Starting in 2021, the Marine Corps is going to get smaller, with even larger manpower cuts planned for the future.
The manpower cuts are part of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s plan for the future of the Corps. Money saved from the cuts, along with ditching certain equipment like the Marine Corps’ tanks, will be re-invested in the tech designed to take on China in the littorals.
The $740.5 billion 2021 National Defense Authorization Act approved by lawmakers would reduce the authorized active-duty size of the Corps to 181,200, a cut of 5,000 Marines from the 2020 level.
The compromise bill faces a veto threat from President Donald Trump, who said he opposes the language that would require renaming bases currently named after Confederate generals and also the bill’s failure to include new restrictions on social media companies.
The current goal for Force Design 2030 is to reduce the size of the Marine Corps by about 12,000 Marines from 2020 levels, creating a Corps with about 174,000 Marines by 2030.
The size of the force would roughly line up with what it was in 2002 as the Corps was ramping up from its post-Cold War levels to fight in the Middle East.
Despite the changes, no force-wide early release program is expected for 2021, Maj. Jordan Cochran, a Marine Corps spokesman, said.