Contact: Josh Holly (202) 226-3988
Washington D.C. - Today, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) applauded the announcement by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that the Bush Administration will request an increase in Army and Marine Corps end strength.
“The House Armed Services Committee has taken the lead for the past four years in expanding the size of the Marine Corps by 5,000 to its present strength of 180,000 and the Army by 30,000 to its present strength of 512,000,” said Rep. Hunter, ranking Republican on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
Under Hunter’s leadership as Chairman in 2006, the Committee Defense Review (CDR) recommended a further increase of nine Marine battalions and eight Army brigades. The review, originally a bipartisan product of the Armed Services Committee, was published on December 6, 2006, without Democratic endorsements.
“Even though the CDR was not endorsed by Democratic members of the Committee, I am optimistic that they will support the recommendations we made and that the administration is now making for a larger Army and Marine Corps,” added Hunter.
“The CDR recommendations of nine additional battalions for the Marine Corps and eight additional brigades for the Army would result in end strength of approximately 188,000 Marines and approximately 563,000 Army personnel. The Administration’s plan would result in 202,000 Marines and 547,000 Army personnel.”
“These differences are relatively small and should be easily reconcilable,” concluded Hunter.