Dempsey: Generals, flag officers face cuts in budget trimming

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The Pentagon is reconsidering a reduction in the number of its generals and flag officers as its active duty ranks decrease by 100,000 troops over the next five years, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told the House Appropriations Committee that former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ efficiency review determined that about 144 generals and flag officer positions would be lost by attrition over the next five years.


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“We are looking again, because as the force comes down, the ratio changes,” Gen. Dempsey said. “We’re also looking not just at individual positions and numbers of generals and flags but at headquarters. We are a bit ‘overstructured.’

“We didn’t get there out of any malfeasance. We got there because they were requirements, and as this budget now comes upon us, and [Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s] strategic management review, we’ll take a look at where we think we can do less with less but not less well,” he said.

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