Budget ax reaps chaos across Army

Top Army leaders showed little restraint as they blasted the many ways the budget debacle is crippling the service. And the problems are many.

Only two brigades are combat-ready. Budget cuts will cut the Army to 420,000 troops, and some are calling for a force of 380,000.

“I wish I could promise that better days lie ahead,” Army Secretary John McHugh said. “Sadly, I just can’t.”

He and several other Army leaders spoke at the AUSA event about the challenges now and what lies ahead including the impact on troop strength, readiness, training, benefits, gear and much more.

For a complete overview on how the Army is being affected by the budget cuts, pick up the Nov. 4 issue of Army Times, on sale now.

More 360-degree reviews

The Pentagon is rapidly expanding its use of “360-degree” reviews for senior officers, but legal concerns may limit their inclusion in any formal promotion or command screening process.

The controversial evaluation tools that include input from peers and subordinates as well as supervisors were mandated by the Pentagon’s top brass earlier this year, particularly Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. It was driven in part by concerns about so-called “toxic leaders” and a spate of senior-level misconduct.

When the forcewide requirement was announced, some officers feared disgruntled subordinates could potentially derail promising careers.

How will 360-degree reviews for officers be limited? To find out, pick up this week’s issue of Army Times, on sale now.

Another round of BRAC possible

Congress will eventually authorize another round of base closures to help the Army cut its costs and shrink its footprint, according to a top Army official.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and the environment, said at the annual Association of the U.S. Army convention Oct. 22 that while Congress has opposed setting up a Base Closure and Realignment Commission to oversee a new round of base closings, it’s the only way for the Army to substantially cut infrastructure costs amid a falling budget.

Why does Hammack think Congress will eventually give in to BRAC? Find out in the Nov. 4 issue of Army Times, on newsstands now.

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Courtesy of Army Times

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