As Fort Drum booms, soldier cuts loom

Fort Drum is in the middle of a huge expansion right now, but with the US government facing a deep budget crisis, the Army is moving toward massive cuts in the number of enlisted men and women over the next five years.

A total of roughly 50,000 soldier positions will be cut.

According to the widely respected Army Times, the downsizing will be on a scale that matches the post Cold War cuts of the 1990s.

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, service personnel chief…said the pending drawdown initially will focus on the temporary 22,000-soldier increase launched three years ago to support the Afghanistan troop surge…

The second phase of the drawdown involves 27,000 soldier spaces that were added to end strength during the Grow the Army program, leaving the service with 520,400 active-duty soldiers on Sept. 30, 2016.

In all that represents roughly a 9% cut in the number of soldiers on active duty.  It’s unclear how that force reduction will affect operations at Fort Drum.

Those job cuts will sting especially hard in many rural, blue collar towns, where the recession has made a stint in the Army a far more attractive starting career opportunity.

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7 Comments on “As Fort Drum booms, soldier cuts loom”

  1. Paul says:

    This is a ridiculously small army for a county like ours.

  2. John says:

    This is business as usual for the Army… Use you, abuse you, and throw you away like a piece of trash. The large force will not be necessary when the war machine begins to wind down in the Middle East soon. Soldiers are considered expendable losses in a war. For over 10 years, they served their purpose to make the corrupt wealthy due to their unselfish sacrifices. Corrupt politicians, corporations, and government contractors will be enjoying the spoils of war while soldiers struggle to seek jobs and survive in this uncertain economy.

    Vietnam veterans still deal with the effects of the war and receive little help from the VA and society. Homeless veterans are an epidemic in this country. PTSD cases will go untreated. I hope the VA Hospital gets prepared for this catastrophe waiting to happen.

  3. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    It’s all smoke and mirrors and the cuts are in place in order to continue the huge profits to those who truly benefit from the gargantuan military/industrial/congressional complex.

    If you want proof just take a concentrated look at the cuts already proposed and those that will be proposed in the future. The cuts already suggested are NOT to overseas bases, new weapons programs, research and development; contracts, often times no bid contracts, to private providers for everything imaginable, our 11 fully operational carrier groups, missile defense, huge submarine fleet, air wing for every branch of the military, yet another new fighter program (F-35) etc., but to programs that benefit the servicemen who actually fight the wars. Things like medical coverage, retirement, veterans benefits, etc. The sacrifice will come at the bottom and certainly not the top.

    The corporations and politicians who benefit from are gargantuan military will not loosen their strangle hold, even while the county collapses around it. And it is collapsing….We can’t rebuild a bridge a mile outside the gate of Fort Drum, but if it were inside its gates, we wouldn’t think twice about it.

    And yeah, I understand how important an economic engine Drum is to the North Country, but feeding the giant beast that is the entire military has resulted in bankruptcy on a national scale. It seems to me we need a massive reset in how we fund and deploy our military worldwide. The pendulum has swung too far to one side. And the same goes for the ever expanding security apparatus/complex that gobbles up ever more of our tax dollars.

  4. Pete Klein says:

    We should pull our troops out of every country and maintain the bases we have in the USA.
    Neither should we be selling weapons to any country.
    All military equipment should be made in the USA and be available only for the American military.
    Yes, this ban on military men, women and material should include Israel and NATO.

  5. PNElba says:

    Our army is plenty big enough. If we didn’t have to worry about defending foreign oil producing nations, it could be even smaller.

  6. jeff says:

    The larger cuts will come by replacing civilians with soldiers. By putting soldiers back on duty at the tasks civilians took over. They will mow their own grass, direct their own housing, cook their own meals, police their own gates.

    Cliches about the military industrial complex, the wealthy or corrupt politicians or wars for oil are blather without documentation. Like slinging varnish-it coats but otherwise changes nothing.

    Provision for the common defense is required and there are many avenues that are parts of that effort and many such as economic treaties have nothing to do with weapons. But weapons are important.

    Sometimes the issue is not for others to like us but to respect us and military muscle is an element of that. Uncertainty is valuable too-that those who may threaten us hesitate because of what they believe we might do. We can’t prosper unless we can survive.

  7. Jim Bullard says:

    So will the military be making commensurate cuts in super expensive high-tech weapons systems? Are they going to also stop construction of planes, missiles, etc. that the Pentagon told congress they don’t need but congress voted for anyway because they make civilian jobs. I’d rather pay soldiers than stockpile unnecessary hardware. Soldiers have jobs and spend their money in ways that make other jobs. Stockpiled hardware just sits there.

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