Update on Army pink slip story from FNC’s Justin Fishel

Members of the Army march up 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade in New York

From FNC’s Justin Fishel:

A handful of senior Army officials sat down with some members of the press to talk about the so-called “pink slips” received by thousands of soldiers — many of whom were deployed when they got notice that they were being let go.  The layoffs are all part of the Army drawdown imposed by mandatory spending cuts.

These senior Army officials said they essentially had no other choice.  1,188 Army Captains were let go and 550 Majors are next in line to be cut.  In all about 1 percent of the force will have to be involuntarily separated.  One official said all officers who were let go had been warned in advance that they were at risk due to the mandatory drawdowns and their past record.  “If you had something in your file that was bad, you knew that you were being looked at and there was a chance you were going to be separated,” one official said.  Examples of blemished records “run the gamut,” this official said, ranging from reports of belligerent behavior in their younger years to an extra marital affair or a DUI.

As to why 87 of these Captains were notified while they were deployed (which has been a major complaint by critics) one official said by law these soldiers have 7 to 9 months to leave.  The clock is ticking, this official said.  “We owe it to that officer to have the maximum amount of time to be able to separate from wherever he is.. to relocate to his home station and make a decision about what he wants to do following the Army.”

Officers who were notified of their dismissal while overseas were able to depart within 30 days, rather than serving out their entire deployment.