The Pentagon is trimming its projected total military end strength and shifting its force growth to better align against near-peers Russia and China, according to the 2020 budget released Tuesday.
The total end strength planned for in the fiscal year 2020 budget is for the military to reach 2,172,100 forces by year 2024, down from the 2,186,500 that had been planned to be reached by 2023 in the Pentagon’s budget last year. That includes both active-duty and reserve component troops.
To trim and shift, over the next five years the Pentagon is proposing cutting the Army’s total end strength from a previous goal of having 1,040,000 active and reserve forces by 2023, to having 1,016,500 on hand by 2024.
Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said the Army’s projected cut also reflects financial reality and the need to slow its growth. The Army also does not want to lower recruiting standards after missing its recruiting goals by more than 6,000 forces last year.