GEN Odierno: US Army could reduce force by 213,000 soldiers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GEN Odierno: US Army could reduce force by 213,000 soldiers

GEN Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, addresses SASC. Photo source: http://www.dvidshub.net. GEN Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, addresses SASC. Photo source: http://www.dvidshub.net.
(WTVM) -

The US Department of Defense announced earlier this week that the Army may be reducing force by 213,000 soldiers.

In his address to the US Senate Armed Services Committee on April 8, Army Chief of Staff GEN Ray Odierno told Congress that the cuts represent the best Army possible under sequestration.

"The plan calls for end strength reduction of 213,000 soldiers with the disproportionate cut of 150,000 coming from the Active Army, 43,000 from the Army National Guard and 20,000 from the Army Reserved," Odierno explained. "These reductions to the Active Army represent 70 percent of the total end strength reductions compared with 20 percent from the National Guard and 10 percent from the U.S. Army Reserve. We could reduce up to 46 percent of the Brigade Combat Teams from the Active Army and up to 22 percent of the Brigade Combat Teams from the National Guard."

Read GEN Odierno's full address here.

Odierno says the changes will result in the Army going from a 51 percent Active and 49 percent Reserve component to a 54 percent Reserve and 46 percent Active component mix. This will result in the Army being the only service in which the Reserve component outnumbers the Active component.

"No one is fully satisfied with the final outcome, including myself. However, the reality is that the funding in the future will not allow us to have everything we may want," Odierno said. "These cuts will still occur, even if we delay our decisions or fail to address the issue as a total Army. The result will be the hollowing out of our Army. Our Soldiers will be less prepared and this will cost more lives in the next conflict."

Odierno says the decision is not about Active verses the National Guard or Reserve. He says, "This is about providing the best total Army for our Nation. Our Army is getting smaller and we must be more ready in all three components to respond to future threats. This plan allows us to balance end strength, readiness and modernization across the Army and sustain our critical National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve forces as a viable operational reserve."  

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