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News Release


Release No: 007-97
January 14, 1997


Secretary of Defense William Perry today announced Reserve component force structure reductions and unit inactivations by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force in Fiscal Year 1997. Consistent with Congressional intent, the Reserve component force structure will be reduced by 2.03 percent, or 19,613 positions. This represents a 3.02 percent reduction in end strength, leaving a 1 percent reduction to be accomplished in FY 1998, the last year of the reduction plan.

FY 1997 is the fourth year of a five-year force restructuring strategy in response to the changing defense requirements of the post-Cold War world. This strategy continues to strive to protect personnel readiness while our forces rightsize to achieve the FY 1999 target structure. "Readiness continues to be my top concern," Perry said. "We have seen improvements in National Guard and Reserve personnel readiness because we strive to put our people first. We have downsized, but we've done it smartly by restructuring without hollowing out the force."

"This year's reductions are well within the parameters that we established for the Reserve components back in FY 1994," Perry said. "We had a master plan in which we decided what we wanted our military to be able to do. Then we sized and shaped the force accordingly, making it a priority to look for smart, mission-effective ways to leverage the National Guard and Reserves. As a result, today the Reserves are contributing more than ever to the daily work of the active duty force."

For the personnel who are remaining in the Reserve forces, the force reductions will help to maintain appropriate pay and benefits; employer and family support; and initial-entry and duty training. For those whose units are being inactivated, there will be opportunities to move into positions in other units wherever possible. For those who are leaving the force due to the restructuring, the Reserve transition program will continue to be used to treat Reservists fairly and with respect for their service.

"Our Reserve forces of the future will, of necessity be smaller," Perry said. "But they will be more essential to our nation's military readiness, our capability to deter aggression and our flexibility to respond effectively to crises here at home and worldwide. Such increased reliance on the National Guard and Reserves is at the very foundation of this Administration's national security strategy."

The FY 1997 Reserve Component Reduction Plan includes the following: Q&As on FY 97 Reserve Component Inactivations FY 97 Reserve Component Reduction Plan (narrative) Overall Summary of Force Structure Changes by Reserve Component FY 97 State-by-State Net Force Structure Changes by Reserve Component Selected Reserve Transition Programs FY 97 Reserve Reduction Plan by Component

Media may obtain more unit specific and other additional information by contacting:

For the Army: (703) 697-7589 For the Navy: (703) 697- 5342

For the Air Force: (703) 695-0650 For the Marine Corps: (703) 614-1492/4309

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