From today's Washington Post - Deployments Are a Factor in Army's Deficit of Majors by Ann Scott Tyson.
The Army's growth plans and the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are contributing to a shortfall of thousands of majors, critical mid-level officers whose ranks are not expected to be replenished for five years, according to Army data and a recent officers survey.
Majors plan and direct day-to-day military operations for Army battalions, the units primarily responsible for waging the counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout the Army, majors fill key roles as senior staff members, putting together war plans, managing personnel and coordinating logistics.
The gap in majors represents about half of the Army's current shortage of more than 4,000 officers, and officials say there are no easy solutions to the deficit. "We need more officers, and we are pulling every lever we can," said Col. Paul Aswell, chief of the Army's personnel division for officers.
The Army's plan to expand its ranks by 65,000 active-duty soldiers by 2012 - to a total active-duty force of 547,000 - is increasing the service's demand for captains and majors. The Army is currently about 15 percent short of its goal of 15,700 majors, and the gap is expected to surpass 20 percent in 2012, according to Army data...