Will deployment to Iraq break the army?

Independent Institute
by Charles Pena

12/19/06

The requirements of maintaining a professional volunteer military means that the troops in Iraq must eventually be relieved by fresh troops. If deployments are excessively long or result in being away from home and family too frequently, the risk is soldiers deciding that a military life is too much of a hardship on themselves and their families -- resulting in exodus rather than retention. For an all-volunteer force, the rule of thumb for retaining soldiers over time is a 3:1 rotation ratio (meaning three total units are needed to keep one unit deployed) for active duty forces. So the 152,000 troops in Iraq requires an additional 304,000 for rotation or a total of 456,000 soldiers -- which is precariously close to the total size of the active duty Army. Moreover, the U.S. Army has another 64,000 troops deployed overseas, which, to be sustained, requires a total of 192,000 troops. Simple math adds up to the Army being almost 150,000 troops short of being able to sustain current deployments...

//www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1876


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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