Perhaps there's some lard to trim at DOD?
by Clifford F. Thies
Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, says that if the sequester goes through, 800,000 civilian workers at the Department of Defense will have to be laid off (meaning laid off one day a month for the duration of the sequester).
800,000? The Department of Defense has 800,000 civilian workers?
How many warriors are there?
First, there are about 1.4 million active duty men and women in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The ratio of non-uniformed to uniformed personnel in the Department of Defense is about 2-to-3. But, just because somebody is in uniform doesn't mean they're in an operational unit.
Focusing on the Army, there are 560,000 active duty personnel. These personnel populate multiple "Commands" (e.g., Training & Doctrine Command, Africa Command, First Army, etc.), in addition to populating operational units such as the 82nd Airborne Division. The operational units include 8 divisions, 5 separate combat brigades and cavalry regiments, 37 support brigades, and a variety of smaller support units. All together, the personnel in these operational units total about half of the active duty personnel.
So, the "tooth-to-tail" ratio for the Department of Defense is about 2-to-1, including all the uniformed personnel in operational units as part of the "tooth." and the civilian personnel and the uniformed personnel in non-operational units as part of the "tail."
The enormous overhead associated with the Department of Defense is why - in spite of spending more money on the military than all other countries in the world added together spend on their militaries - we have a hard time sustaining an expeditionary force of any size. Thinking that we need a ratio of three operational units (one building up for its next deployment, one deployed, and one standing down from its return from deployment), the active component of the Army and Marine Corps is unable to sustain an expeditionary force of more than 100,000. To sustain such an expeditionary force that requires continuously tapping into the Reserves and the National Guard.
800,000 civilian workers is just part of the problem of the top-heavy and bloated Dept, of Defense. During WWII, there were 1.5 flag officers per 10,000 uniformed personnel; today, there are 7.5 flag officers per 10,000. And of course, along with the stars come staffs, budgets and civilian workers. Over in the Navy, we're almost to the point of having one Admiral (of various grades) per ship. They twice as many people commanding, coordinating and supporting the warriors than they have warriors, most of whose job descriptions involve little more than passing paperwork back and forth.
In contrast, about 2500 troops of the French Foreign Legion took one month to defeat the Islamicists in Mali.