Guidance for the Fort Benning Community on the Army’s Civilian Workforce Reduction
Colonel Jeffrey Fletcher
To our Fort Benning community:
In order to meet reductions to the federal budget, the Army is moving forward with its plan to reduce the size of its civilian employee workforce at more than 70 locations by about 8,700 positions during before Sept. 30, 2012. Fort Benning is one of the installations affected by this reduction, with our share of the total being 250 positions.
Fortunately, the impact locally will seem far less severe, because we’ve worked hard to restructure our workforce, rather than simply to reduce it. Our restructuring allows some functions to grow, requiring more workers, while simultaneously other functions will decline, requiring fewer workers. Fiscal reality means we will make tough choices across the installation as we determine how best to continue to provide world-class training for our Soldiers during this austere fiscal time for our country. Unfortunately, we will necessarily lose some civilian positions across the installation, but it is our intent that few if any permanent civilian employees here today will involuntarily lose their employment.
In order to mitigate the effects of this Army-wide FY12 reduction of our workforce, we have aggressively sought ways to reach the goal that was set for us. To date, we have been very successful in finding alternate employment for permanent employees whose positions were eliminated. As we move through FY12, we believe our efforts will continue to be successful. There are numerous resources available to employees affected by this workforce reduction. We encourage you to speak with your supervisor to learn more, and please return to the website for updates throughout FY12.
As we work through this process together, we ask you watch out for rumors. As you see and hear information in the news, before you respond or share it with your co-workers, please check first with your supervisor or come to the website for the official word.
We remain hopeful we can reduce the required number of positions without forcing any involuntary separation of our valued civilian employees at Fort Benning.
One Force, One Fight.
Why did the Army decide to reduce its civilian workforce and what has happened to date?
The Army needed to reduce its civilian on-board strength to meet funded targets established by the Secretary of Defense in Resource Management Directive (RMD) 703A2, as reflected in the FY 2012 federal budget. RMD 703A2 withdrew approximately $834 million in OMA funding. Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) Staff and all Army commands and agencies have conducted exhaustive reviews of programs and functions in order to identify specific functions, activities and workload for elimination and/or reduction.
February 2, 2011 - The Secretary of the Army suspended employment offers for OMA-funded positions, except positions related to medical, law enforcement, safety, health, welfare and contingency operations; other exceptions were approved at the HQDA level.
April 29, 2011 - The suspension was lifted and Commands and Agencies were directed to manage Civilian and contractor workload within the targeted fiscal constraints and staffing levels. July 11, 2011 – The Secretary of the Army issued implementation guidance to Army Commands informing them of their funded Civilian authorization levels.
August 3, 2011 – An implementation order was issued for commands and agencies to begin taking immediate action to reduce Civilian on-board strength to meet funded targets established in RMD 703A2 as rapidly as possible, but no later than the end of FY 2012.
December 08, 2011 – The Department of Army announced it is moving forward with plans to reduce the size of its civilian employee workforce by more than 8,700 direct hire civilian authorizations.