Cohen Cancels Cuts in Guard, Army Reserve

From Associated Press

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, citing a trend of increasing use of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, said Monday he has decided not to implement a scheduled cut of 25,000 reservists.

“Today the Defense Department cannot sustain operations anywhere in the world without calling on the National Guard and Reserve,” Cohen said.

Cohen said his decision also took into account that Gen. Eric Shinseki, the new Army chief of staff, is reexamining the role of reserves in the overall Army and redesigning National Guard divisions.


“Any cuts . . . at this time could hinder these initiatives,” Cohen said.

National Guard and Reserve members are participating in many overseas military operations, including peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo.

The Pentagon determined in 1997, after a top-to-bottom review of its forces and defense priorities, that the Army should reduce its National Guard and Reserve forces by 45,000 people. An initial reduction of 20,000 was made before Cohen reversed the additional cuts.

The National Guard has 360,000 members, the Army Reserve 200,000. The active-duty Army totals 475,000.