DoD Personnel Cuts Could Balloon in 2014

DoD personnel cuts could balloon in 2014, according to a recently uncovered defense department memo.

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Some 6,300 Defense Department civilian employees may lose their jobs in 2014. That revelation comes from a draft document obtained by Bloomberg News and presented in an Aug. 23 piece. The Department of Defense had no comment on the prospect that the department might dismiss one percent of its civilian workforce to meet sequester cuts in the next fiscal year.

Sequestration was the reason for the furloughs required of most DoD civilian employees in 2013. Absent any legislative action, the process will continue in FY2014. The document that was given to Bloomberg was stamped “Draft/Pre-Decisional” and was not intended to be made public.

The Army projects as many as 2,100 cuts while the Navy is looking at perhaps as many as 2,672 civilian job cuts. The Air Force is still working on its numbers. DoD-wide, up to 1,500 may be dismissed with most cuts coming from the Defense Contract Management Agency.

These potential cuts come on top of the already announced cuts to Defense Department management headquarters spending. These cuts, to be made in FY2015 through FY2019, are intended to reduce these budgets 20 percent. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter suggested, in the announcement, that cuts begin in FY2014 if possible, to reduce the effect in the out years and increase savings. The memo also urged the various organizations affected to strive for a cut of 20 percent in civilian staff as a part of the overall reductions.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense will not be immune to the cuts. It remains to be seen, however, how many of the five undersecretaries, 15 assistant secretaries and the 11 various deputy secretaries will be RIF’d. Can we expect OSD to reduce the senior staff in the same manner that it will be cutting the secretarial pool?

Charles Simmins brings thirty years of accounting and management experience to his coverage of the news. An upstate New Yorker, he is a freelance journalist, former volunteer firefighter and EMT, and is owned by a wife and four cats.