The Bayonet

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014

Secretary discusses leaner force

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FORT STEWART, Ga. — Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh had a candid discussion about the future of the Army during a meeting last week with senior leaders and Soldiers at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

“The Army is at a time of great transition and we are faced with a variety of challenges,” McHugh said. “But there are some things we are certain of, and that is the men and women who put on this uniform — great Soldiers doing what great Soldiers do.”

McHugh also spoke about the Army’s scheduled drawdown and downsizing of forces. He said an accelerated timetable for drawing down forces will not only impact those stationed at Fort Stewart, but also on Family members and the civilian workforce.

“The Army, compared to the other services, is somewhat unique in that it is very personnel intense. The Army’s largest asset and greatest expense is, and has always been, its people,” he said.

“When budgets are cut so swiftly and significantly, the only place where we can really find that money is through our end strength.”

McHugh said that Army leaders are working to ease the effects of budget cuts through strategic planning.

“We found that given the decrease in operation and personnel tempo we can effectively, without too much risk, bring down that end strength and meet our budget challenges while making the best decision for the people we keep,” McHugh explained.

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