U.S. Army Makes Cuts | God's World News

U.S. Army Makes Cuts

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    Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on February 22, 2024.​ The U.S. Army is slashing the size of its force by about 24,000 posts. (AP/Susan Walsh)
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    The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the Department of Defense, which is over the United States military forces. (AP/Charles Dharapak)
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The U.S. Army is slashing the size of its force by about 24,000 posts. That’s about 5% of its total. Officials say the restructuring will help the Army keep up with the changing nature of war and defense.

According to an Army document, the service is “significantly overstructured.” There aren’t enough soldiers to fill existing units. The cuts, it says, are “spaces,” not “faces.” The Army will not ask soldiers to leave the force.

For example, empty posts include jobs related to counterinsurgency. Many of those positions were added during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Those included massive counterinsurgency missions to battle al-Qaida, the Taliban, and the Islamic State group. Those jobs are not needed as much today.

“We’re moving away from counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. We want to be postured for large-scale combat operations,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth says.

Over time, the military’s focus has shifted to competition from countries such as China and Russia, and threats from Iran and North Korea. The war in Ukraine shows new needs. Those include greater emphasis on air-defense systems. Forces also need the ability to use and counter airborne and sea-based drones.

According to the plan, the Army will remove about 10,000 spaces for engineers and similar jobs that were tied to counterinsurgency missions. An additional 2,700 positions will come from units that don’t deploy often and can be trimmed. Various training and other posts make up 6,500 more cuts. And about 3,000 cuts will come from Army special operations forces.

There also will be about 10,000 posts reduced from cavalry squadrons, Stryker brigade combat teams, infantry brigade combat teams, and security force assistance brigades.

At the same time, however, the plan will add about 7,500 troops in other missions. Those include air-defense and counter-drone units. Five new task forces around the world will feature enhanced cyber, intelligence, and long-range strike capabilities.

The decision also reflects the fact that for years the Army hasn’t been able to fill thousands of empty posts. The Army can currently accommodate up to 494,000 soldiers. The total number of active-duty soldiers is currently at about 445,000. Under the new plan, the goal is to bring in enough troops over the next five years to reach a level of 470,000.

In the last fiscal year, the Navy, Army, and Air Force all failed to meet their recruitment targets. The Army brought in a bit more than 50,000 recruits. That was short of the “stretch goal” of 65,000. The service, Wormuth says, hasn’t met its annual goal for new enlistment contracts since 2014.

In response, the service last fall launched a sweeping overhaul of its recruiting. It focused on young people who have spent time in college or are job hunting early in their careers. And rather than relying on soldiers randomly assigned to the duty, it is forming a new professional force of recruiters.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: . . . a time for war, and a time for peace. — Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8