil in another currency/ etc etc) and that’s it. Do you think ANY US president will risk being decapitated by the Us population by going to a large scale war again? After this more than a decade of war? This isn’t 1913, it’s 2013, and going forward, we won’t see such wars anymore, promise. So cut a lot from the army so you can spare the other branches more.

Yes, so immigration and FEMA DSASTER RELIEF are SO synergetic, all countries bound them into one agency. Please he, don’t be a leech.

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