Hagel announces his own budget cuts as he visits with troops

“Secretary Hagel's announcement is based on the work of the Strategic Choices and Management Review, which scrutinized the Department's spending priorities and determined that these headquarters reductions should be pursued now, regardless of future fiscal circumstances,” Little said.

Hagel’s announcement Tuesday will not make a big dent in the Pentagon’s budget troubles. But it addresses a frequent criticism that the Pentagon’s bureaucracy has become overly top-heavy, and it also gives the Defense secretary at least a small stake in the coming budget cuts.

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The Defense secretary made the announcement of cuts in his own office one week after he warned of the damage that is looming in 2014 if sequestration is not averted.

Hagel painted a dire picture, warning the $52 billion that could be cut from the Pentagon’s budget under sequestration could spark layoffs, pay freezes and a reduction in active-duty troops, in addition to cuts that would hit the defense industry and impact jobs there.

Furloughs kicked in for most Defense Department civilian employees last week to help deal with the $37 billion sequester cut in 2013, which will result in a 20 percent weekly pay cut through the end of September.