The Army has lifted the civilian hiring freeze that was put in place April 7. Trump administration plans to reduce the federal civilian workforce significantly, however, will continue – and the Army will continue to be subject to that course of action.
The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) reported April 12 on its web site that White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney maintains that any new hiring of civilians would follow “a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a surgical plan.”
AUSA reported that the freeze caused some “disruptions” in Army services, which were allayed in part by a waiver that allowed bases to hire child-care workers. The cuts were most recognizable for people who had to endure the slower security process when entering installations, though, because of a shortage in security officers, according to AUSA.
The White House anticipates that the process of overhauling the civilian workforce should take about two years. Any changes to the personnel system would have to clear Congress first. The first test would come when lawmakers consider the proposed 2019 federal budget, according to AUSA.
Still, the Army, its sister services, and other arms of the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments should fare considerably better than other federal agencies. Both are “expected to grow” under the Trump administration, AUSA reported. But agencies within the Defense Department are moving forward with formulation of plans to operate considerably more efficiently than they have in years past. The White House wants DoD to review its organizational structure, to determine if civilian employees at lower pay grades could perform some jobs, AUSA reported. The department and services also are going to be asked to review civilian jobs, and determine if they are essential to mission requirements.