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Current Force Reduction Means Greater Need for Legal Protection

Written by: Monica Stoneking
Written by: Federal Practice Group

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Guest Blog

    The U.S. Armed Forces are scheduled to reduce their force structure in the coming years. That's the latest announcement from the Pentagon. Reuters reports that the Army's force structure will be cut by 80,000. The Marine Corps will reduce its size by 20,000. The Air Force expects to consolidate its bases and eliminate excess infrastructure as it already eliminated 500 air planes. This move comes in recognition that further growth of the U.S. Armed Forces is economically unsustainable. The Army already introduced at least one incentive program where it encourages Soldiers to leave the Army with 15 years of service with new benefits. Military retirement benefits can go into over $1,000,000 depending on rank and life expectancy. Currently, the Army spends about 50 percent of its total budget on personnel. According to Reuters, General Ray Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, foresees the reduction in force 'mainly through attrition.'

    What does this mean for Servicemembers currently serving on Active Duty? It means, in part, greater need for zealous legal representation. Commanders may be more likely to discharge Servicemembers for misconduct for which previously they allowed Servicemembers to 'Soldier on.' More discharge packets and administrative separation boards may create more procedural and substantive errors, and a greater need for post-service corrections of military records. More Servicemembers could be referred to court-martials, non-judicial punishment, served with noticed of administrative separation boards or letters of reprimand. Investigations into allegations of misconduct may occur more often. Military retirement, promotions, military benefits, educational benefits, and other privileges associated with military service could be lost without zealous legal representation.

    The Federal Practice Group and its military law attorneys are ready to vigorously represent Servicemembers by protecting their rights and allowing them to serve. Matters which previously were not considered critical, such as a letter of reprimand or letter of caution, could gain greater importance now. If you are being investigated, questioned, or facing court-martial, separation board, or non-judicial punishment, contract The Federal Practice Group to discuss how we can achieve your goals.

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