17 July 2014

DoD May Trade Service Members for Civilians to Cut Costs

70,000 service members could be out of a job over the next ten years. The potential cuts come from the Department of Defense (DoD) tightening its belt to meet regulations.

As part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the DoD has to reduce spending by $500 billion in ten years. Cutting thousands of military jobs and replacing them with civilian positions may be part of the process, because the trade off brings a lot of savings. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports military personnel are paid substantially more than civilian counterparts.

The 70,000 service members would be cut from a total of 500,000 service members in commercial jobs and replaced with 47,000 civilian jobs. The 23,000 person difference is possible because civilians are less likely to relocate, have fewer collateral duties, and have a lower employment cost. Over time, the cuts would save the DoD $19 billion.

The DoD has already converted similar 48,000 military jobs to 32,000 civilian jobs.  

This is just one of several proposed cuts that would really change some fundamental military programs. The DoD may reduce the overall size of the military by dropping ten Army brigades combat teams, 34 major warships, and 170 Air Force fighters.   

There could also be caps on basic pay for military personnel, saving up to $25 billion in the next 10 years. Lastly, TRICARE enrollment fees, deductibles, and copayments may increase, saving $21 billion.  

All of the cuts would have great effects on each of the branches and could really change the way current and future military members develop a career.

Are the cuts a necessary sacrifice to deal with the country's money problems as a whole? Or, will the cuts dramatically reduce the combat readiness of the armed forces?

Weigh in on the discussion here and connect within the military network.

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