- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2014

The Army plans to notify about 500 majors over the next month that they must leave the military service as part of a eye-popping Pentagon plan to shrink number of active-duty soldiers from about 513,000 to 490,000 by 2015.

The news comes on the heels of the Army’s decision to fire 1,188 captains, 48 who were deployed on active duty in Afghanistan.

Members of the Army’s Officer Separation Boards and Enhanced Selective Retirement Boards reviewed numerous personal files prior to deciding which majors and captains would need to part ways with the military service.

An Army spokesman defended the war footing reduction cuts on Friday, noting that they were in keeping with “future budget restrictions previously passed by Congress.”

In addition to the current rounds of personnel cuts, the Army expects to further reduce its size by pushing 20,000 soldiers toward early retirement or transition opportunities, such as joining the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve, in both 2016 and 2017, according to the spokesman.

Overall, the Pentagon intends to trim Army end strength to roughly 450,000 soldiers by 2019. Pentagon officials unveiled those details in a controversial five-year funding forecast earlier this year, which they tout as budget-savvy.