The Army is prepared to dismiss 550 of its 17,000 majors, with black officers bearing more of the brunt of the cuts than any other ethnic group, according to Army personnel documents, USA Today reports.
Records show that 10 percent of black majors are being let go, while 8 percent of Latino and 5.6 percent of white majors are being cut.
The highest rates of dismissals are impacting specialty areas of black majors, such as electronic warfare, civil affairs and psychological operations. Logistics will be the hardest hit, with 10 black majors receiving pink slips, reports USA Today.
Notifications of dismissal are expected to take one month.
The decision was preceded by pink slips sent to about 1,000 Army captains, according to USA Today.
It’s all part of the Army’s effort to slash its troop numbers to 490,000 soldiers by the end of 2015. If budget constraints continue after 2015, the number of soldiers could be reduced further to 420,000 soldiers by 2019. Currently, there are about 513,000 soldiers on active duty, notes USA Today.
Gen. John Campbell admitted that some soldiers may receive their notices while deployed in Afghanistan, USA Today reports. Deployed soldiers who receive their pink slips will be brought home within a month. The Army is working to lessen the blow of the sudden discharge on soldiers and help them return to civilian life.
“We don’t want to do this,” Campbell said, reports USA Today.
Soldiers who lose their active-duty positions are encouraged to join the Army Reserve or National Guard, Campbell added, according to USA Today.
Read more at USA Today.