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calendar   Saturday - August 02, 2014

Military Purge Enters Phase 3

First they took out the generals, ginning up phony scandals to discredit the top guys and force them to retire.

Then the lesser generals and the top majors got the chop when the downsizing broom began to sweep.

Then they went after the captains, sending out pink slips to 1100 young fast-trackers, including several dozen who were actually serving in combat at the time.

Now the purge moves on to the majors. Majors are the middle management of the army, above the captains and lieutenants but below the majors and generals. Professional military career folks; in another decade the best of them will be colonels and lower generals. They are the top brass of the next generation. And now Obama is going to cut more than half a thousand of them.

Guess we don’t really need a military any longer. What for, when the IRS has more troops than the Canadian army? When the Post Office has thousands of weapons; when the EPA owns a billion rounds of ammunition??

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.

Gen. John Campbell, the vice chief of the Army, acknowledged Friday that telling troops in a war zone that they’re out of a job is a difficult task. But he said some of the soldiers could join the National Guard or the Army Reserve.

The decision to cut Army majors comes on the heels of a move to slash nearly 1,200 captains from the ranks. Army leaders were criticized at the time for giving 48 of them the bad news while they were deployed to Afghanistan.

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,” 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.”

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

To make the cuts, the Army looked at about 8,500 majors who joined the service between 1999 and 2003. Some may have about 15 years of service, depending on all factors that go into credit for years of service, and might be able to retire, but many won’t have enough time in the job, Campbell said

Guard and reserve leaders are looking for officers, especially captains, so there could be opportunities for the soldiers to continue to serve, he said.

After 13 years of war that forced a significant and rapid build-up of the Army to about 570,000, the military now has to reduce its combat forces to meet budget cuts.

So what we’ve got here is a bunch of guys who joined up right out of college and took the career path. Now that they’re touching 40, they’re getting dumped into the marketplace, to compete against energetic 25 year olds, and people their own age who have lived in suit-land for well over a decade and don’t have to transition a jot or learn any new skill to move into the next position.  In other words, these officers who can’t find a hidey-hole in the Guard will be just as fucked over as ever other middle aged corporate chopster. Give your youth to your company, build your experience and skills, and when you find the job you can run in until retirement, you get the axe.  There is an awful lot of this, and it flies under the radar. It’s disgraceful. And it isn’t realistic to deliver the pat response “oh the best ones will get jobs right away” because it isn’t true. Their competition is half their age, willing to work for half as much or less, and work half as much more if necessary. So even if they’re not quite as good at things the first few years, they more than make up with it by cost savings and sheer effort alone.

We have a terrible business model in place that spits out the middle aged from the job market. And then the media ignores them; jobs stories are either about young graduates or retiring boomers.

On the third hand, for an army of under 600,000, do we really need 8500 majors?  Math time: how many troops per major? 570,000 troops / 8500 majors = 67 troops per major. Some of those 67 will be captains, lieutenants, sergeants, and corporals.  Two to One? That’s pretty standard as a minimum in the corporate world. 1 major, 2 captains, 4 lieutenants, 8 sergeants, 16 corporals ... 31/67 in some form of leadership role. HALF.

Hmmpf. Maybe we really don’t need so many officers after all. Like downsized school classrooms and teacher’s aides, are we putting too many “chefs” in the “kitchen”?  The Romans had Centurions, about the same rank as captains or top lieutenants, in charge of 80 to 100 soldiers.  One major or colonel would be running a whole legion.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/02/2014 at 09:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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