Army Shakeup Cuts 40,000 Troops

July 10, 2015

In a move that is sending ripples throughout the military community, the Army announced that it is cutting 40,000 troops. The drawdown, expected to take about two years, will have a dramatic impact on military communities both domestically and abroad.

The cuts will reduce Army end strength to 450,000, a level not seen since before World War II.  

“For the most part, the military has been able to reduce end strength by cutting the number of troops stationed abroad,” said MOAA's Deputy Director of Government Relations, Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret). “With this announcement, you're going to start seeing a lot of changes stateside.”  

According to Army planning documents, the reduction is a result of sequestration. If sequestration is allowed to continue, total Army end strength will decrease to 420,000 soldiers in 2018.  

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told lawmakers that at those levels, the Army would not be able to meet national security requirements.

Lawmakers were quick to comment on the cuts. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the planned reduction “a dangerous consequence of a budget driven-strategy.”

Odierno emphasized that the more problematic issue caused by the budget fights between Congress and the White House is the uncertainty for military planners, troops, and their families.  

“This isn't just about troops,” said Barron. “When you start talking about cuts like these, you're disrupting local communities; you're making dramatic changes to school systems.”   

MOAA continues to push congressional leadership to end sequestration, but we need your help.

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