In the latest effort to trim the Pentagon’s budget, 103 general and flag officer positions will be eliminated, according to Senate testimony earlier this month presented by the General and Flag Officer Efficiencies Study Group. According to the Study Group, as the cold war ended and the overall size of the services decreased by almost 30%, the number of officers only decreased by 15%, creating a top-heavy force. The services will phase out these officer positions through 2014.
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind-down in the coming years, the Army and Marine Corps will reduce their numbers of officers through attrition. The Navy and Air Force plan to force some of their officers into early retirement.
Of the military services, the Air Force has the largest percentage of general and flag officers , followed by the Navy, the Army and then the Marine Corps.