National Guard and Reserve officers in the Army could be asked to serve multiple two-year tours with a policy shift aimed at swelling the ranks stretched thin by troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a senior Army official.
Because so many law enforcement officers are also part-timers in the military, this policy change stands to effectively further deplete the staff of agencies across the United States.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous because the policy has not been formally decided on, says he believes the Army will ask Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sometime in the next several months to change the policy to greatly increase reservists' time spent in active duty.
He also says the Army will most likely ask Congress to permanently increase the size of the Army by 30,000 soldiers to 512,000, at an estimated cost of $3 billion per year.
The Pentagon is sending retired Army Gen. Gary E. Luck to Iraq to conduct an “open-ended review” of the military operations there, in which he will also look at troop levels, the New York Times has reported.