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Army reform: jobs cut will create a «pyramid» out of «oversized egg»

The Ministry had a private session discussing the questions of Russian army forces’ “image transformation”. At the end of the meeting which was held closed mostly, the Minister told Russian army has to be globally changed in the future three years.

The amount of militaries are to be cut down to million by 2012 (it’s 4 years earlier than planned).

At the first stage divisions and regiments are to be transformed into brigades just like in the Interior Ministry troops or US army. The “four-star” structure – “a military command – army – division – regiment” are to be changed for the “three-star”: “a military command – operative command – brigade”. It’s also noted Ministry of Defense’s upgrade using the US Army’s model has been being discussed for a long time already. The process has been accelerated due to the Caucasus events in August.

Next three years military units and unions are to be cut down by means of lean units’ writing off. Serdukov says the army will keep only constant alert units and officers who really run these units, not the ones who serve at a warehouse, for example.

The ministry of Defense has inspected foreign know-how and decided to keep only 150 000 commissioned slots (instead of actual 355 000). That is to say the amount of officers is to become equal to 15% of army fleet’s whole number. They say the leading countries have armies with 7 to 20% of officers.

“We are going to complete a million army which is to have 150 000 officers – 15% of the whole amount. Today we have 355 000 officers. Before the end of this year we’ll cut down 40 000 officers’ vacancies,” the Minister says.

The number of generals will also be cut from 1100 to 900. The Ministry of Defense’s central office and military administrations are also to be cut down:

“At the moment we have 10 523 people in the central office, 11 290 – in the administrations,” Serdukov informs. “We plan to cut them for 2.5 times, to 8 500 people by 2012.”

He also says reduction a usual thing, it happens once in 5 years.

Also the Minister says 26 700 officers have already served full term. They are to be fired as soon as they get their apartments. 9 100 more officers will get too old for serving in 2009. Next three years will see more than 100 000 unwanted officers becoming civil.

“I have met the President’s regional authorized representatives recently, and we have agreed to consider the list of writing offs. And the representatives are going to think what jobs these people can get in regions,” the Minister tells. “We also think of buying homes for them there,” Serdukov adds.

As for the amount of junior grade officers – lieutenants and senior lieutenants – it is to grow up from 50 000 to 60 000.

“Today our army looks like an oversized egg in the means of employment,” the Ministry of Defense Head states. “We have more colonels and lieutenant colonels than junior officers. In three years we’ll build a pyramid with everything structured and adjusted. For example, the army has 50 000 lieutenants and will have 60 000. Officers are to give the law to soldiers; they shouldn’t take care of warehouses.

The Minister also stresses the fact of military colleges’ infrastructure getting out of date. It’s impossible to upgrade it in all 65 colleges at the same time, they do not have enough budget. By 2012 three military science centers, six military colleges and one university are to be made.

“Today we have 65 colleges including 15 academies, 4 military universities, 46 schools and institutes. We want to make 10 system forming colleges,” Anatoly Serdukov notes.

The Minister underlines he’s going to keep all professors and teachers. Current military schools and institutes are to become the military science centers’ affiliates.

Russian version

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