Military Staff Growing while Soldiers Declining

Former LTC Steve Russell has an op-ed out detailing the nest-feathering that continues to take place at the Pentagon.  In the last two years, every office in the Pentagon has grown, according to Defense News.  Meanwhile, retirement benefits, and overall downsizing of the military is taking place.

In Washington defense circles, one frequently hears the terms “the imbalance in the tooth-to-tail ratio.” The implication is that the Pentagon’s support staff—the tail— has grown faster than the forces—the teeth— that they are meant to support.  This problem isn’t new. In 2010, Secretary Robert Gates called for a freeze on any increase of employees at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, defense agency and combatant commands beyond FY10 levels. One would expect that this measure would, at a minimum, have contained the bureaucracy.

The results published by Defense News show the opposite. Despite reducing our fighting forces, the Pentagon has actually grown. Every single office grew between 2010 to 2012. The overall increase of the back offices of the Pentagon was over 15%, ranging from 0.1% increase in SOUTHCOM, to a 230% increase in the Joint Staff. Fortunately, the outrageous growth of the Joint Staff is unique. But as the Secretary of Defense publicly called for a hiring freeze, the across the board growth is troubling.

Read more at CVA.



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