RealNews

Army Retraining Soldiers to Meet Its Shifting Needs

Hard-pressed to fill critical jobs in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is retraining thousands of forces essential to the cold war, like tank operators and artillerymen, to be military police officers, civil affairs experts and intelligence analysts, positions the Pentagon needs for long-term stabilizing operations. The retraining is part of a larger effort that over the next five years will reassign about 100,000 reservists and active-duty soldiers in the Army’s biggest restructuring in 50 years. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are also rebalancing their forces for new missions: 50,000 positions across the military will have been reassigned by the end of next year. But the Army has the largest share of the changes and the most ambitious overhaul under way. The aim is to reshape the Army to be faster to the fight, to relieve the stress on a relatively small number of Army National Guard and Reserve soldiers who have been called up repeatedly in recent years and to tap 500,000 reservists from all services who have not been activated in the past decade. According to the Defense Department, since 1990 the brunt of the duty has been borne by only 7 percent of the 876,000 reserves assigned to units that have been involuntarily mobilized more than once. Full Story

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