DoD News Briefing with Under Secretary of Defense David Chu, Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, and Lt. Gen. Emerson Gardner from the Pentagon
BRYAN WHITMAN (Pentagon spokesman): Well, good morning, and welcome again to the briefing room for our second briefing of the day.
Most of you are aware that recently the department has reexamined its policies regarding both the size and the use of our military forces, given the global war on terror. And last week, Secretary Gates announced a number of personnel initiatives, the planned increase of end strength for the Army and the Marine Corps, and policy changes with respect to how our Reserve component forces are used. This examination and the decisions that stem from it are an effort to balance the burdens of war across the total force.
And today we have our undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, Dr. David Chu, and some of his colleagues from both the Marine Corps and the Army, that can speak to some of these announcements that were made yesterday, and give you some context for those decisions.
Dr. Chu will make a brief presentation and then take some questions, along with General Speakes and General Gardner.
MR. CHU: Bryan, thank you.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's a privilege to be here and to be able to speak to the increase in military capabilities that are planned for the Department of Defense to support the nation's missions, with emphasis on those in the Army and the Marine Corps.
And I am joined, as Mr. Whitman indicated, by General Gardner and General Speakes, who are the resource chiefs for their respective military services. These are the gentlemen who plan and who have to organize the supporting elements that turn these policy statements into reality. So they will help me answer your questions this morning.
The secretary has spoken to one of the most important ingredients in building additional capabilities of the department, and that is people; an increase of 92,000 in the active duty strength of the armed forces, in the case -- between the Army and the Marine Corps -- 27,000 for the Marine Corps, 65,000 for the Army.
And let me just, if I might, review from what base this starts and to what endpoint this reaches.
The Marine Corps will start from its so-called permanent authorized end strength base of 175,000 and grow by 27,000 to a total of 202,000. The Marine Corps expects to be, by the end of the current fiscal year, at an actual active end strength of 184,000 and grow from that point forward at 5,000 per year, which gets you to 202,000 by fiscal year 2011.
The Army grows 65,000 from its base of 482,400. It expects by the end of this fiscal year to be at 518,000 active duty personnel, and then to continue growing by 7,000 a year, which gets it to 547,000, the objective by fiscal year 2012.
I should note that there are also plans amongst increases in the size of the Army National Guard, about 8,000 across a similar period -- actually, out to fiscal 2013, when that goal is reached -- and about 1,000 in the case of the United States Army Reserve, again, achieved by fiscal year 2013.
I should add that -- as you know, the department for some time has been engaged in a review of whether all the military personnel now engaged on active duty should be in the kinds of billets in which they serve. Could we use more civilians? The department to date in all four military services has converted just over 26,000 military billets to civil status, of which well over 15,000 are in the Army and the Marine Corps, and some further conversions are planned in the years ahead. Those, of course, give us additional military personnel billets, as the personnel community phrases it, with which to work in building the capabilities I'm about to describe.
I should emphasize -- as this review of the numbers indicates, this is a multiyear process. This will happen over a period of years. It will not all happen overnight.
Let me say, then, a few words about the capabilities, which are really the focus, the purpose of these end strength increases.
We are committed now to building an active Army of 48 Brigade Combat Teams by fiscal year 2013. That's an increase from the prior goal of 42. We'll continue to aim at 28 Army National Guard Brigade Combat Teams, and all eventually to be in the new modulized (sic) construct.
I should emphasize the Army plans to accelerate the build of two of the active-duty brigade combat teams, so that they're available in 2008, fiscal 2008, for duty around the globe, as opposed to the earlier schedule, which had us having those available in 2009.
The Marine Corps plans to add a regimental combat team, as its nomenclature describes it, by the fall of 2008. That will take the Marine Corps from where it is now, at eight regimental combat teams in the active force, three in the Reserve, to a total of nine in the active United States Marine Corps.
The first battalion of that regimental combat team, if I recall correctly, to our Guard that will be available at the end of August this year.
But it's much more than this. We talk a great deal, this department, and you report in your articles about brigade combat teams, regimental combat teams. This build is about the whole range of capabilities that makes American military forces effective. And particularly it is designed to relieve the pressure on units that in the Pentagon's lingo are described as high-demand, low-density, meaning in plain English there aren't enough. That speaks especially to capabilities like Military Police, to intelligence, to explosive ordnance disposal. Those are all part of this expansion.
The Army, for example, is adding as it further -- a further example of this kind of capability -- build two battalions of Patriot capability, Patriots being a capability that are desired increasingly around the globe, to protect ourselves and our allies from missile attack.
The secretary likewise announced a reinforcement of all goals and some change in actual practices regarding utilization of our personnel. And I should emphasize that our people -- even though we have pressed them far harder than our policy goals would argue is our objective, our people have generally accepted the heavy burdens we placed on their shoulders. As you know, all the active components of the United States military made their recruiting goals last year. They made their retention goals.
And I should emphasize also that in their answers to internal polling questions on how they view military life, how they like their responsibilities, their answers have remained highly positive, at levels that, frankly, typically exceed the view that similar personnel held in 1999.
So this is a high-morale force, a force that is willing to accept the challenging assignments the nation has given it. But we must be judicious in how we use this force.
And so the secretary has reinforced, as you know, in his public statements, our objectives for the deployments people can expect, versus the rest they can expect -- "rest" may not be quite the right word, since that's often spent training for the next deployment; but the time they can expect, so to speak, at home; in other words, not engaged in a combat or forward theater. And those goals, as you know, are that for the active component units there should be one period of time deployed and two periods of time in a non-deployed status. For the Reserve components, our goal is one period deployed, five periods of time in a non-deployed status.
Now, the reality often is it's far more demanding than that. That's been particularly true for some of the active forces recently. And we will probably have to remobilize some Reserve units earlier than that set of objectives would argue is meritorious. Events, the world around us has a strong voice in whether we can achieve these policy goals. But the expansion of forces I just described is intended to help us get closer to those goals in the years ahead.
The secretary has announced a variety of other changes about our employment of our forces, particularly the Reserves. He has announced that we will make the period of mobilization one year for our Reserves units. Often Army Reserve units, in particular, have been called up recently for 18 months or more. We'll make the mobilization of those units unit-based. We've often done a great deal of rearranging of individuals across units. To give the units greater cohesion before they are brought to service, we will focus on bringing the unit as a whole to the (colors ?).
And he's directed we develop compensation for those whose expectations we seriously violate. We already have such policies, for example, if you are extended in theater beyond the one year boots-on- the-ground that is the norm. But we will be expanding our compensation set in the next few weeks.
He's asked the military departments to review the use of waivers for hardship cases.
Commanders in our forces have the right to allow particular individuals who have a hardship situation to be released from the unit so they can deal with that situation. He wants to be sure that we are thoughtful when personal circumstances ought to trump the needs that we have in the department.
If I may conclude with a note of thanks, it would go to the young men and women who are serving in our ranks, active and Reserve, today. It's an extraordinary set of young Americans. The nation, I think, should be grateful to have the benefit of their service and the willingness of their families to see them make the sacrifices that they offer daily in support of what our country needs. We do indeed thank them.
With that, I'm delighted to take your questions. But I'd like to invite General Gardner from the Marine Corps, General Speakes from the Army to come up and join me, particularly since any difficult questions I plan to send to them.
Q I have two questions, one mechanics and one broader question.
And the first question is, how much of the growth in both the Marine Corps and the Army do you expect to come from actually retaining more soldiers and Marines and how much would be bringing in new people?
And the second question is already the Pentagon has been -- and it's been criticized for the last three years for not taking -- making this move earlier. We had, you know, General Pace and General Myers saying three years ago, well, if we're going to add troops, it would take us three years. Well, we're three years on, and now we're adding the troops. So why didn't this happen earlier? What changed in the last three years that convinced you that the long-term benefit of this was going to be worth it?
MR. CHU: Let me emphasize, we already have added some, and that's one reason I wanted to review the numbers. The Marine Corps base from which all these debates have started was 175,000; actual Marine Corps strength today, I believe, is more like 181,000.
Q But they were added on a temporary basis.
MR. CHU: Right. And I think the major change here is that it won't all happen right away, so don't be overly concerned if some of the budgetary documents released February 5th look a little different. But over a period of time, they'll all be made part of the permanent strength of the department. That's really the significant signal we're sending, that we now believe that strength at these levels is likely to be a permanent feature of the landscape.
But in the Army case, the Army base was 482,400; the Army today is at approximately 507,000 -- probably about 508,000, something like that. So there have already been significant additions, and they are part of this package.
But the package does look to further additions. That was not previously planned, you're absolutely correct. And we do intend to make all these eventually part of the permanent strength levels in the department.
On your -- the first part of your question, new recruits versus retention, I'll let each of my colleagues speak to it. But it will be a mix, is the bottom line answer.
General Speakes, do you want to say a word?
GEN. SPEAKES: Yes, sir.
I think Dr. Chu has captured it very well. That what we have right now, as you know, is a mix of very, very good retention of the force, and then in addition to that, we've had great success in recruiting the new soldiers we're bringing into the Army. And so General Schoomaker has testified that he believes at this point that the figures the secretary of Defense used, which was a growth of about 7,000 a year, was a sustainable, conservative, predictable basis on which to grow the Army.
Q Do you have a sense of that 7,000, how that breaks down between retaining more and attracting more?
GEN. SPEAKES: No, I do not.
Q Do you have?
MR. CHU: This is a matter of current staff study. A rough answer -- and I emphasize rough answer -- is that probably 2(,000) or 3,000 more new recruits a year, the balance from increased -- in the case of the Army. The Marine Corps is going to look at little different. General Gardner, do you want to say something about the Marine Corps picture?
GEN. GARDNER: We bring in about 39,000 Americans each year and make them Marines. Now, we release 39,000 Marines each year. About half of those, about 20,000, have reenlistment codes assigned to them. In other words, we would be quite happy to reenlist them if there were what we call boat spaces available for them to go to and a desire to do so. So that means since 9/11 we've had about 100,000 Marines that we've released from active duty that were quite eligible to come on Marines. We are going to go out and our commandant will make a call to arms and see what number of those 100,000 would be willing to come back on active duty.
But it's important that we also increase our recruiting because we need a balanced force. We do not need a bubble of people -- if you think about a career force, we don't need to bring 27,000 people in all at one rank; then you'd have this bubble going through the pipe. So it needs to be a balanced approach, and that's why it is a mix coming on. As part of this 27,000, we are going to modestly increase our recruiting and training force to be able to handle the increased size of the Marine Corps.
Q General, could you just clarify? This 100,000 who were eligible to stay but have left since 9/11, did they want to leave? Did they want to stay? Or is it a mix, and the Marine Corps just said, you know, you can't stay? Can you clarify that for us?
GEN. GARDNER: In the past we've had a number of people who have desired to reenlist in a particular job specialty, and unfortunately, there is not enough room in the Marine Corps to keep them on, so we have released them from active duty. Some of those people are offered the opportunity to change to a different speciality, and take that, and some of them say, "No, if I can't be in this one, I'd like to go back out."
But anecdotally, we're all familiar with people that have gotten out of the Marine Corps, and you talk to them a year or two years later, and say, "You know, if I had to do it over again, I sure would like to have stayed." And so we're going to offer that opportunity, and some percentage of that will take that on.
But I want to emphasize that we are going to go out and try and recruit more Marines each year. I think we'll be going from about 39,000 per year to more over the years over time, so we maintain this balanced force that's what the country needs for what we need in the 21st century.
MR. CHU: The bottom line is if some of you have young friends -- some of you still look youthful enough -- if you'd like to join, we have phone numbers available.
Q But I don't feel like I got a good answer to my first question, though. What has changed in the last three years? There are people outside the building that are saying the obstacle here was Secretary Rumsfeld, who was committed to a smaller military, and now that he is gone and Gates is in, you know, the gloves have come off and you can finally do this. What is -- is that correct? What is the change that happened in the last three years?
MR. CHU: There has been throughout this administration's history an emphasis on building additional military capabilities. And so this is -- Army, for example, set a goal several years ago of expanding brigade combat teams to a goal of 42 from then 33, if I recall correctly, and that's plus nine.
What the Army has now committed to, with the secretary's blessing, recommended -- the president approved, is, we're going to aim at a goal of 48. That's six more.
So force expansion, capability expansion, has been a constant of the current administration's effort.
What has been controversial, as your question indicates, is how are we going to do that; how much is to be achieved by internal efficiencies in terms of military-civil conversions, for example; how much of the end strength increase, in the case of the Army, to achieve this goal is temporary, versus permanent.
I think what Secretary Gates has decided is, given the further expansion that he's recommended to the president and that has been approved, that we will need permanently to add to the active strength of American military forces. So that part is a change.
But force expansion, particularly, especially, has been a constant the last five years.
Q How difficult, realistically, is the job that lies ahead of you? Worst-case scenario, if you didn't increase retention, you're talking about bringing in 12,000 new members into the services every year. How challenging is that going to be? And what strategy do you envision to make this happen -- (inaudible) -- some benefits?
MR. CHU: That's a fair question, excellent question. I do think, however, we have to put it in context. We currently recruit, for the active and Reserve components of the United States, 300,000 young Americans a year.
And I am delighted to report that the interest by young Americans in military service continues to be strong. Our real challenge out there isn't the young people, I would argue; it's parents, coaches, teachers -- the older members of your contingent who, when asked by a young person, "Well, Dad, Mom, should I do this" -- too often get a sour and unsupportive answer. And so our real challenge is convincing the American public, which views the military as its most respected institution, as you know, that military service is not someone else's job, it's everyone's job, and when a young person comes to them and wants to explore this option, you should be supportive of that choice. It's a great opportunity.
I came back to a comment General Gardner made, and I found that true too -- many people look back on their military service as one of the high points of their lives. And many who leave in a year or so regret doing so. One of the reasons throughout time we have often recruited what we call so-called prior service personnel -- people who have served before, got out, they realized, you know, the grass really wasn't greener on the other side of the fence; maybe I made more money, I had more sense of fulfillment in my military service.
So it is constantly a challenge to recruit, retain people. We understand that, we know that. We know it will require great energy on our part, imagination, et cetera, but we think it's doable.
Q But any specifics there in regards to any new strategies, any new incentives, anything you're considering doing?
MR. CHU: I think what you'll see on the part of the department is a continuation and perhaps further expansion of what we've done before, which is the use of targeted and thoughtful incentives to persuade people, yes, this is a good choice and, as General Gardner's comment indicated, to channel them into the skills that we actually need, and to get the skills we need. So, for example, to encourage physicians to come, we pay various kinds of bonuses, and we're planning to increase those bonuses over time.
One of our very successful initiatives -- and I have to give the Army National Guard credit for being a pioneer here -- is the notion of getting young people who are already serving to talk to their friends, to refer their friends, and much as is often true in the private sector, to give them some kind of monetary reward if they succeed in doing so. The Guard has used that very effectively this last year. I'm told that 40 percent or so of the Guard enlistments last year are a result of that program. The Army Reserve is picking that up.
So I don't see a sharp change of kind; I do see changes of degree. Exploration of some new ideas will occur, as always happens in this department.
Q Dr. Chu, you mentioned with the Guard and Reserve soldiers -- excuse me, Reserve troops, that mobilizations will now be 12 months. What does that mean for the preparation they have to do before they go? And could you talk about what it means to them that the 24-month cap on involuntary mobilizations has been lifted?
MR. CHU: Okay, you really have two questions there.
First, what it means in terms of preparation. Let me emphasize that the readiness standards to deploy will remain the same. The units need to be able to do their jobs. The people need to be skilled in their responsibilities.
What this will require -- and I'm delighted to have General Speakes say a few words about this -- is a set of changes in how we get them ready. And that will require adjustment in how reserve units train and prepare. And this is at the heart of the Army's force generation model, to put units, and therefore the people in them, on a more organized schedule over time of when you're going to go, and therefore the unit's training is now oriented toward that date of availability. Whether the nation decides to use them is another matter, but our responsibility is to get them ready to go.
On the 24-month issue, this was a policy constraint that the department imposed in the early stages of this conflict to ensure we did not overuse our people, and we went further than the law requires. The law says under declaration national emergency by the president, reserves can be mobilized for up to 24 consecutive months. As a policy matter we said, up to now, 24 cumulative months, to ensure no one is overused.
People who have been mobilized once and who have continued to serve with Selective Reserve units understand that at some future point they will be remobilized. So they have accepted in principle the notion that we're going to come back to you. We've made that point since July of 2003 with a key memo by Secretary Rumsfeld saying plan on one year in six. In other words, one year mobilized, five years off.
So this is not new in that sense. What is new is how we're going to manage this. And so, obviously, at some point the 24 cumulative- month limit has to be removed. That point has arrived. It has been done. So we are not going to use that as a policy constraint. But the people who are affected by it, I believe, understand that was coming. Now, whether they thought it would come at this point or not, that's another matter.
General Speakes, do you want to say a word about how we get people ready?
GEN. SPEAKES: Yes, sir.
Dr. Chu has captured very accurately the fundamental paradigm, which is now what we'll have is a one-year period that we can effectively use a reserve component unit. What that relies on, then, is achieving a higher level of readiness in what we all the premobilization training period of that unit. That will be much easier to achieve because what we've been doing, as you know, over the course of the last year and a half, two years that we've remobilized units, we've had to search for volunteers to join those flags.
That search for volunteers has inevitably drawn us beyond the unit that was actually being mobilized. The result was that you had a lack of cohesion and a lack of any kind of either individual qualification or collective capability. So then we used a substantial amount of time after mobilization to get a basic level of individually and then collective training.
Now what we'll be able to do is focus on a unit, achieve a higher level of training proficiency at the collective level prior to mobilization, and then be able to execute the required training immediately subsequent to mobilization.
The other point that Dr. Chu made is absolutely true, which is that there will be no change in Army standards. In other words, the Army is not going to send a unit into a combat zone or into any kind of a deployment without meeting requirements for both individual and unit certification. So those standards will be maintained. The Army staff right now is working in collaboration with the forces command to essentially redesign the unit training calendar that will take us through those steps and ensure that we have a measure of predictability for the Reserve component people who are going to be executing this strategy over the course of the months and days ahead.
MR. CHU: Go ahead.
Q I'm sorry. Thanks for that explanation. But just as a follow-up, right now my understanding is Army National Guard units, in particular, spend about six months before they go down range in preparations, going to the IED school, getting climatized. How can you do that without mobilizing them?
GEN. SPEAKES: You hit the fundamental issue, which is that we're forming a unit and doing very low-level individual training before we even get to collective training. Now the advantage is you're taking a unit as it exists, you're achieving a higher level of training prior to mobilization so that when you bring it into a mobilized status, you can't take six months to get it to a level of collective training where you can now deploy it.
Q So reservists are going to train more throughout the year or --
GEN. SPEAKES: What you'll have, first of all, is a much more coherent, organized entity that you're training prior to mobilization. And then the Army is going to work collectively with the Reserve component, the Army Guard and the Army Reserve, to ensure that what we do in the pre-mobilization training period achieves a higher level of proficiency. We certainly want to get individual proficiency. And historically the Army has looked at crew or squad, which essentially is the four to five to 10 man or woman group as the kind of group that we want to achieve some level of collective proficiency on prior to mobilization.
MR. CHU: If I may just add to General Speakes' response, Reserve units, as you know, classically train 39 days a year, or 39 day equivalents a year. A lot of what will happen in the future is we plan to use those days far more effectively focused on this force- generation schedule. In other words, your unit is available to go in this window in the future; all training in that unit, starting with individual skill training, needs to be focused on getting to that date. That's not how we do it today.
Q Just to make clear, I'm a guy, I've been deployed for a year as a reservist, so I've done that. When can I be called back to deploy -- mobilize\deploy for another year-long tour?
MR. CHU: The goal is to give you five years off. We acknowledge that over the next couple of years, that for some units and, therefore, for some individuals in those units, we will not meet that goal. Now, typically -- and this is a point I would emphasize -- typically, Reserve units turn over between 10 and 20 percent per year. So at any one point in time, a unit, even if it's only two years back home, is going to have 30, 40 percent of the people are, quote, "brand new" -- in other words, have no time on their clocks.
Q But what I don't get, so when you go from consecutive to cumulative -- I guess I'm just ignorant here -- I just don't understand what the significance is.
MR. CHU: I do think the cumulative constraint has been misperceived. It was a management tool to ensure that when we did remobilize people in the first several years of this long effort, that we did not overdo it. And we have had about 2,500 people over the course of the last several years involuntarily remobilized before five years were up -- we've only been at this five-plus years. So the 24 cumulative months was intended to ensure nobody goes over that standard.
Now, if you are really going to have an operational Reserve, which is what we have decided, and the Congress has agreed we should have -- in other words, the Reserve will be used to sustain long-term commitments by the United States, not just once in a generation -- in other words, you will remobilized people more than once during a Reserve career. That's the bottom line. And I think our reservists today have accepted that bottom line or they would have left by this time, because we've been saying this since July of 2003. But if you continue, at some point you're going to come back on active duty. By definition, you're going to go over 24 cumulative months. That's all that's involved.
Q I have a budgeting question for both you and General Speakes. You used to the head of Program Analysis and Evaluation where you looked at long-term budgets. Is the assumption here that for the growth in the Army and Marines, that the top line will be increased from OMB? Or will the Navy and the Air Force budgets shrink somewhat to pay for the Army and Marine Corps increases?
And for General Speakes I had a specific question.
MR. CHU: Yeah, let me answer your question in the following way, if I may -- and I don't mean to dodge your question. I've tried very hard this morning not -- or this afternoon now, I guess -- not to use the word "budget" because the budget doesn't actually appear until February 5th. And so I would ask you to hold your question until that date, and you'll see the answer.
Q From a specific cost standpoint, General Speakes, the Army has said for every 10,000 new troops, it will cost about $1.2 billion a year. What will 7,000 added a year cost? And then cumulatively, after you reach a steady state of 65,000 added, what will be the impact? Rather than do dummy math, I'd like you to lay out.
GEN. SPEAKES: Well, thank you very, very much. And we'll lay out some very detailed math, as Dr. Chu has indicated, when we lay out the budget on the 5th of February. And what you'll see in that budget is not just the budget, but also what we're doing, which is simultaneously submitting our supplemental request for funding.
And so what we'll have is an integrated strategy that essentially moves the Army forward.
Now, as you captured, what we'll do is we'll grow the Army. And the other part of this is the Army's funding strategy, based upon the discussions we've had with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, will gradually build this capability into the Army base budget. So we'll see all that reflected. Your basic estimates that you quoted are fairly accurate. We're now in detailed and final refinement of that plan, and you should see it here in the first week of February.
Q Dr. Chu, you dodged it. But just conceptually, for planning purposes, do you assume a top line increase, or will the Air Force and Navy budgets be shrunk somewhat to pay for the manpower? It's got nothing to do with specific figures.
MR. CHU: Let me answer it this way. I think when the president's budget request is released on February 5th, you will see a very healthy set of requests for the United States military.
Q Could you give some indication of how many reservists you expect to be involuntarily remobilized in the next couple of years, like some rough numbers, based on the change? And is there a document that spells out this lifting of the cumulative policy? And if you could also talk a little bit more about the benefit that would be provided for those who go earlier than expected.
MR. CHU: I think you have three questions there, if I kept track accurately.
On the question of document, yes, there is a document. We can distribute it later, if you like.
On the question of the compensation if we significantly violate your expectations -- and that's both active and Reserve component -- actives go back to theater early or in too burdensome a way; Reserve component, again, early, et cetera. We have established the framework for that compensation. We will be issuing to the military departments the authorizing memorandum within a week to 10 days. There will be some differences among the services, because each has a different set of circumstances. So I don't want to quote specific numbers yet this morning because they haven't all been decided. But we will make that available once it is concluded. There will be probably two or three weeks before it's all done.
To your first -- to the first part of your question, well, how many? Circumstances have a huge vote in that answer. It would be injudicious of me to say it will be X, Y or Z. I think as a policy matter, the clear theme of the secretary's statement is as few as possible. We'd like to stick with these long-term goals. We recognize that Reserve component members have families and employers who often prefer to have them at home. So we will ask them to serve in a manner that's judicious and prudent, given the obligations that they have accepted.
Q Could you define for us what a significant violation is of that expectation? And is it only for people who are involuntarily mobilized again, or can it be people who volunteer to go in before?
MR. CHU: On the second part of your question, about voluntary, we already have voluntary incentives in place.
Q (Off mike.)
MR. CHU: The focus of this document that your colleague asked about is on involuntary decisions, although what I would emphasize -- and it comes back to the question you ask, ma'am -- we have out there a suite of voluntary incentives already. Some parts of this will also be voluntary -- I don't want to make this too complicated -- but the focus is on involuntary situations of one sort or another.
Q And what are significant violations?
MR. CHU: Let me answer it this way. I don't want to get into -- yet, until we announce the whole effort, the details. What we want to avoid is small differences being blown up into a big matter. So suppose you fall one day short of the expectations. I don't think any of our people believes, nor do I think the American taxpayers believe we should suddenly give you some big compensation for that.
But if I, a year or two years early -- let's take the reservist as an example, in terms of when I send you back -- yes, then I think we need to demonstrate that we understand that we have imposed on you, your family, your employer a significant burden. You may have accepted that burden, but we need to compensate you for that. So it's a matter of -- you know, it's a matter of what standard were we aiming at, which is different for the actives from the reserves, and how far away from that standard are we falling.
Q When you talk about the active piece of it, when we talk about broken dwell time, if currently the Army and the Marine Corps is basically one to one currently, are we talking --
MR. CHU: That's not the goal. That is the reality.
Q (Off mike) -- that's the reality.
MR. CHU: For some, not for everyone.
Q Right. But what is the aim of the compensation package for the active -- is it based on one to one or one to two?
MR. CHU: The aim of the compensation package -- no, it is one- colon-two (1:2). In other words, the aim of the compensation package -- and again, we're not proposing to offer compensation if it's one or two days. I don't want to get into the issue of -- I know some (press people ?) talk about about one or two months, et cetera, so I'm trying to avoid that discussion. And it may be I emphasize non-linear in character; in other words, small violations, modest compensation; doesn't mean we just keep doing that way if it gets bigger. But the goal on the active side is to compensate people if we break 1-colon-2 (1:2).
Q (Off mike) -- if you break one-colon-six?
MR. CHU: No. One in six is one-colon-five (1:5). The terminology is confusing here, I know.
MR. WHITMAN: We'll have to make this the last question.
Q Can we clarify what exactly involuntary mobilization is? Is this when -- for example, if you get called up with a National Guard unit, that's a voluntary mobilization, correct?
MR. CHU: No, it's not, typically.
Q That's an involuntary mobilization.
MR. CHU: Voluntary means you stepped forward and said, "I'll take this assignment." And involuntary means I tell you, you know, "Whatever you had planned, I have new plans for you."
Now, the legal basis on which it is done, there are a whole host of authorities we use in terms of what the orders actually rest on as a legal foundation. There are 20-some different kinds of legal authorities for reserve utilization. I don't want to get in a long discussion about what that is. But the people know when it's involuntary versus voluntary.
If we offer a voluntary incentive, then that's voluntary. So if we offer a positive incentive -- and part of this package will be positive. It will say if you're willing to do X, if you're willing to extend your term of obligated service, for example, in order to deploy again to the theater of operations, we're offering X.
That's voluntary in character.
Q When you're talking about the numbers, it looks like you want to increase 61,000 over what you have now?
MR. CHU: I lost you on the 61,000.
Q Well, if 92,000 is based on the baseline of 175,000 and --
MR. CHU: Oh, I see. You're subtracting from where we are now. Subject to checking the math -- I assume you've done it correctly -- is that --
MR. WHITMAN: One more.
MR. CHU: Your last question. Okay.
Q General Speakes, again on the question of numbers anticipated, I mean, both the secretary and others -- Army officials have said, you know, yes, we do in the relatively near future expect some additional involuntary call-ups. I mean, just to give us a ballpark sense of this year -- you know, how many people might be affected by this? I think this is something that people are eager to know about. Is it going to be, you know, large scale? You're saying it's not going to be large scale, so what kinds of numbers are we looking at maybe this year, maybe next year?
GEN. SPEAKES: Well, I think we need to put this in perspective with where we are in terms of executing the current national demand for forces.
As you know, we configured a strategy which essentially called for about 18 to 19 brigade combat teams per year. At this point now, what we have found is that we have a requirement for forces that is around 23 brigade combat teams a year. The strategy that we've used to try to meet that has been to increase the number of active component units. The active components now are on a decreased dwell back at home station, as Dr. Chu has said, about one to one now as a typical example we're finding for an active component unit.
So the goal here will be over time to gradually bring us into better alignment; in other words, what the plan that we're talking about right now is not a radical shift in terms of who bears the burden but rather a realignment to make this more burden more fair and equitable across the total force. So I wouldn't focus so much on the number of soldiers in a particular moment in time, but rather I'd look at where want to be in the next several years out; for example, 10 or 11 or 12 or 13, when we've achieved a better balance, we've ensured that the force is better managed, that they're providing predictability for all members of the force. So what I wouldn't focus on is that this is going to bear a disproportionate burden or put a disproportionate sense of responsibility on one component of the force.
Q One more on the creating challenges, please. You said earlier that the older members of our society are not being supportive of younger people's desires to serve. Why do you think that is?
MR. CHU: It's a great question. I believe -- although there's -- the evidence on this point is not as good as I'd like it to be because of changes in how the surveys were done -- I believe this has been a secular trend; in other words, antedates the current conflict.
Now, whether it's a generational trend, a generational issue, whether it's because of secular developments in society at large, that's the $64-question. So, if you have answers in your efforts to understand how the American public thinks about these issues, we're interested in them too. We don't know.
Q What do you mean by secular?
MR. CHU: Long-term, continuous; in other words, not some kind of cycle that goes up and down in response to current events. In other words, that there is a shift somehow in how the public views responsibilities, for example --
Q Are you (blaming ?) the baby boomers?
MR. CHU: Say again?
MR. CHU: Well, that is part of the issue, is does the baby boom generation -- you know, I can't keep straight how you describe all the generations. You know, you have baby boomers, Generation X, Y. We have, I think, Next Generation, now, if I recall the terminology correctly.
But there are differences over time in how people think about their responsibilities and what they owe their country, what they owe their society. And so I think the interesting issue is are there generational effects or not? Is that part of the answer? Is there some kind of long-term trend in American views, outlook, et cetera, that we are dealing with here? Is it just cyclical? I don't think so, by the way. I think we're getting evidence this started before the war. And I do personally believe part of the cause is generational, but I don't think that explains everything that's out there.
So, with that, a pleasure to be with you. Thank you for your attention.
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