Of the 102 positions slated to be cut, nearly half — 47 — are commands from Iraq, Afghanistan or other overseas operations.
The vast majority — 90 slots — have been reserved for one- or two-star generals and admirals.
The only four-star jobs pegged for elimination are the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe.
Military leaders said they are concerned that drastic cuts in the numbers of admirals and generals could make it more difficult to promote and retain promising officers. Those effects are already being acutely felt further down in the ranks.
In the Army, for example, only 36 percent of this year’s regular class of lieutenant colonels seeking promotion were accepted as colonels, the lowest percentage since 1987, according to Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff.
In a Dec. 20 e-mail to officers, Odierno acknowledged that this year’s low promotion rate to colonel “generated significant interest and concern by leaders across the Army.”