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Military Minute - November 28th

Army Surges, Deployed Troops, JBLM Christmas, and Army-Navy Football

Military Minute - November 28th
On today's episode of the Military Minute, we're talking about the surprisingly high troop goals the Army has for next year, our current number of troops deployed, the Army-Navy football game, and the Christmas season at JBLM.


Troops Deployed Exceeds Expectations

The U.S. has almost 26,000 troops deployed total in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, according to a new DoD report, far exceeding the Pentagon’s previously acknowledged troop levels overseas.

The U.S. has 8,892 forces in Iraq, 15,298 troops in Afghanistan and 1,720 in Syria, for a total of 25,910 troops serving in the three war zones as of Sept. 30, according to DoD. The figures were released to the public Nov. 17 as part of DoD’s quarterly count of active duty, Reserve, Guard and civilian personnel assigned by country by the Defense Manpower Data Center.

However, DoD has not historically included some special operations forces or temporary personnel rotating into or out of the country in that official figure, so the actual number could be even higher.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pledged to bring more transparency to the actual number of forces on the ground as he assumed leadership of the Pentagon earlier this year under President Donald Trump. 

Army Looks to Increase Recruits in 2018

The Army is looking at another end strength increase in 2018, and, this time, the focus will be on recruiting new soldiers, the service’s top enlisted leader said Monday.

Following a 26,000-person increase in 2017, the Army has asked for another 17,000 for the total force this coming year. The plan is to focus most of the effort on recruiting, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey told Army Times during a senior enlisted leader panel at the Pentagon.

“We did so well last year in our in-service retention program that our in-service retention, actually, is not that significant of a number, because we’ve already accomplished … the preponderance of that in [fiscal year 2017],” he said. 

Army-Navy Blue Angel Uniforms

The Naval Academy fired first Monday in the annual battle of Army-Navy uniform designs, revealing a Blue Angels-inspired ensemble for the Dec. 9 game in Philadelphia.

The uniform features a hand-painted helmet boasting the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron’s signature blue-and-yellow F/A-18s, a color scheme and stripe that matches the unit’s flight suits, and a number font similar to that used on the tails of the unit’s Hornets. 

Holiday Tree Lighting at JBLM

Enjoy JBLM-Lewis Main’s annual tree lighting ceremony Thursday, Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. 

The tree lighting is in front of Jensen Family Health & Fitness Center located at 2022 Liggett Ave., Lewis Main. Bring your camera for photos! There'll be entertainment and a visit from a special guest from the North Pole.