The Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff have given their staffs just weeks — until Sept. 11 — to report back with “a comprehensive set of recommendations” as to where the service can make 25 percent cuts in funding and manning levels at all Army headquarters elements at the 2-star level and above.
The “2013 Army Focus Area Review Group” plan was spelled out in an August 14 Army document obtained by Defense News.
In some of the strongest language yet about how seriously Army leadership is taking the cuts, the memo bluntly says that “Let there be no mistake, aggregate reductions WILL TAKE PLACE. The money is gone; our mission now is to determine how best to allocate these cuts while maintaining readiness. We expect Army leaders, military and civilian, to seize this opportunity
to re-shape our Army. This effort will take PRIORITY OVER ALL other Headquarters, Department of the Army activities.”
The Group is being led by Deputy Undersecretary of the Army Thomas Hawley and head of Army’s Office of Business Transformation Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr. The memo states that the group will have seven “Focus Area” teams, each tasked with developing “bold executable recommendations which will be used to balance the already directed reductions” in the budget projections from 2015-2019. The initial focus areas are:
■ Institutional Headquarters Reductions
■ Operational Headquarters Reductions
■ Operational Force Structure and Ramps
■ Acquisition Work Force
■ Installation Services and Investments
■ Army C31 [sic] and Cyber
I think the very first thing I’d do is close anything named even remotely like Office of Business Transformation and get rid of that 3-star slot.
On the institutional side, we’ve already seen the Armor Center and the Infantry Center consolidated to the Maneuver Center. I can think of some other arms and services that might consolidate as well.