The Marine Corps has been tasked with reducing its troop levels over the next four years and as a result it is prepared to offer early retirement with full benefits to some servicemembers. The program will begin this fall and is part of a move to cut about 20,000 troops, according to Stars and Stripes.
Early retirement will be offered to Marines who have between 15 to 20 years of experience. In addition to offering soldiers voluntary discharges, the move is expected to result in about a 5,000-person reduction each year for the next four years. Officials say the tempered reduction will not hurt the Marine Corps' effectiveness.
"The resulting 182,100 Marine active-duty force retains the capacity and capability to support current and crisis response operations through rotational deployments, and to rapidly surge in support of major contingency operations," Marine Corps Gen. James Amos told Congress, according to the publication.
The cuts to the Marine Corps are one part of a large reduction in size of the military over the coming decade. According to Federal Times, the Army is expected to cut about 80,000 soldiers.