On June 15, the U.S. Army announced that it will maintain an end strength of just over a million soldiers despite previous plans to reduce troop numbers to 980,000 by fiscal year 2018.
“The end strength increase will augment deploying units, and units on high readiness status, with additional soldiers to increase Army readiness and enable us to continue to protect the nation," Brig. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, director of the Force Management Division, said in a statement.
With tensions escalating in areas like the Middle East, East Asia, and North Africa, the Army’s need to retain and recruit more soldiers has become more pressing than in previous years. By then end of 2018, the Army wants to maintain a fighting force of 476,000 active duty soldiers, 343,000 soldiers in the National Guard, and 199,000 Reserve soldiers.
What’s more, units that were previously slated to be cut like the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the 18th Military Police Brigade Headquarters in Europe, the 206th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas, the 61st Maintenance Company, and a combat aviation brigade in South Korea, will continue to be operational under the FY18 budget request.
"These force structure gains facilitated by the FY17 end strength increase have begun, but some will take several years to achieve full operational capability,” Mennes said. “Implementation of these decisions, without sacrificing readiness or modernization, is dependent upon receiving future appropriations commensurate with the authorized end strength."
The Army’s push to fill its ranks may also mean better incentives for soldiers to consider reenlistment. As the branch scrambles to increase troop levels, it plans to increase its bonus budget request for fiscal year 2018 threefold to more than $380 million, according to the Associated Press. In addition, the Pentagon wants to remove eligibility limits on the dollar-for-dollar contributions made to senior enlisted troops’ 401(k) accounts under the new “blended retirement system” to encourage retention across all service branches.
“The top line message is that the Army is hiring,” Maj. Gen. Jason Evans, who recently became the service’s head of Human Resources Command, told the AP.
Regardless of how it manages to grow, enemies should brace themselves for the million-man machine that the Army will soon become.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.