The U.S. Army has outlined how it will distribute additional soldiers as part of an end strength increase mandated by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
The service branch said Thursday its regular Army force will reach 476,000 soldiers; the Army National Guard will increase to 343,000 soldiers; and the Army Reserve will have 199,000 troops.
The 2017 NDAA permits the Army to maintain an end strength of 1.018 million soldiers and reverse a plan to reduce the service branch’s force size to 980,000 troops by the end of fiscal year 2018.
“These force structure gains facilitated by the FY17 end strength increase have begun, but some will take several years to achieve full operational capability,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Mennes, Army director of the force management division.
“Implementation of these decisions, without sacrificing readiness or modernization, is dependent upon receiving future appropriations commensurate with the authorized end strength,” he added.
The Army plans to establish readiness enhancement accounts in all Army components to boost manning and readiness levels in existing combat units; retain units previously slated for inactivation; and create new units and personnel increases in existing organizations in the U.S. and abroad.
The service branch expects the end strength increase to help address the capabilities gap against adversaries; meet modernization needs; and boost readiness in existing units.