As Drawdowns Begin, Army Outlines Strategy for Cutting End Strength

The Army will employ multiple tools to reduce its end strength by 50,000 soldiers as it leaves Iraq and begins to withdraw from Afghanistan.

One way will be to recruit fewer soldiers, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler said Wednesday. The service also will retain fewer soldiers by raising the performance standards for personnel who choose to re-enlist and by asking some soldiers to switch to higher priority occupational specialties.

“The retention piece is the one that is going to affect a lot of folks in our Army,” Chandler said, according to the Army News Service. “Everybody will be touched in some capacity.”

Changing the interval for how long sergeants and staff sergeants may serve before being promoted is expected to force from 1,500 to 1,800 soldiers to leave earlier than they may have expected. Another tool the Army plans to use is to require some senior enlisted personnel to take early retirements.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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