While there is rarely a good time to receive a pink slip, an as-yet undetermined number of Army majors are about to be fired in one of the most stressful environments imaginable: a deployment in Afghanistan.
According to a recent Associated Press report, Army Vice Chief Gen. John Campbell confirmed about 550 majors will be out of a job in the near future, including many currently in harm’s way overseas.
“The ones that are deployed are certainly the hardest,” he acknowledged, promising the Army will make delivery of the bad news as palatable as possible.
“What we try to do there is, working through the chain of command, minimize the impact to that unit and then maximize the time to provide that officer to come back and do the proper transition, to take care of himself or herself, and the family.”
He stated that the majors being considered for dismissal joined the Army between 1999 and 2003. While many will be able to retire based on the length of their service, a significant number will fall short of the 15-year requirement.
Unfortunately, Campbell noted, it is all but impossible to avoid including some deployed soldiers during such a widespread layoff.
As the AP points out, a similar scenario played out during the recent dismissal of almost 1,200 Army captains. Among those terminated were 48 deployed in Afghanistan at the time.
The Army confirmed that most in line to be fired have received some notice that their position is at least in danger, though the military would not indicate how many in this group are currently serving in Afghanistan.
Once notified, the officers will have to leave the military within nine months. Of those currently deployed, reports indicate they will typically return to the U.S. within a month to begin their transition into civilian life.
The U.S. Army now consists of nearly 60,000 fewer soldiers than it did during the recent high of 570,000 during the Afghanistan War. The decrease is far from over, however, with some projections indicating the branch will be down to 420,000 men and women in uniform in the near future.
That number, military experts agree, is too small to adequately undertake just one extended battle.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom