FORT HOOD — Nearly 200 civilians working for Fort Hood’s Garrison Command will be let go by June.
During a meeting with employees Thursday afternoon, Deputy Garrison Commander Andy Bird explained the reasoning for the reduction in force.
He said the Army is downsizing, and of the 1,237 garrison employees at Fort Hood, 198 employees are in “unauthorized” positions despite vacancies existing in other areas.
All civilian employee positions are approved by Installation Management Command in San Antonio.
Fort Hood will be taking a 7.5 percent cut in troops by 2019, part of an Armywide program to reduce the force to 490,000 soldiers. The post has about 40,000 soldiers and will drop to 38,000, according to information provided at the meeting.
The number of civilians who support Fort Hood soldiers will have to drop accordingly; however, numbers of civilian employees typically rise and fall every fiscal year depending on Army needs.
By fiscal year 2015, the number of Fort Hood civilian employees is expected to rise to 1,307, before dropping again to 1,256 in 2016.
While cuts are coming, Bird pointed to one highlight: The final number of employees for fiscal year 2014 is up by 1 percent from 2013.
“This will be an OK year with a bit of a smile,” Bird said, describing 2013 as “the best, worst year.”
The number of approved positions through Installation Management Command hit a low of 1,171 in fiscal year 2013 and is now on the rise.
Unfortunately, Bird said, the command still has 198 excess positions that are not approved, and will cut by June 24. Of those, 166 are in the Directorate of Emergency Services.
Those employees can apply for the 296 current vacancies that can’t be filled without permission from Installation Management Command due to an ongoing civilian hiring freeze.
“We want to put the right people in the right jobs doing the right things,” Bird said.
Employees can bring their resume to Civilian Personnel Advisory Center to see if they match these vacancies and try to avoid being cut, said Tammy Perkins, a human resources specialist at the center.
“A resume is one of the most important things they can be doing right now,” she said.