A reduction in forces for retirees

Washington Times:

The U.S. Army is ending a program that has allowed military retirees to volunteer for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, disappointing many former service members who have embraced a second chance to serve their country.

Lt. Col. George Wright, 55, an Army spokesman -- himself a program participant who signed up to return to service in 2007 after nine years of retirement -- said the program is being terminated because the Army had to reduce personnel to reach a congressionally mandated limit on the total number of soldiers.

"The end of the program is driven by end-strength concerns," he said, adding that the Army was engaged in a constant process of managing its size by "fine-tuning" its enlistment and retention figures.

"There's a balance between the methods we use. We try to use the tools that will impact Army capabilities the least," he said, noting that most of those who had signed up for the program were not serving on the front lines.

The decision has caused consternation among many of those who have returned to the military.

...

Some of these retirees were victims of the Clinton downsizing. I suspect they are caught in a new one where its cheaper to keep new recruits. I still think the military needs to be bigger and there should be a place for these retirees who want to serve.

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