Think Tanks Urge More Cuts to DoD Civilian Workforce

June 3, 2013

The Defense Department should cut its 800,000-strong civilian workforce as one of several steps to preserve military preparedness during a long-term budget crunch, 25 former government officials and other experts from across the political spectrum said in a letter Monday.

The number of DoD civilians grew 17 percent from 2001 to 2012, while the ranks of the active-duty military increased a little more than 3 percent, according to the letter. Although that workforce supports essential missions, the signers said, “its growth over the past decade has, by and large, been unchecked and unbalanced.”

While DoD leaders plan to furlough most of those employees for 11 days between next month and the end of September because of the sequester, DoD will still have more workers than it can afford “and quite possibly more than it needs” when the new fiscal year begins in October, according to the letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and top members of the congressional armed services committees.

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