The U.S. Army plans to cut 40,000 troops over the next two years, affecting all its domestic and foreign posts, USA Today reported on Tuesday, saying the Army also planned to cut 17,000 civilian employees.
The cuts would reduce the active-duty Army from its current size of about 490,000 soldiers to about 450,000, its smallest number since before the United States entered World War Two.
The troop reductions were initially announced in February 2014 when then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled the Pentagon\’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year. The figures were also included in the Pentagon\’s four-year planning document, the Quadrennial Defense Review 2014.
Defense officials confirmed on Tuesday the Army was moving ahead with the plan to reduce uniformed and civilian personnel and was expected to announce details on Thursday about which units would be affected by the cuts.
The personnel cuts come as the Pentagon is attempting to absorb nearly $1 trillion in reductions to planned defense spending over a decade.