Budget

Defense secretary announces 20 percent cut for Pentagon brass

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on July 16 that top Pentagon brass will undergo a 20 percent staff funding cut as part of sequestration. Cuts will affect the office of the secretary of defense, the joint staff, and the chief's headquarters' staff.

Hagel announced the cuts while speaking at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., as part of a three-day tour of military installations in the Southeast. Hagel's directive could eliminate an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 jobs out of the Defense Department's 2.1 million military and civilian employees.

"So yes, there's uncertainty. Yes there's anxiety," Hagel said. "If sequestrations continues and we go into 2014, we're subject to a $52 billion cut, this is, as I have said, it's going to affect everything. There's no component of our force structure or civilians, any part of our defense department that will not be affected."

In meeting with service members and civilians during his travels, Hagel has stressed that defense leaders are planning for the full range of sequester cuts and are analyzing their priorities.

"We've had to look at our planes, our intelligence, our ships, our forward presence, our Army, our Marines, where do you put them, why do you put them, prioritizing our interests, commitment to allies, enabling allies more and more to do more and more, where we can provide a training and assistance so we don't have to do it," he said.

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