With the war in Afghanistan winding down, and faced with growing pressure to cut the Pentagon budget, Congress and military service chiefs are looking at a range of options to shrink the size of America's active duty military, with 1.5 million men and women in the uniform remains the second largest in the world -- behind China -- and by far the most expensive to maintain.
The U.S. Army faces the biggest round of cuts: It is seeking to reduce its active duty force by 80,000 men and women by the fall of 2015, shrinking to an army of 490,000 troops from the current 570,000.
The U.S. Air Force, with nearly 333,000 active duty personnel, has announced it plans to trim its force size through early separations and retirements, shrinking its force by 25,000 airmen over the next five years.
The U.S. Marine Corps, the military's smallest branch, has 202,000 active duty personnel. The corps has announced plans to cut its size by 20,000 Marines, to 182,000 by 2016, and possibly to as few as 174,000 by 2017.
The U.S. Navy, with 317,000 active duty men and women, has not announced major force reductions for 2014, though they are expected to take place in view of Congressional budget pressures.