Donald Trump was very clear in his message during his campaign that when his administration takes office the military will get the attention they so richly deserve. Now he is putting his money where his mouth is. This last Thursday the United States Army Chief of Staff said that they are preparing to brief the President-elect on their plans to increase the level of modernization. As well as the possibility of adding more soldiers to their ranks.
General Mark Miller told the audience at an Association of the United States Army breakfast the following,
“We do want to be bigger. We, the Army, think our capacity needs to increase … we think our capability — the technical capability of our systems and formations — needs to increase, and we think our readiness needs to increase.”
They are hoping to roll back the deep cuts to end strength and modernization that President Obama had implemented. Miller continued on to say the following,
“We fully understand that it’s an expensive proposition. We know specifically what we need to do, and we are prepared to discuss that when asked by the new administration. In many of the ways we measure readiness, we have made some significant improvements.
Our equipment statuses are better than they were, our training is better now — we have got units rotating through decisive-action rotations at the [combat training centers and] a lot of home-station training. We are not there yet; we are not at the level of readiness that we need to be at to fully execute the national strategic plans to the level that I would be comfortable with.”
One of the biggest impediments to military readiness is the lack of trained soldiers. LEss in fact than they are required to have. He said,
“Manning has been the biggest problem area, dragging readiness back. We are still significantly challenged on the manning front with a significant amount of non-availables, so we have got to work hard at that.”
By October 1st the National Defense Authorization Act has forced the military strength up to 476,000. Which is far more than that under the Obama administration who decreased the active force to 460,000. The General went on,
“If we do get additional people, the very first thing we need to do is improve the manning levels in the existing organizations because our formations are under-strength. We set a target of 95 percent, depending on the unit, but when you take out your 10 percent of unavailables, you take our your day-to-day activities that strip people out of training, you find units going to training sometimes down around 80 percent or, in some cases, even lower.”
However, adding more manpower requires more money and funding. Building up strength requires more money and funding. The largest effort of this year will be remanning he said. Considering Trump’s strong support for veterans and the military it is highly unlikely they will not have his support.