This is an interesting juxtaposition of events. On the one hand, the armed forces are undergoing a reduction in force, thousands of junior enlisted men and women are being denied the opportunity to re-enlist while a few thousand junior and mid-grade officers and non-commissioned officers are being involuntarily separated or retired. Many of those are currently serving in combat:
Of the more than 1,100 Army captains notified last month their military careers would soon end, 87 were deployed worldwide and 48 were serving in Afghanistan at the time, Army officials said Wednesday.
The Army has been talking for months about the need to separate the captains as well as more than 500 majors this summer as part of the broad Army drawdown, but it’s the first time details have emerged about the sobering business of delivering pink slips to troops in harm’s way.
According to Army officials who spoke Wednesday on the condition of anonymity, deployed troops who receive separation notices return to the United States as quickly as possible. For staff officers, that can happen within days, while others who wield more authority, like company commanders, may need up to 30 days to wrap up their assignments and return.
The 500 to 550 majors will receive word of their impending separations in late July or early August, officials said. Further early retirement and officer selection boards could be announced for late this year and early next year, an Army official said. Those notified have nine months to transition out of the active duty Army, and many are expected to continue in the Army Reserve.
Somewhere between 800 and 900 NCOs are likely to be selected for separation in 2015 as brigade combat teams are inactivated, another official said. About 500 were selected early this year.
In the big scheme of things, that’s life in the big city. During a draw down, tough decisions have to be made and some good people get forced out; though one would think that the Army could use a bit more commonsense than RIFing officers who were serving in combat.
On the other hand, we have this:
A small number of young immigrants who grew up in the United States without legal status will be allowed to join the military and have a fast-track pathway to citizenship, Pentagon officials announced Thursday, the first time those young people have been able to enlist.
Undocumented young people who have been granted deportation deferrals by the Obama administration will be eligible to apply for the military under a recruitment program for immigrants with special language and medical skills, according to a memo issued Thursday by Jessica L. Wright, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
But administration officials emphasized that the number who would succeed in enlisting would be very small, probably not more than a few dozen. The requirements are stringent and the program is currently limited to 1,500 recruits each year, and already has a huge backlog of applicants.
So on the one hand we are forcing out people who are already trained and, in a large number of cases have combat experience. In return we are bringing in people who are illegal aliens and who owe no formal allegiance to the United States and who require training. There is no possible reason for this that makes sense from either an operational or personnel management standpoint. [UPDATE] In fact, all four services had met their enlistment goals for Fiscal Year 2014 (which ends September 30) by May 31. This is simply a sop Obama is throwing to his base and the race-based constituencies the Democrat party is beholden to and it is done so at the expense of American men and women who have, in many cases, put their lives on the line for this nation.