Interesting remarks from the SecDef.Hagel blamed the prospective cuts on sequestration. “[F]iscal realities demand another hard look at personnel – how many people we have both military and civilian, how many we need, what these people do, and how we compensate them for their work, service, and loyalty with pay, benefits and health care,” Hagel said at the National Defense University today.
While I disagree with actually cutting military pay, I understand that something does need to be done to tweak the retirement. Hopefully they give this a lot of thought and understand all the potential benefits as well as the potential consequences of doing so.
He also needs to understand that any further cuts to the end strength needs to come with the expectation of doing less with less. It's great that if your local Commanders agree with that line of thinking, but if leadership all the way to the top of the chain have not accepted that as the new reality, then we will continue to be expected to perform the same missions at the same effectiveness with less and less people and less and less money.
I do think it's a great thing that he is looking harder at the GO billets. End strength has continued to drop, but somehow, GO billets are not following suit.
He also hinted at cutting jobs for military brass. “The last major defense re-organization, Goldwater-Nichols, was drafted at the height of the Reagan defense buildup and focused on improving jointness and establishing clear operational chains of command,” Hagel said. “Cost and efficiency were not major considerations . . . Today the operational forces of the military – measured in battalions, ships, and aircraft wings – have shrunk dramatically since the Cold War era. Yet the three and four star command and support structures sitting atop these smaller fighting forces have stayed intact, with minor exceptions, and in some cases they are actually increasing in size and rank.”