BREAKING: McConville Reluctant to Cut End Strength to Fund Modernization

By Mandy Mayfield

Army photo by Sgt. Brian Chaney

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said March 11 he does not intend to cut the service’s end strength in order to fund its modernization priorities should the coming years’ budgets be flat, he said March 11.

The Army is making an ambitious push for modernization. Its top six priorities include: long-range fires, next-generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, the network, air-and-missile defense, and soldier lethality.

Meanwhile, service officials are bracing for the possibility that budgets will be tighter than in past years.

“When we talk about end strength, I have concerns about cutting end strength because of what I see the stress [is] in the force right now," McConville told reporters during a Defense Writers Group event. End strength is the count of Army military and civilian positions that it needs to have funded in each year.

If the service is going to reduce end strength it will have to “take a hard look” at where the cuts will come from, he noted.

The service has been moving money into its modernization accounts over the past few years, he said. “Billions of dollars we've been very judicious about moving over into modernization priorities.”

The Army currently has 485,000 active duty soldiers and more than 1 million in the total force. Originally, the service had planned to grow the force to a much larger number than where it stands now, McConville noted.

Moving forward, the chief of staff wants to come up with a new and transformative doctrine for the service. 

“I believe that we must transform the Army right now, and we must come up with new doctrine,” McConville said.

This new doctrine needs to recognize that in the future, the Army will be contested in cyber, air, sea and space — not just on land, he said.

“We’ve got to bring in the systems that are going to give us the speed, the range and the convergence to get decision dominance,” he noted.

Topics: Army News

Comments (2)

Re: JUST IN McConville Reluctant to Cut End Strength to Fund Modernization

The army has no national security need for a standing army. Mexico and Canada are quite benign in that regard, and there are only fish on the other two sides.

Don Bacon at 9:50 AM
Re: JUST IN McConville Reluctant to Cut End Strength to Fund Modernization

So, does China have a need for a standing army? The existence of an aggressive Chinese government is more than enough reason for us to be increasing defense spending.

Thomas Krepelka at 10:19 AM
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