The Army is looking to reduce its size by about 80,000 troops over the next five years, and a new initiative could offer soldiers a path to early retirement. Known as Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), the program applies to troops who have served between 15 and 20 years in the Armed Forces, according to Army News Service.

The TERA directive is especially attractive to officers who have been denied a promotion or noncommissioned officers who were not granted continued service. While they'll be leaving earlier than expected, those who take advantage of TERA will still receive the same benefits had they made it past the 20-year mark.

"Soldiers who elect to retire under TERA and are approved will receive full retirement benefits at a slightly reduced annuity," Gerald Purcell, the enlisted personnel policy integrator with Army G-1, told the news source.

TERA could be important given the financial constraints facing the Army. The Pentagon has been ordered to cut its budget by $487 billion over the next decade, according to The Associated Press. In addition to the 80,000 troop reduction, the Army is also expected to cut 13 brigades in the coming years.