News

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

17 hours ago in Music

This week’s top country tracks

lukebryan

LISTEN: This week's top country tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

2 days ago in Entertainment

Bill Murray tosses fans’ phones off rooftop

billmurray

The "Ghostbusters" star was unwinding at rooftop restaurant in California on Thursday when he spotted two starstruck fans trying to snap his photo.

2 days ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ to battle at the box office

15-overlay-6

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

2 days ago in Entertainment, National

Roses and roaches: Cold-hearted Valentine’s Day ideas

valentines

With the coldest air in more than a decade forecast to grip the United States this Valentine's Day weekend, the holiday dedicated to love is flashing its frigid side.

2 days ago in Music, Entertainment

Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration in the works

woodstock

Organizers of the original Woodstock festival are trying to get something together to mark the golden anniversary of the event in 2019.