The Army's active force has shrunk to its lowest level since before World War II, Army Times
According to the military's headcount by the Defense Manpower Data Center, nearly 2,600 soldiers left active duty in March without being replaced, the news outlet reports, adding that during the past year, the size of the active forced has been reduced by 16,548 soldiers.
At the end of March, there were 479,172 active-duty soldiers – 154 fewer than when the Army halted its post-Cold War drawdown in 1999, the smallest force since the 1940 count of 269,023 soldiers, Army Times reports.
Without congressional or Defense Department intervention, the drawdown will continue for two more years, with an expected Army force of 460,000 in 2017, and 450,000 in 2018, Army Times reports.
Military leaders have warned of the growing risk that a depleted force poses, with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley
sounding the alarm about readiness of the military to respond to a large conflict as recently as last month.
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