ARLINGTON, Virginia (Aug. 5, 2014) -- The Officer Separation Board for majors was composed of colonels and generals that represented a diverse cross section of our Army leadership. The board was given objective criteria to guide their selection of officers to retain or release from active duty based on performance and requirements for the future Army as we meet drawdown milestones. With respect to diversity, board members are reminded in a memorandum of instruction that the strength of our Army comes from our diversity and that we need leaders who understand that unit effectiveness depends on the ability of people of different backgrounds to work together. The Army Leadership is aware of the lack of diversity in some specialties. To that extent, the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army issued an action plan in March 2014 to address diversity trends through analysis of available data, implementation of appropriate solutions, and continuous monitoring of the trends.

These are tough decisions involving people. There is no single force shaping method among the choice of accessions, promotions, retention and separations that will achieve the Army's end strength goals, without the use of involuntary separation measures both now and in the future.

We recognize that this is a particularly challenging time and, as such, have instituted a process by which these Soldiers will be notified and then given maximum time to transition to civilian life. The first general officer in the individual's chain of command will notify each officer in person regardless of duty location to ensure they can take advantage of the time and all resources available to make informed decisions about their transition goals. Officers serving in Afghanistan and deployed abroad elsewhere will be brought home within a month, regardless of the length of their deployment. Though the Army will decrease our overall size, what will remain constant is
our absolute commitment to taking care soldiers and their families.