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.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
In his seven months as legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling proved to be an abusive, bullying boss, who openly disparaged women, ruled through intimidation, and attempted to spread a rumor about a female officer after the Senate complained about him to the defense secretary, according to a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation.
"The adjectives a majority of witnesses used to describe his leadership were abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,"a DoD IG report on the investigation into Cooling's conduct found. "Some subordinates considered him an 'equal opportunity offender,' disparaging men and women. BGen Cooling denied making some of the comments attributed to him, but more than one witness told us they heard him make each of the comments described in this section of our report."