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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 578-99
December 20, 1999

COHEN DEFERS DECISION TO CUT ARMY RESERVE COMPONENTS

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced today his decision to defer implementation of the remaining reductions of 25,000 personnel in Reserve component end strength called for in the congressionally-directed 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

The 1997 QDR recommended cuts of up to 45,000 personnel in the Army's Reserve components. Reductions of 17,000 in the Army National Guard and 3,000 in the Army Reserve have already been completed.

Three factors shaped the decision to defer additional cuts. First, the Army is currently conducting a redesign of Army National Guard divisions and is moving to implement a vision of how the Army will work and fight in the next century. Any cuts to Reserve component end strength at this time could hinder these initiatives.

Second, the increased use of the National Guard and Reserve in recent years has provided a compelling reason to defer further cuts. Today, the Department of Defense cannot sustain operations anywhere in the world without calling on the National Guard and Reserve.

Third, the Department of Defense will begin the process of conducting another QDR, in January 2001, which will provide another opportunity to analyze existing circumstances and future requirements.

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