Budget cuts will force 2K soldiers out of Army

Budget cuts will force 2K soldiers out of Army

ARMY:A soldier stands outside the venue for a memorial service on Sadowski Field at III Corps Headquarters for the victims of last Wednesday's shooting incident at Fort Hood, Texas April 9. Photo: Reuters/Julia Robinson

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – The U.S. Army is looking to cut about 2,000 positions for captains and majors by the end of the year as part of its overall plans to reduce its active duty numbers due to budget cuts, the Army’s chief of staff said on Wednesday.

“Probably this year, we will ask 1,500 captains to leave the service, and we will ask probably 400 to 500 majors to leave the service,” General Ray Odierno, the Army’s top officer, told reporters at an event in Texas.

“That is because we have to get down to the appropriate size.”

The Pentagon said last month it would shrink the U.S. Army to pre-World War Two levels, eliminate the popular A-10 aircraft and reduce military benefits in order to meet 2015 budget spending caps.

Odierno says most of the officers who will be removed from the ranks have served “honorably and heroically on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan” and letting them go will be difficult.

He said the planned cut of the Army to 490,000 active duty soldiers will be reached by the end of 2015 and will not prevent the service from carrying out its current missions.

“Depending on the decisions of Congress, we could get as small as 420,000 in the active component,” Odierno said.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Recent Headlines

in National, Sports

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber to argue for new trial

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court on Tuesday to seek a new trial for their client, who was sentenced to death in June for the 2013 bomb attack that killed three people and injured more than 260.

in Sports

Kentucky remains on top


The Wildcats are off to a 7-0 start and got 59 of the first place votes.

in Sports

Warriors’ perfect start being put to the test


Golden State extended their NBA record start to 19-0 with a narrow win over the Utah Jazz but that inevitable first defeat of the season may come sooner rather than later.

in Sports

Ravens beat Browns with touchdown off blocked field goal


Baltimore Ravens safety Will Hill gave up the tying touchdown in the fourth quarter Monday night, but he atoned for that error in a big way.

in National, World

China, U.S. high-level cyber crime talks to begin Tuesday


Top U.S. and Chinese officials will convene this week in Washington for the first round of cyber security talks following the signing of a bilateral anti-hacking accord in September.