Five-Year Pentagon Initiative to Cut Staff Costs by 25 Percent

Five-Year Pentagon Initiative to Cut Staff Costs by 25 Percent

A Defense Department “delayering” initiative will trim headquarters staff costs by 25 percent in an effort to save $1.9 billion, according to David Tillotson III, DOD’s assistant deputy chief management officer.

About 300 positions from the office of the secretary of Defense are being eliminated, including 243 that are filled. In defense agencies and field activities, 1,260 positions are slated for reduction. The streamlining is part of a broader reform, in which the department is restructuring its business processes and practices, particularly in support areas, Tillotson told DOD News.

The restructuring will be carried out over several years, with many of the cuts being implemented through attrition. So far, officials are not making involuntary cuts, he said. The vast majority of affected workers will be placed in other positions or take voluntary actions, such as an early retirement or separation incentive payments.

Last August, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work directed a 25 percent reduction of all appropriations funding for major DOD headquarters activities of military departments, the office of the secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, defense agencies and field activities, and combatant commands. The restructuring covers the period from fiscal 2016 to 2020.

Tillotson said the savings generated by the initiative would be shifted into modernization and improving readiness and training.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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