Home Page



WWII Era ('40s)
Korean Era ('50s)
Vietnam Era ('60s)
General Officers


OCS Association
OCS Notices
OCS Newsletter
Army News
Class Coordinators
Reunion Info
Other Links
 Document Library

  Chief Locator
Web Submissions


Veterans' Salutes
Freedom Park
Brief Histories
Scrap Book
Chat Rooms
Charity Efforts


Aren't You Glad You Retired?

Slam, bam, thank you Mam...


This is the continuation of a story begun on our January 2015 Home Page. To go to an archived version of that page, click here: January 2015 Home Page Archive. To return to this month's actual Home Page, click on the Signal Corps orange Home Page menu item in the upper left corner of this page.

After a decade of training for a very specific profession… that of a warrior… being let go without consideration or interest is shocking and heartrending. With many receiving smaller pensions than they were working towards… or no pension at all… a lifetime of dedicated career building has been flushed down the drain. But hey, so what if some 1,188 of America’s finest Officers are joining the list of unemployed… 1,188 of the very ones we depended on to protect our country, and more so, depended on to assure that the enlisted sons and daughters that served under them returned home safely? So what if this happens, at least the 8 million jobs being held by the illegal immigrants crossing our borders each day are being protected.[1]

Brigade combat teams cutOne wonders what kind of logic led to the selection of the 1,188 Captains and 550 Majors that got RIFed? It isn’t possible… is it… that the people picked to be let go were those that cost the Army the most to keep on board? Just because many of these men had been handpicked from within the enlisted ranks (back between 2006 and 2009) and encouraged to make the jump to the Officer corps when the Iraq war was raging, and the Pentagon was struggling to replace junior officers, that wouldn’t be part of what’s happening now, would it? That is to say, when the pressure of so many young Officers leaving the Army during the Iraq war came to the fore… because their initial commitments were over and they were worn out by multiple deployments… resulted in the Army deciding to replace them with Enlisted Men already qualified to do the job, and then went about it with no thought for the costs involved… well, now that the Iraq war is well over and these same people are still within the Officer corps… and eating up money left and right… say, that wouldn’t be a reason to target them first for RIF, would it?

Considering that most of these people were older than the Junior Officers they were replacing, and had more time in service, and therefore were drawing more pay, that wouldn’t be a reason to let them go now, would it? Or how about the fact that the extra age these men carried also made them eligible for earlier retirement than those of equal rank around them… that wouldn’t be a reason to let them go first, would it? More pay… eligible for an earlier retirement than the normal U.S. Army Captain… nah, our Army would never do that to us. Never.

Combat cuts explainedSuperior leaders. Supremely trained. Mature. Picked from among the best of the ranks for promotion to Officers. Are they being pushed out today because they are entitled to more pay, and eligible for retirement earlier than their fellow Officers?

You be the judge.

So far the Army has declined to discuss its criteria. All we can say is that judging from what many of us saw back in 1968 when we served, a situation that seems to be being repeated again today, the choice that many of us made to leave the Army after Vietnam seems to have been a smart one. It may be true that back then the RIF that followed our war was bigger than that facing the Army today, but the facts remain… the pain and anguish of the men and women whose lives are tossed upside down by the U.S. military’s incessant knee jerk reaction in trying to downsize at the end of every war doesn’t do service to either our military, the people it tosses out, or our country. As we speak America is losing warrior talent that it will pay hell to replace when the fur starts flying again. And judging by the way our leaders are running our country and interfacing with the rest of the world, it wouldn't surprise us to see the fur to start flying again sometime in late 2015.

With such good men and women being hung out to dry, woe be the day when we need them again. It’s not that they can’t be recalled or replaced, it’s that good men will die as younger Officers, on the field of battle, earn their stripes as they progress to the level of expertise these men and women already have.






[1] The Pew Hispanic Center puts the number of illegal aliens in the workforce at 8 million out of an overall population of 11.2 million illegal aliens, i.e., 71.4 percent..  - To return to your place in the text click here: Return to place in text


Additional Sources:

Report: Army officer cuts disproportionately affect prior enlisted; Stars and Stripes, November 13, 2014

Story idea courtesy Candidate Donald Fedynak, Army Signal OCS Class 04-68.


  Like this article? Let us know by helping us with our scholarship fund efforts. A $30.00 donation to our Scholarship Fund will help us get one step closer to helping another deserving High School graduate attend college. Your donation is tax deductible and your kindness will go father than you think in making it possible for another young American to fulfill their dream of a college education.
Thank You!

This page originally posted 1 January 2015 

Top of Page


Original Site Design and Construction By John Hart, Class 07-66. Ongoing site design and maintenance courtesy Class 09-67.
Content and design Copyright 1998 - 2015 by