Attrition: November 13, 2004


The U.S. Army is increasing its strength by converting 5,000 jobs, mainly administrative and technical staff jobs, to civilian positions. These are jobs that rarely get the soldiers, who currently do them, shipped overseas. Having civilians on military staffs is nothing new. European armies have been doing it for centuries. The German army even had civilian administrators and technical experts assigned to the staffs of combat divisions during World War II. The United States has long used civilian technicians to help out with maintaining and repairing high tech equipment, from warships to aircraft to gear used by ground troops. After over a century of trying to have everyone in military units be trained as soldiers, the trend is now back to the ancient method of mixing soldiers and civilians together in combat units.


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