Posted on www.defensecommunities.org
The Army’s end strength is scheduled to drop by 30,000 soldiers by Oct. 1, 2016, including 15,000 active-duty troops, under the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill awaiting President Obama’s signature.
The annual policy bill calls for the Army’s active component to shrink to a level of 475,000 soldiers. The service ended FY 2015 with 491,365 soldiers, nearly 17,000 fewer troopers than it had one year earlier on Oct. 1, 2014, reported Army Times.
In recent years Congress has allowed the services to miss their end strength targets by 0.5 percent to account for short-term fluctuations in recruitment and attrition. The overage of 1,365 soldiers at the end of FY 2015 fell within the variance allowed under statute. This year’s authorization bill includes language increasing the permitted wiggle room at the end of the fiscal year to 2 percent as insurance against sharp declines in recruiting, or an unexpected slowdown in separations and retirements, reported the Times.
The Army’s active-duty end strength is slated to drop to 450,000 by the end of FY 2018.
The Army National Guard is scheduled to shrink by 8,200 soldiers to an end strength of 342,000 by Oct. 1, 2016, while the Army Reserve is scheduled to drop by 4,000 soldiers to a size of 198,000 by the end of FY 2016.
Over the next two years, the Army plans to eliminate 2,400 civilian positions, with further cuts possible afterward, an Army spokesman said last week.