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Shorts #3

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 1997 – The total strength of the armed forces on Nov. 30, 1996, was 1,465,619. This is a decrease of 1,367 from Oct. 31, 1996, and a decrease of 43,728 from Nov. 30, 1995.

These figures represent full-time military personnel comprising both regular and reserve component members on active duty and officer candidates, including cadets at the three military academies.

November 1996 strength figures for each service with month-ago and year-ago figures for comparison are:

           Total 11/96  Total 10/96  Change  Total 11/95

Total DoD    1,465,619    1,466,986  -1,367    1,509,347

Army           491,242      490,783     459      505,200

Navy           413,869      414,044    -175      432,120

Marines        174,806      174,873     -67      174,722

Air Force      385,702      387,286  -1,584      397,305

Active duty personnel strength data provided does not include Selected Reserve strength ordered to active duty by the president under Title 10, U.S. Code 12304. (DoD release)


Navy Establishes Perry Quality of Life Award

WASHINGTON -- The Navy has named an award in honor of former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry for his efforts to improve living conditions for service members worldwide.

Navy Secretary John H. Dalton announced the creation of the Dr. William Perry Quality of Life Award Jan. 21. The annual award will recognize the outstanding contribution of Navy and Marine Corps commands to the quality of life of sailors, Marines and their families.

The medallion, engraved with the name of each recipient and encased in acrylic, will be permanently displayed in the Pentagon. Commands achieving the honor will receive a smaller replica of the award.

Dalton presented a drawing of the award to Perry at a Pentagon breakfast. "Never before has the secretary of defense placed so much emphasis on the quality of life of the country's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines," Dalton said. "The Navy and the Marine Corps have emphasized quality of life under your leadership and have made it our No. 1 priority," he told the departing secretary.

Perry stepped down Jan. 22 after having served three years as defense secretary and one as deputy secretary., Perry said he tried to keep quality of life at the forefront throughout his years at the Pentagon's helm. "Quality of life is about people," he said at the Navy breakfast. "Once you've recruited and trained the best people, you've got to retain them. That's what quality of life is all about -- keeping our Navy the best damn navy in the world." (AFPS)


Reserve Component Units to Support Operation Joint Guard

WASHINGTON -- About 800 Army reserve component soldiers will begin training for Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia, DoD officials announced Jan. 21.

Since the start of NATO's peace mission in Dec. 1995, more than 10,000 Guard and Reserve personnel have supported operations from bases in the United States, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary and elsewhere in Europe.

President Clinton announced Nov. 15 a continuing commitment to the mission in Bosnia. Over the next 18 months, Guard and Reserve units deployed in support of Bosnia will be replaced. By law, Army National Guard and Army Reserve units called up to participate in Operation Joint Guard can serve no more than 270 days unless authorized to serve longer by Congress.

Presently, 24 reserve component units -- 800 soldiers -- will be notified to begin training for possible mobilization to support Operation Joint Guard. These units will replace similar units currently deployed.

Reservists in support of Joint Guard perform combat and combat support missions including artillery fire support, mine detection, air traffic control, civil affairs, logistics, public affairs, medical support and other critical functions, officials said. 

There will be no overall increases in the number of Guard and Reserve personnel authorized to support operations in Bosnia, DoD officials said. (DoD release)


Blue Angel Marathon Slated for Feb. 22

WASHINGTON -- Race officials are now accepting applications for the 14th annual Blue Angel Marathon, slated for 7 a.m. Feb. 22 in Pensacola, Fla.


Pensacola Naval Air Station Morale, Welfare and Recreation Services sponsors the 26.2-mile event. The course runs through the station and downtown Pensacola. It is open to all runners 14 years and older.

The race is also the first of the military's three annual major running events. The Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon are both run in Washington in October.

Deadline to preregister for $28 is 4 p.m. Feb. 14. Regular fee is $35, with entries closing at 9 p.m. Feb. 21.

The marathon conducts a competition for military and civilian teams. Teams consist of five runners, and registrations must include a team lineup listing all members, individual registrations for all members, the name of the team captain and a check or money order for $125. Results from the top four runners of each squad will count toward the team title.

In addition to the marathon, Pensacola Morale, Welfare and Recreation will sponsor a five-kilometer road race beginning at 8 a.m., Feb. 22. The event is open to all ages. Entrants must pay a $12 registration before Feb. 14, or $15 until 9 p.m., Feb. 21. Runners may also enter on race day for $20.

Awards will go to the top men's and women's finishers in the overall event, masters (ages 35 to 49), grand masters (over 50) and wheelchair competition. The top overall winners will also receive round-trip airfare to the 1997 Boston Marathon.

Entrants must send either a check or money order to:

 Blue Angel Marathon,

 MWR, Code 22000

 190 Radford Blvd.

 NAS Pensacola, FL 32508-5217.

Make checks payable to MWR/BAM. For more information, contact the Pensacola Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office at (904) 452-4391 or DSN 922-4391. (AFPS)

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