Pentagon, Regional Staffs Growing Despite Orders to Trim Personnel

June 3, 2013

The size of the Pentagon's vast oversight organizations grew by more than 15 percent from 2010 to 2012, despite efforts to pare down the Defense Department's bureaucracy, an analysis by sister publication Defense News has found.

On Aug. 9, 2010, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon needed to cut staff sizes. He made this task part of his efficiencies initiative — an effort to save hundreds of billions of dollars through better business practices. The military services' incentive for accomplishing these tasks was that they would be able to get back some of that money to reinvest in other priorities.

"Constraining the personnel available is one way to force this painful but necessary process to take place," Gates said then. "Therefore, I am directing a freeze on the number of OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense], defense agency and combatant command [COCOM] positions, at the FY10 levels, for the next three years." 

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