Pentagon laying off 46,000 employees
January 28th, 2013
04:31 AM ET

Pentagon laying off 46,000 employees

By Barbara Starr

The Pentagon has begun laying off 46,000 contract and temporary civilian employees in an effort to cut back on military spending, the No. 2 Pentagon official said on Friday.

Full time civilian employees, which number in the hundreds of thousands, also will be furloughed for one day a week for 22 weeks, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an interview with wire service reporters.

His comments were confirmed by a Pentagon spokesman.

The moves are part of a Defense Department effort to reduce spending given the potential for billions in mandatory cuts beginning as early as this spring should Congress fail to reach a deal on deficit reduction.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered military services to begin implementing cost cutting measures to mitigate the risk of the cuts to the military budget should no congressional deal emerge.

Panetta said earlier this month that he had asked services to begin "prudent" measures, which included curtailing maintenance for non-critical activities and delaying hiring.

The measures must be "reversible" and minimize harmful effects on military readiness, Panetta said.

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Jefferson Julian

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    June 22, 2013 at 1:55 am | Reply
  2. JTH

    Why dont they put the Senate and House and all Congressman on the same Health Plans that the rest of the Government or non Goverment are on instead of having a special Health Plan for themselves? How about the misc budgets that they get? House members receive an allowance for personnel (up to $922,350) and another allowance for "ordinary and necessary" business expenses related to their duties, including travel ($250,512 in 2009), according to the Congressional Research Service. In the 2010 financial year, Senators received between $128,585 and $465,919 for office expenses. This number is based on the distance between Washington, D.C. and the Senator's home state, the population of the state, and other factors.

    There are so many ways to cut the budget.

    Quit sending money over seas to other countries. We have our own problems, keep the money here. If rich people in Hollywood want to send money to poor countries, they have the means to do so, let them.

    Close the borders, lets start exporting all the illegals. Give the jobs back to Americans and end all the handouts. You want to collect Welfare, pee in a cup and pass the test, just like I have to do as a Government worker. No buying alcohol, cigarettes, candy or junk food. Essentials only.

    We can all go on and on about ways to save money. Cut defense, go ahead, lets see what kind of mess that puts us in.

    February 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  3. ugh

    It's about time – too much lard at the Pentagon.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  4. PPBeJ

    BTW, I hope folks realize the DoD is not the only agency being cut. Education and other services are getting hit too. Folks complain about govt spending. Well, we're about to see what happens when govt stops spending. The economy well shrink – a lot. Of course there's a balance but our Congress will never put country before self. I recommend those of you who have 401Ks/investments move your money into a safe fund for a while. I believe the economy is about to drop.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  5. PPBeJ

    I'm sure Al Queda and other enemies are licking their chops. This move will not only hit the US economy but it will EVENTUALLY impact our readiness. Not right away, but in time. The DoD is hurting from cuts already taken. I'm buying my own office supplies – yeh, its that bad where I work. Of course for those of you who work in DoD, I'm sure you're also emptying your own garbage as we at our base. I'm willing to buy my own office supplies and empty my garbage however they're the cuts are becoming very counterproductive.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Reply
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    February 6, 2013 at 6:01 am | Reply
  8. ADoDEmpl

    What I find TRULY disturbing is....I just discovered that the ARMY at one of the camps in AF just bought PALLETS of espresso makers and coffee pods. Ummm...waste much? How about the 60" flat screen TV's in EVERY tent? What about laying off the contractors that cost the taxpayers $500-800K annually EACH? How about ELIMINATING the culture that if an agency RETURNS money at the end of the year, then their POM for out years is penalized by having their budgets slashed? Do you KNOW how much WASTEFUL spending is done just because agencies believe they HAVE to spend it or lose their budget next year? I have spent 18 years as a civilian serving my country doing my best to go above and beyond what is written in my job description. And the reward us CIVILIANS [not contractors] receive for all our hard work, continued loyalty, and dedication is....zero pay raise for the past 3 years, no monetary or time off awards, AND now...we get to have at least a 10 percent (VERY significant) pay cut, which affects not only our income, but our future retirement benefits as well! Instead of cutting off your loyal supporters, STOP buying espresso machines for the guys in the field and layoff non mission critical contractors! Oh, and you guys at the Pentagon...start kicking the butts of every Congressional and Senate "leader" for being the MOST ineffective is history. They should ALL be fired!

    February 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  9. Jannani

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    January 31, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
    • Richard

      And you would be............ummm...........Iranian ?

      February 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
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    January 30, 2013 at 4:42 am | Reply
  11. Shery

    If budgets have to be cut by X% to reduce the defecit, then do this across the board INCLUDING foreign aid! This will solve a lot of issues here in the US! If we can't afford to take care if the U.S., then we can't afford to take care of the world.

    January 29, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  12. empresstrudy

    Expect that 46,000 newly unemployed to be ignored by The Great Obama.

    January 29, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • frespech

      What in the hell takes 46,000 workers at the Pentagon in the first place?

      January 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply
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    January 29, 2013 at 4:25 am | Reply
  14. Real Talk Again

    Sad only for the contractors. I've been working for the government for a long time but how many of the employees actually do something? I mean really. Off every week. Go to work late, come home early. Sit and do absolutely nothing alllll day long and delegate jobs to the real people that do work. I mean 46,000 is what an estimated 2-5 milion per year? so what does this actually save from trom the Trillion Dollar debt america has as a whole?

    January 28, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • PB

      I really believe more than not work really hard in their positions. I know my husband puts in very long hours. He gets no overtime, he puts it in because he does the job of 5 people. Our base has been going through layoffs and deleting jobs for the past 2 years.

      I agree that there are some of these people who slack off all the time, but many of them lost their jobs at the end of 2012. They just weren't renewed. 46,000 is a lot of people, especially in areas where the primary job is a military installation. These people will go on to unemployment, which comes from the federal government, too. That's not saving money.

      I do agree that they should target some GS-12-14's. It would save a lot more money, however, I do not see that happening. They are also cutting travel, which, believe it or not, will save loads. And, I do think CNN has it wrong, it's not one day a week for 22 days, it's spread out longer. That's only if they do not cut enough. However, 22 days without pay, is very rough, even if it is spread out

      January 29, 2013 at 6:04 am | Reply
    • TE

      46K employees is more like $3B per year

      January 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  15. Tembisa

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    January 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  16. PK

    They need to start laying off the SES service, GM/GS 14s and above, probalby half of them could go and no one would miss a beat. Then they need to start spending money realistically instead of hording it all year then purchasing unneeded goods and contracts at the end of the year. And they do need to replace overpaid contractors with government workers. All I heard before my retirement was how contractors were going to lose 15% of their pay if they were forced into the federal workforce. But that's too realistic for the DoD. And by the way, this has been going on almost every year I worked for the DoD.

    January 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  17. Thinks2010

    I feel sorry for the people who are losing jobs. However, I'd be willing to bet the military will function just fine without them. I am surprised layoffs are only now taking place. I would have expected some (though maybe not 46,000) following our withdrawal from Iraq since the Pentagon must have had quite a few people dedicated to support functions for that war. I also expect some of the 46,000 have been engaged in support for the war in Afghanistan from which we are withdrawing.

    I'll also bet that as the 46,000 enter the ranks of the jobless, it won't be long before the Republicans try to place the entire responsibility for any up tic in the jobless numbers resulting from this on President Obama.

    January 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • PB

      Actually, cutting jobs on military installations have been taking place for over the last 2 years. There have always been more civilians working on a military intallation than military members. It frees up the military members for mobility. Not every job will be missed; however there are jobs that are important and will be passed to someone else.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:55 am | Reply
  18. Jannani

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people. ha ha ha
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015. ha ha ha .. ha ha ha

    January 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • Bibi The Play yer

      @ Big Shiz:

      Come on Big Shiz . . . .quit the hating . . . . I'm a gay zine-0-ist . . . remember our night in the tel-aviv motel . . . . remember the sheep? Yeah, quit the hating . . . .you liked it . . . . . so are you still mad at me?

      Heeeee-hawwww! gitty-up big shiz . . . . you like it when I ride you . . . . . . heeee-haw!

      January 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
      • BigShiz

        Bibi every time you pretend to be Jewish you prophet see's you. He already knows your gay.

        January 29, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Joe B

      Hey Jannani,

      I guess you also have a problem with what happened to Osama Bin Laden? Understand one thing about American values...we must always hold onto our core beliefs no matter how difficult...what changes is the world and the people in it. America will always be the greatest country in the world and that's not because of debt, resourses or riches because the USA will never be a failed state! See it's our core beliefs that propels us to the top of the mountain. Nothing else. While no country in this world if free from flawed missions (ie. invasion of Iraq), what distinguishes us from others is that our men and women freely of their own will dedicate their lives for the freedoms of our country and the freedom of every other human being in every country in this world that's unable to protect themselves. That's what flows from the veins of MOST Americans in the good ole USA!!!! God Bless America!

      January 29, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • John

      Your a freaking moron Jumongi!!!!!!

      January 31, 2013 at 8:15 am | Reply
  19. Stephanie Arizona

    We need to start cutting welfare programs, teach them to rely on themselves, and drug test. We also need to not pay government officials as much. Firing a bunch of hard working people isnt going to help THE PEOPLE. We need to focus on getting our country in order and less on the agendas of the corrupt government. Right now I pay into the social security system and I will not be able to use it when I am old because it is failing. In my early twenties I am already making plans for retirement. I will support myself instead of expecting the government to make plans for my retirement and I will retire comfortable at 60.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  20. JohnParryJones

    46,000 jobs that should have never existed in the first place. Government waste should be a major focus of the Obama administration.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • Bibi The Play yer

      Hey, JohnParry-Jones . . . .We're not sure if we like what you are saying . . . .your comments makes too much sense . . . and we like our American sheep stu-pud 'er. Knock it off . . . .if any true American Patriot gets to reading your post, they might get to think'n and if they start to think . . . that could spell trouble for us zine-oists in israelies.

      Just watch more TV, play with you iPhones, and log on Facebook and Twitter so we know who you are and who your friends are and what you are doing. . . . .we like it when you are stu-pud . . . so knock it off!

      January 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  21. RK

    I believe these are things that the military is PREPARED to do. I work at a military installation and we have not been ordered to begin any of these procedures.
    Also, the furlough time-frame is not what we've heard. We've been told it will be one work day a pay period, not a week.
    But, hey, CNN got it first. Why let facts get in the way of a good story?
    Then again, the order could come down this afternoon, who knows?

    January 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  22. Greg Faith

    Great, 42k more workers on the unemployment line. Thanks Goober

    January 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  23. Hahahahahaha

    Too bad it's the lower paid grunts instead of the Overpaid, Useless, Executive types that get laid off. Hahahahahahahaa

    January 28, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
    • Bibi The Play yer

      Hahahahahaha . . . .we had to do it. Hahahahahaha . . . . we had to make some cuts to appease a few goyim trouble makers in congress . . . . .but you can bet there will never be cuts to the money you stu-pud 'er americans send us every year . . . and that's includes all the money spent to protect us with boots on the ground in the Middle East.

      Hahahahahaha . . . . . .we laugh at you while we drink wine and eat bagels. We are the zine-0-ist of israel and we are your masters . . . . .just keep your hard-earned tax dollars coming in . . . .we love free money.

      Just stay stu-pud'er . . . .it is how we like our cattle/goyim . . . . . watch more TV . . . .play with your iPhones . . . . log on to facebook and twitter so we know who you are and who your friends are and what you are doing . . . . Hahahahahaha . . . . . what's dumber than stup-pud . . . .the answer: STU-PUD 'ER! . . . . especially STU-PUD 'ER Americans!!!!

      Hahahahahaha

      January 28, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • BigShiz

        Bibi that's not your name,you got some type of Muslim name. What's it like to be gay and Muslim? What do's your family think of you?

        January 28, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  24. jack

    the price of paying for 2 wars that should have been funded up front.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  25. George Patton

    This is what I call a step in the right direction. I'd much rather see that money going to better our education, health and welfare instead of all these useless and unnecessary wars!

    January 28, 2013 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • Les

      You really believe the money will be going for things like education. rotflmao. I got a cheap bridge I want to sell you. The federal government is spending 3.8 TRILLION dollars a year. The Federal Government indexes in automatic increases in spending. The federal government easily wastes 50% of everything it gets its hands on. Iraq was a huge "cash cow" for for defense contractors. Even the DoD IG figured that one out. Billions just vanish and that doesn't include what was looted in cash and gold from Iraq.

      Here's a simple solution for the federal government. Simply stop forcing departments to spend every nickel they are given each year. Stop buying crap you don't need to replace just to make the money disappear. But that would support the philosophy of the federal government which is "Money Must Be Spent" .

      January 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  26. RQ

    The price of piece.

    January 28, 2013 at 6:38 am | Reply
    • QC

      I wish not all countries would adopt this war is for peace statement. Otherwise, we would have World War "N" right now.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply

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