Army meets fiscal year 2021 end strength goal

By U.S. Army Public AffairsOctober 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army met its fiscal year 2021 end strength goal of 485,900 active Army Soldiers, despite the ongoing battle with a national pandemic, allowing it to fulfill all operational requirements assigned to the Army in 2021.

Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy chief of staff for personnel, said the end strength for fiscal 2021 reached 486,490 soldiers. This achievement was accomplished by talented recruiters who signed up new personnel, and by retaining professional Soldiers who chose to stay past their initial service obligations.

The Army National Guard ended fiscal 2021 with 337,525 Soldiers, which was also higher than its goal of 336,500. The Army Reserve’s end strength was 184,358 which was short of its goal of 189,800.

“This year the Army also exceeded its retention goal by 1,852 Soldiers,” said Sgt. Maj. Mark Clark, senior enlisted advisor for personnel. “Overall, the Army retained 58,141 Soldiers who were scheduled to transition and an additional 6,618 Soldiers elected to transition into the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.”

The overall end strength of the Army is balanced by a combination of accessions, retention and attrition, which equates to the Army’s overall end strength goal. This year, advances in talent management across all proponents, innovative marketing campaigns, updated policy, and investments in technology have resulted in more people choosing to join and stay in the Army.

Ultimately, Lt. Gen. Brito credits leadership within the Army as the leading factor for meeting Army end strength goals this year.

“The Army is a learning organization that evolves constantly to adapt to the changing environment, and that includes how we fight for and retain talented Soldiers,” Brito said. “The emphasis from our leaders at all echelons to meet the needs of our people and care for our Soldiers and our families has made the Army a competitive organization for more people – talented people – to join our team.”

In April of 2020 the Army implemented the “2+8 Army Training Camp Program of Instruction” at all of its initial entry training sites. This program front-loads classes on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment prevention, Army Ethics and other subjects within the first two weeks of basic combat training. This serves to educate new recruits on the conduct and professionalism expected within the organization at the very beginning of their basic training rather than near the end. Additionally, the Army has improved the ratio of drill instructors to trainees during basic training, which has increased graduation rates and improved quality of life for the instructors. As a result of these changes the attrition rate during basic training has reduced from 10.8% in fiscal year 2020 to 5.5% in FY2021.

“21st century talent management is more than just an idea, it’s how we will continue to meet our end strength goals in future years,” said Brito. “Our innovative talent initiatives and policy updates are essential to our force readiness and our ability to fight and win America’s conflicts.”

For more information, please contact Maj Angel Tomko, Army G-1 and Manpower and Reserve Affairs public affairs, 703-693-3726,