Army Cuts 24,000 Positions Amid Recruitment Crisis

The U.S. Army cut thousands of positions amid its ongoing recruitment crisis.

“Over the past year, the Army conducted a rigorous assessment of its force structure using a process known as Total Army Analysis,” reads a document from the Army. “Following extensive consultations with Congress, Army leaders are moving forward with a significant force structure transformation that will build on the modernization and organizational shifts of recent years.”

Authorized troop levels will now be an estimated 470,000 by fiscal year 2029, down 24,000 from its 494,000 soldiers.

“While making these investments and adding formations, the Army must also reduce force structure to protect readiness in light of decreased end strength. The Army is currently significantly over-structured, meaning there are not enough soldiers to fill out existing units and organizations. Army leaders seek to have at least 470,000 soldiers in the Active Component by FY29, which is nearly 20,000 above the current end strength but a reduction of about 24,000 authorizations compared to currently planned force structure,” the document states.

“These planned reductions are to authorizations (spaces), and not to individual soldiers (faces),” the document clarifies. “The Army is not asking current soldiers to leave.”

Some positions will be reallocated, as special operations forces may be reduced by 3,000 authorizations.

“Implementing these force structure changes represents a significant shift for the Army, moving the Army away from counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations to a focus on large scale combat operations against highly sophisticated adversaries,” the document states.

It added that the Army is “undertaking a similarly important transformation of its recruiting enterprise so that it can man units sufficiently, continue to bring the right types and amounts of new talent into the Army, and rebuild its overall end strength.” Noting the ongoing recruitment failure within the U.S. military, the document noted, “The Army must solve its recruiting challenges to successfully transform for the future.”

Last month, published a report examining the decline in white Army recruits over the last several years. The decline in white recruits comes as the Army missed its 2023 target of 65,000 new soldiers, needing 10,000 more recruits.

In 2018, 44,042 recruits were white, but as of 2023, the number is 25,070.