March 21, 2011:
Just as the U.S. Marine Corps were completing their expansion (ordered by Congress) from 180,00 to 202,000, they have requested that the expansion be reversed. The size of their reserve force (39,600) would remain the same. The reduction would be accomplished largely by reducing recruiting quotas. Since the marines have, for the past few years, suffered shortages of NCOs and junior officers, there would be continued efforts to keep all these experienced leaders in service.
The eight percent personnel reduction will be accompanied by disbanding some units. Marine combat troops will be reduced 13 percent. This will mean an 11 percent reduction in infantry, 20 percent reduction in artillery troops and 20 percent reduction in armor troops. There will also be a 13 percent cut among civilian employees. The number of infantry battalions will be reduced from 27 to 24. There will be some expansions. More troops will be assigned to support units for marine special operations units (assigned to SOCOM). There will be an increase in the size of Cyber War specialists and at least three battalions of law enforcement support battalions.