The Pentagon will fire staff working for top brass as a part of a 20 percent reduction from the senior offices at the Department of Defense, the secretary announced Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided to cut 20 percent from the funds for the department's top offices, including the Joint Staff, the headquarters for each military service and from his own office. The cuts will take effect between fiscal years 2015 and 2019.
This will account for up to $2 billion in savings, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little.
The decision stemmed from the Strategic Choices and Management Review that Hagel ordered in March, and will take place even if Congress rescinds the across-the-board mandatory cuts known as sequestration.
The total savings will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, Little says. These are designed to help address the department-wide budget shortfalls that have already forced 11 furlough days on roughly 650,000 civilian employees.
"That isn't going to fix the problem," Hagel said to an audience of department employees in a town hall at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Fla. "But, yes, everybody's got to do their part."
The secretary is currently on a tour of domestic military bases, including Fort Bragg, N.C., and a test and repair center in Charleston, S.C., that he will visit on Wednesday.
Defense spending was cut by roughly $37 billion this year. It could be cut by an additional $52 billion in 2014 if Congress and the White House do not agree on a deficit spending plan.