August 13, 2009
Dear Madam Speaker:
I am committed to supporting our troops and will continue to promote policies that maintain their high level of readiness and that improve the quality of life of servicemembers and their families. To that end, as part of the constant assessment of Department of Defense (DOD) operations, my Administration proposes to increase temporarily the Army's active component by up to 22,000 personnel, including 15,000 troops in Fiscal Year 2010.
This increase will allow military commanders to reduce the strain on the force and increase time at home between deployments. Eight years of sustained combat operations have weighed heavily on our soldiers and their families. Expanding the Army to 562,400 troops in 2010 will reduce stress and strain on soldiers and families. It will increase the number of troops available to deploy while also helping the Army to end the practice of retaining soldiers beyond their period of obligated service.
I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed Fiscal Year 2010 Budget amendments for the DOD. These amendments are offset through the reallocation of approximately $1.0 billion from lower-priority DOD contingency operations' requirements, which are no longer needed at the current time due to changed circumstances because sufficient resources exist to protect United States personnel. Details of these requests are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.