U.S. Army Plans to Increase Military by 30,000 Forces

On January 28, the U.S. Army announced that it will increase its size by 30,000 troops as part of a government-authorized "emergency authority."

Army Chief of Staff, General Peter Schoomaker told Congress "Right now, I've been given the authority by the Secretary of Defense to grow the Army by 30,000 people....under emergency powers,"

The Army is already nearly 500,000 strong due to authorization by Congress under the emergency provisions the Pentagon recently invoked. These so-called "stop-loss" orders prevented soldiers from leaving or retiring from the military.

Schoomaker told reporters after the hearing the Army would move quickly to add nearly 20,000 more forces, saying, "We want to achieve it as quickly as we can." He also said he wanted the additional troops to be incorporated into the Army's efforts to transform itself into a "lighter, more mobile force."

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a California Democrat, spoke at the same Congressional hearing, arguing for a permanent higher level military force. She is pushing legislation to increase the size of the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps for five years at an estimated cost of up to $4 billion.