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Antonov

Top Brass, Staffs To Be Cut

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Its tough to say. I've watched successive efforts to implement such cuts and they don't go well. A lot of people like to claim that Canada's DND is top heavy bloated... we have the same amount of generals now as we did in 1985 (or something like that). Thing is, warfare is much more complex. Its no longer about putting guys in boots with guns. Its got a whole technology aspect that didn't exist 25 years ago.

The way I see it is this. Lets say this cut saves you 2 billion dollars, but then causes 3 billion in cost overruns or other additional charges because of ineffective management.... was that a smart savings? What if the Sergeant in the field can't get the equipment he needs because we've bungled another procurement program. Admin is bigger now because the technological challenges (not to mention regulatory and policy requirements) are just that more significant than before.

I'm all for cutting of top level brass and Its probably needed in some way... but so often I've seen it backfire and cost the government more money in the long term. The problem that I see is that 20% sounds like a arbitrary number, and it makes me think of the indiscriminate across the board nature of sequestration. And cuts like that cause problems and they don't seem to last. Rather it should be smart and maybe take a hard look at what capability you want to have in 5 or 10 years time; then cut an entire area, including the brass. That keeps the re-growth to a minimum. And there are areas that I think could use further cuts without major degradation of capabilities (I'm looking at you homeland security spending).

Edited by -Neu-

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-If the 20-percent axe falls on the five-sided puzzle palace, won't that just make it a square?

-How much of a workload will that eliminate for those down the chain that were feeding the never ending RFIs.

-I feel a great disturbance in the Pentagon, as if 5000 colonels without combat patches suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly QSP'd.

-sweet we can win wars in 20% less time now!

-When's the ax going to fall on Congressional salaries?

Edited by fulcrum1

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I remember this being a "priority" a few years ago too. Wonder if it ends differently this time.

Better that than to short-shrift Sergeants in the field.

A majority of sergeants aren't "in the field" either. plenty of them are HQ and staff as well.

don't assume that all sergeants are cigar chomping head stompers who are excellent in their jobs, some of them are as bad or worse as dead weight officers. A good NCO can make up for a lot of officer issues, but a bad NCO is extremely hard to recover from no matter the caliber of officer. There are more than a few senior NCOs that could be shown the door. I've encountered more than few that were promoted well beyond their capabilities or skills.

-sweet we can win wars in 20% less time now!

LOL

nice!

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Promising - if it works out. Speaking just for the navy, in 2011 (most recent source I could find), there were 216 Admirals. The navy fought on two oceans with just 18, and many more Sailors and ships to supervise. Aside from the cost in salary and benefits, I'd venture to say there's probably some more insidious problems with so many flag officers with so little (of any real relevance) to actually DO.

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I remember this being a "priority" a few years ago too. Wonder if it ends differently this time.

A majority of sergeants aren't "in the field" either. plenty of them are HQ and staff as well.

don't assume that all sergeants are cigar chomping head stompers who are excellent in their jobs, some of them are as bad or worse as dead weight officers. A good NCO can make up for a lot of officer issues, but a bad NCO is extremely hard to recover from no matter the caliber of officer. There are more than a few senior NCOs that could be shown the door. I've encountered more than few that were promoted well beyond their capabilities or skills.

LOL

nice!

Exactly. You can't fire people in the military for being stupid or incompetent, so you have to create jobs for them somehow. Our squadron had NCOICs for facility maintenance, vehicle maintenance, and fitness. That was their ONLY job, because they were completely worthless out in the bomb dump. Normally, those are additional duties assigned to an NCO to perform along with their regular duties.

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I'm all for cutting of top level brass and Its probably needed in some way... but so often I've seen it backfire and cost the government more money in the long term. The problem that I see is that 20% sounds like a arbitrary number, and it makes me think of the indiscriminate across the board nature of sequestration. And cuts like that cause problems and they don't seem to last. Rather it should be smart and maybe take a hard look at what capability you want to have in 5 or 10 years time; then cut an entire area, including the brass. That keeps the re-growth to a minimum. And there are areas that I think could use further cuts without major degradation of capabilities (I'm looking at you homeland security spending).

Or missile defense. 20 percent cut there, is far too little. I don't disagree with trimming the fat, the problem is everyone is going to disagree on what is fat and what is muscle, and different cuts affect different areas differently. It seems for far too long when it comes to cutting the first place everyone looks is the military, and they don't look at non military law enforcement.

I wouldn't mind picking our poison on that a little more carefully. The answer to any internal security for the last 12 years has been "all of the above" rather than if X is working we keep Y as a back up and we no longer need Z. If my hard drive is going to get hacked by the NSA, does that mean I don't have to be fondled to get on airplane now? I might be willing to trade one for the other, instead we are paying for both and seem to have confidence in neither. this quadruple redundancy style needs to go. If you ask what has probably had more effect on terrorists and make life generally tougher on them the last 12 years, I bet most people (including terrorists) would say Navy SEALs rather than Luwanda who is working the swing shift at JFK and patting down cargo pockets with the backs of her hands.

Same with missile defense. If we are going to have a nice expensive forward deployed, proactive force, we may not need a multi billion dollar homeland missile shield (even if it did work)

This is something I encounter in my job all the time. If something is near worthless, even a 20 percent cut is too generous. There are going to be things that should be cut zero percent. and things that should be cut to near nothing. 20 percent across gives bad things too much credibility and good things not enough.

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Or missile defense. 20 percent cut there, is far too little.

The problem with trying to cut programs is that Congress loves them. The Air Force wants to ground the Global Hawk block 30s because they are expensive and operationally redundant. Congress is not only forcing them to use them, but buy even more.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/07/the-drone-that-wouldnt-die-how-a-defense-contractor-bested-the-pentagon/277807/

And the same thing happened with C-17's and M-1 refurbishment and many other projects. But no one is lobbying for officer staffs, so that is something they can actually cut.

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Personnel cuts are coming to ALL levels, to start at the top is largely symbolic, but a welcome gesture. Within the Army E-8/9's were hit last year. Field grades are next, followed by Company grade, E-7's, and those 20 year E-6's. I won't post the numbers I'm hearing, but needless to say I'm putting together a "plan b".

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Personnel cuts are coming to ALL levels, to start at the top is largely symbolic, but a welcome gesture. Within the Army E-8/9's were hit last year. Field grades are next, followed by Company grade, E-7's, and those 20 year E-6's. I won't post the numbers I'm hearing, but needless to say I'm putting together a "plan b".

The army is being hit the hardest. No doubt in my mind. Every Marine I have talked to that is complaining about going down to 182,000 (keeping in mind 187,000 was our pre 9/11 numbers) and I tell them to scope out the army. We are losing a foot, they are losing an arm and a leg.

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The army is being hit the hardest. No doubt in my mind. Every Marine I have talked to that is complaining about going down to 182,000 (keeping in mind 187,000 was our pre 9/11 numbers) and I tell them to scope out the army. We are losing a foot, they are losing an arm and a leg.

It's funny that no one in congress seems too worried about the cuts to the active component but god forbid the DoD wants to disband a single air / army National Guard unit in their district. Then we will see some push-back.

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I get in trouble every time I mention it with SWMBO, but I am telling you, First term marriage ban. The Marine Corps attempted it n the 1990s and was shot down, but it would save serious headaches and financial support problems. That or a bonus that pays you stay single, rather than paying you more when you marry.

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-sweet we can win wars in 20% less time now!

It isn't like we were winning them 20% more before now...

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One of the biggest problems is that we have alot of Generals and Admirals doing lower grade jobs. The cuts need to start by reducing the OIC title one rank. To many One star generals doing O-6 work. Also staff size for alot of jobs is too large. Cut a spot, where possible. If you do cut and see it is to much, bring it back.

Heck this needs to be done across the whole gov.

Wayne

Looking for a leaner gov. But, a better more effecient military.

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Here's a way to reduce officer ranks, seems like the Marines have been pretty active in this area lately. Obviously this isn't just a USMC thing, so save the counter-attacks.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20130718/CAREERS03/307180027/Commander-22nd-Marine-Expeditionary-Unit-relieved-command

If you want to really read some scary stuff, check out the comments.....

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Heck this needs to be done across the whole gov.

Wayne

Looking for a leaner gov. But, a better more effecient military.

Heck, cutting Congress 20% or giving them furloughes won't change anything performance-wise, those jackasses don't do anything anyway.......

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Heck, cutting Congress 20% or giving them furloughes won't change anything performance-wise, those jackasses don't do anything anyway.......

It is pretty ironic that those a-holes are the reason for the ongoing budget issues and yet everyone is suffering except the ones who caused it. Whatever I guess, they keep getting elected so ultimately, I suppose it's on us.

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Here's a way to reduce officer ranks, seems like the Marines have been pretty active in this area lately. Obviously this isn't just a USMC thing, so save the counter-attacks.

I have no Idea why he was relieved, so I won't comment on this specific case.

Obviously relieving officers who can't do their job is a smart solution, but even in WWII when such a thing was common place, they weren't thrown out but put into places they could better serve, and sometimes given a second chance later on. If someone gets promoted beyond their skill set too soon they will suffer. (opposite extreme: If you watch Band of Brothers you can watch Winters, a very capable combat officer, promoted into a staff job and away from his company) I would hate the idea that someone making a mistake would get them relieved and thrown out of the service. Its a recipe for creating officers that refuse to take risks or get their hands dirty. moreover some jobs are harder than others. A commander of an MEU has massive amounts of responsibility and challenge compared to an admin officer.

The harder something is the more errors and mistakes will occur so you will be purging people that do the difficult jobs (IE combat, leadership) and the people who remain will be desk sitters, walter mitty types, and Staff. You would essentially behead your operational/combat section.

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Two more generals out the door...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/two-marine-generals-fired-for-security-lapses-in-afghanistan/2013/09/30/b2ccb8a6-29fe-11e3-b139-029811dbb57f_story_1.html

and an Admiral heading in the same direction...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/vice-admiral-is-suspended-in-gambling-investigation.html?_r=0

Is it me or are these dismissals becoming much more common than in past years? Not sure if it's a good thing (the military is finally removing top ranking officers when problems arise instead of ignoring the issues) or a bad thing (do we have a systemic problem at the highest levels)?

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